You know, it isn't exactly raining quad core tablets yet, and few devices are shipping with Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. That's what makes the $449 Acer Iconia Tab A510 so appealing: not only do you get a 1.3GHz quad core Tegra 3 (the same used in the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, but it ships with ICS.
Acer's moving up in the world, and their budget-minded tablets are now quite nice machines without any of the gotchas of the early 2011 models. The 1.5 lb. Iconia Tab A510 does everything it promises to: and that includes robust WiFi 802.11b/g/n and a fully functional GPS (Prime, we're looking at you). It's fast, has a pleasing 10.1", 1280 x 800 capacitive touch screen and the usual Bluetooth, 1 MP front camera and 5 MP rear camera. It's a fast tablet thanks to the quad core inside and it benchmarks the same as that other quad core tablet on the market, the Transformer Prime.
While Iconia tablets won't win and design awards, this may be Acer's best looking tablet to date. It's 0.43" thick and comes with either a soft touch black or silver back. In honor of the 2012 Olympics, the tablet has Olympic rings on the back (Acer is an official sponsor of the games and I bet we'll see lots of Iconias there this summer). Sure, the tablet could be thinner, but we'd go easy on Acer since they managed to fit an absolutely capacious 9800 mAh battery inside for claimed 15 hour runtimes. You probably won't get 15, but we're still trying to kill this battery--it really does last a long time.
No more anemic audio from Acer tablets, the Iconia Tab A510 has robust stereo speakers with Dolby Mobile sound, and they're loud by tablet standards and reasonably full. Good stuff. The tablet can play 1080p high profile MPEG4 video handily, and it can output that 1080p with 5.1 audio (we tested it by plugging the Iconia A510 into our Sony receiver via micro HDMI).
The iPad 2 and New iPad might seem to have a strangle hold on the world of tablets, but the Iconia Tab A510 fights back with Android's strong points: computer-like versatility and expandability. The tablet has a microSD card slot to augment the 32 gigs of internal storage and a micro USB port with USB host capability. That means you can use USB peripherals with the Iconia Tab A510: keyboards, mice, USB flash drives, game controllers and even portable hard drives. Acer goes one step extra and includes a USB host cable in the box, since those are hard to find in stores. And yes, the tablet supports NTFS, for those of you who want to use external hard drives formatted NTFS.
- 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 T30s CPU (quad core plus low power companion core, accelerated graphics) - 1 gig RAM - 32 gigs internal storage - GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, WiFi 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz - 1 MP front camera and rear 5 MP camera - 10.1", 1280 x 800 capacitive multi-touch display - 9800 mAh Lithium Ion Batter - MicroSD slot, micro USB port with USB host (cable included), micro HDMI, 3.5mm combo jack.
Here's our detailed Acer Iconia Tab A510 video review: