There's no getting around the fact that the Acer Iconia Tab A200 is a chunky tablet, especially when compared to the slim iPad 2 and the even slimmer Toshiba AT200.

And you really begin to notice the extra weight after holding the Acer Iconia Tab A200 for a while, particularly if you're holding it one hand. We'd find it pretty difficult to recommend this tablet as an ebook reader, for example.

To give Acer some credit though, this tablet does feel robust. And if you were to hand it to the kids to use (as in Acer's cheesy promotional video), it could probably take the inevitable knocks and bumps. The rubberised back of the tablet means it won't slip out of your hands or get covered in smudges and fingerprints.

Acer Iconia Tab A200 review

We also found the power button on the left-hand side and volume rocker on the top were easy to find and use. And, because the buttons are chrome silver, they look quite attractive too.

There's a 17mm bezel running around the 10.1-inch screen that could do with being a bit thinner, although it doesn't get in the way when you actually start using the tablet.

Connections

Of course, the other benefit to having a bit of bulk is that there's room to include ports on the side.

The Acer Iconia Tab A200 has both a full-sized USB port and a micro USB port, although, irritatingly, you can't charge it by USB and so have to use the bundled AC adaptor that connects via a port that looks almost identical to the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Acer Iconia Tab A200 review

The big omission in terms of connectivity is the absence of an HDMI or Mini HDMI port that would enable you to hook the tablet up to a monitor or HD TV and enjoy your content on a larger screen. This has become almost standard on most tablets and, while we appreciate the Acer Iconia Tab A200 is a budget option, we still would have liked to see it here.

Although Acer has neglected the HDMI port, it has included a microSD slot for expanding on the paltry 8GB of onboard storage here (although US customers can opt for a 16GB version for an extra $20).

The microSD card seems to be falling by the wayside somewhat, with many new tablets omitting the expansion, but we think it's a particularly important feature and it's good to see Acer including it.

Acer Iconia Tab A200 review

The microSD card slot has been hidden next to the reset button behind a plastic flap that you'll need fingernails to open. It's a bit frustrating to say the least, and it took us a few attempts to get it open.

Another noticeable omission - like the HDMI connection - is the rear-facing camera. Presumably in order to save costs, Acer dispensed with this feature that, although standard on virtually all tablets, isn't necessarily essential. How many times do you take your tablet out to take some pictures?

What Acer has included is a 2MP front-facing camera. Arguably this is more useful, because it means you can use Skype to video chat, or shoot profile pictures for Twitter or Facebook.

Acer Iconia Tab A200 review

While the slim, metallic Toshiba AT200 or aluminium iPad might have universal appeal whether in the office or at home, the Acer Iconia Tab A200 is certainly more of a family device for the living room.

While we wouldn't have any problems scooping it up on the sofa to browse the web, the bulk and lack of connectivity render it useless for packing into a briefcase and taking into a business meeting.