Acer Iconia One 10 (2017) review

A budget tablet with serious media chops

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Interface and reliability

  • Runs Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Comes with a suite of pre-installed apps

The trend recently, whether with Lenovo or Samsung, has been towards the simplification of the Android user experience. Manufacturers have been removing or winding down their custom heavy interfaces, mostly to the benefit of the consumer.

Acer has clearly received the memo, with the interface relatively stripped down compared to what it shipped its devices with in recent years. Users are presented with a mostly stock version of Android 7.0 Nougat, minus an app drawer and with an omnipresent (non-removable) ‘Iconia’ button on the bottom ‘shelf’.

When pressed, this leads to a suite of Acer apps which are universally rubbish and can be safely ignored.

The tablet also comes with its fair share of bumph installed, various apps from Microsoft, the whole Google ecosystem, Pocket and Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire among others clog the system. Luckily most of these can be promptly uninstalled without a second thought.

This light layer of customisation allows for a mostly fluid user experience. Scrolling through the interface, swiping between screens and the like never presents any unforgivable lag. More importantly, during the testing period there were no app hiccups, which points to the UI being well optimised on the back-end too.

One thing to note is, as with many other manufacturers, there is no guarantee as to whether this device will be updated to future versions of Android. Whether this matters to you is something else altogether, but it may prove to be a black mark for some.

With all of the apps that Acer sought to include however, the omission of a dedicated Gallery app is somewhat jarring, as the in-built Google Photos doesn’t allow for some simple options such as sharing to apps it doesn’t support. This can be promptly amended by a trip to the Play Store, but is odd nonetheless.

Movies, music and gaming

  • Great front-facing speakers
  • Performance isn’t up to high-end gaming

As a device designed to excel in delivering a great media experience, the Acer Iconia One 10 (2017) is generally a pleasure to use.

Whether listening to podcasts or jamming in the shower, the dual front-firing speakers produce a nice volume and a reasonable stereo separation, with a dedicated EQ app included for those who like to fine-tune their listening experience. It's good, if not quite at the room-filling level of the iPad Pro 10.5.

The 32GB of on-board storage along with the microSD card slot mean that there is plenty of space for your files, no matter how much you have.

The device comes with Google Play Music pre-installed as a default music player, and the app is quite fully featured. It also offers the somewhat nifty ability to upload your music library to the cloud and play it back wherever you might be, for free.

As for video, there is no dedicated video playback app installed – but there are plenty of options on the Play Store. Regardless, playback is smooth on the likes of Netflix and YouTube, even at higher resolutions, no doubt a result of the faster Wi-Fi module used.

Though not quite as immersive as the likes of the supersized iPad Pro 12.9 (2017), the Iconia One 10 is certainly good enough for marathon sessions in bed or on the sofa.

Gaming is another story however. Although the screen and speakers lend themselves well to immersion, the included 1.5GHz quad-core MediaTek MT8167A chipset paired with 2GB of RAM is unfortunately not quite fast enough to be considered a powerhouse.

It is enough for a quick spot of Angry Birds, but marathon sessions of Asphalt 8 are beyond it.

One thing worth noting is that the slightly sharp corners of the tablet don’t lend themselves well to anything more than short gaming sessions, as we found they dig uncomfortably into palms.

Performance and benchmarks

  • Handles most basic tasks fine
  • Can run hot and struggle with more demanding tasks

If there is one area in which the Acer Iconia One 10’s budget roots are thoroughly exposed, it is in its performance.

While fine for day to day use and streaming, this device doesn’t cope well with intensive apps or games. Chrome particularly struggled even with only a small number of tabs open.

Powered by a MediaTek quad-core MT8163 chipset and 2GB of RAM, the Acer is at least equipped for the basics of Android. The chip may be two years old by this point, but is still fairly competitive at the lower end. 

One thing to note though is that it gets very hot under the collar when dealing with heavy tasks.

This is reflected in the Geekbench scores, where the device achieved a single-core score of 577 and a multi-core score of 1,503, respectable if hardly world shattering.

Though it isn’t quite on the same level as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, for the purposes of catching up with iPlayer it is more than sufficient.

Power users may wish to look elsewhere, but for people whose use cases are more simple, this will more than suffice.

Sean is a Scottish technology journalist who's written for the likes of T3, Trusted Reviews, TechAdvisor and Expert Reviews.