Acer Iconia Tab A200 packs a great punch but best of all is its price
Acer Iconia Tab A200 is the latest tablet offering by Acer, an IT and electronics company with the main headquarters located in New Taipei City of Taiwan.
Already well known in this particular branch with their successful 7-inch tablet, the Iconia Tab A100 and the big brother Acer Iconia Tab A500, where also a 3G version A501 and a Windows OS version W500 exist, Acer is delivering another tablet that should fit somewhere in the middle of the two at the first glance.
Nevertheless, Acer would not be the innovative and over 20 billion revenue producing giant without an ace up their sleeve. This ace just might be the expected pricing, which is rumored to be below $250 and the prospective operating system, which is also rumored to be the famed Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android 4.0.
The heart of the matter
Acer Iconia Tab A200 is a 10.1 inch tablet featuring a multi-touch display screen with a resolution amounting 1280 x 800 pixels. Inside is the Tegra 2 dual-core processor, running on 1 GHz and 1 GB of RAM memory. The built-in storage is 8 GB or 16 GB, depending on the purchased model, but expanding it with additional storage space is easy with the on-board MicroSD card slot. Initial models, like the tested machine, are being shipped out with the Google Android 3.2 operating system, but early next year, February the latest, the Ice Cream Sandwich will be offered as upgrade or already be pre-installed at purchase.
Curiously enough, in the Acer Iconia Tab A200 there is only one camera, a 2 megapixel unit that is facing towards the user. This is meant for video chat use, but is okay enough to take photos with, albeit there is no flash. The hardware is good enough to record and reproduce HD video, 720p can be recorded, up to 1080p can be displayed. The obligatory Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and micro-USB connectivity is there, but also surprisingly DLNA in the Acer clear.fi version and GPS. The integrated 3260 mAh battery is supposed to provide up to 8 hours of uninterrupted video playback and four hundred hours of stand-by time.
Pre-loaded or not
The Acer Iconia Tab A200 comes pre-loaded with some applications, interestingly enough, there is the Acer Ring launcher, which was already present in the A500. The Acer Ring user interface is supposed to make the access to certain applications easier and at the touch of a fingertip. It is definitely requiring some getting used to, if you are used to an Android propelled unit without such a widget. It reminds a little bit of the HTC Sense preview pane, or the Windows Aero windows preview. There is the expected Google application group, all with Google Maps, YouTube, GMail and full access to the Android Market, which nowadays should not be taken for granted. As the security software solution, the Acer Iconia Tab A200 has McAfee VirusScan Mobile pre-loaded. United States and Canada residents can make use of the Netflix subscription service; the SocialJogger allows direct feeds from all pertinent social network portals such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and even YouTube.
What is this all about
It may appear a logical step for Acer to release the new Acer Iconia Tab A200, filling in a perceivable gap between the seven inch A100 and the big A500. It is less understandable that this budget version of the A500 features such good hardware for a supposedly low-price ten inch tablet. It is exactly here, where the Acer Iconia Tab A200 is supposed to be providing a market-shattering impact, if you think about it. The current release of eReader tablets by all the big eContent retailers, such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Nook, all in the $200 – $250 price range, with their seven inch full-color touchscreen tablet devices are not so much popular because of their affiliation with the retailers, which you can establish with any tablet very easily. The popular demand stems from the low price, in combination with the tablet manufacturer being a well-respected house.
Acer figures that people who are looking for a great tablet for the aforementioned price would much rather buy a bigger tablet without any limitations, with top notch hardware and manufactured by a market leading IT entity, instead of purchasing an eReader with tablet features. Granted, people do not think really that far, but if you start comparing prices for tablets and you see that there is the Kindle Fire, the Nook Tablet, the Acer Iconia Tab A200 and a few others, whereby the Acer A200 is a ten inch tablet with the best overall performance and hardware, the conclusion is that everybody will buy the best offering for the same money.
The final word
This latest tablet from Acer, the Acer Iconia Tab A200, will most assuredly shake things up in the tablet world. Following the pricing as set forth by inferior tablets, the A200 will offer top hardware, top performance and as of yet unbeatable versatility in that price range, forcing the hand of all the other manufacturers to either lower their prices or release comparable tablets within the same price range. With the dawn of the quad-core Tegra 3 and the expected falling of prices for almost all currently available devices, Acer sets the measuring rod for all the other providers and challenges them with a pricing war. While all the manufacturers are figuring out how to respond, the consumers should frolic, because it is about time that tablets become affordable for almost every single internet aficionado. This development will also be one of the final nails in the coffin of the soon-to-be-extinct netbooks.