Acer Iconia Tab A510 review

An affordable entry to the high-end quad-core tablet party, but lacking in any stand-out features

TODO alt text

Tablet design is difficult, we get that - it's hard to be original.

But that still doesn't make it cool for manufacturers to churn out the same design over and over again.

We wouldn't accept that with smartphones so there's no reason we should with tablets.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

But that's exactly what Acer has done with the Iconia Tab A510.

To say it looks a lot like its older brother – the Iconia Tab A500 – would be an understatement.

Sure, it's lost the brushed aluminium back and the silver trim, opting instead for a rubberised, dimpled, matte backing.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

And while this feels more comfortable to hold for long periods of time, it's not original either – it's very similar to what we saw on the Iconia Tab A200.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

It would be easier to forgive Acer for its predictive tablet composition if it had set new benchmarks for svelteness and slenderness.

Unfortunately it hasn't, with the A510 weighing a fairly chunky 680g and measuring a hefty 10.92mm at its thickest point.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

All negativity aside, though, and despite the slight, added bulk, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 isn't a bad-looking device and we had no issues in holding and using it for long periods of time.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

We just wish the design was a bit more unique - but perhaps with the price-point as it is, we're being a bit harsh.

The top and bottom edges are nicely curved with the matte finish and the two side edges feature an attractive silver trim.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

Up top you'll find the reassuringly sturdy volume rocker and lock switch, which is prime position for your right thumb if you're operating the A510 in portrait mode.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

There's also a light sensor for the auto-brightness option – which we always prefer to switch off.

Down south there's a Micro-USB port and a hard-reset button.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

The A510 lacks the full-sized USB of the A500 but there is an adaptor supplied in the box and we had no issue getting it to recognise our USB drives.

On the left-hand side you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as the power button, and on the opposite edge there's only a Micro HDMI port on show.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

Hidden behind an awkwardly large flap, you'll find space to pop in a SIM card (on the 3G version) or a microSD card.

The 10.1-inch display is of the TFT variety, a technology that lacks the wow factor of the Asus Transformer Prime's Super IPS+ panel, and doesn't come close to the ridiculously startling Retina Display on Apple's new iPad.

However, we keep coming back to the price and at less than £350, an HD display - even one lacking IPS technology - is not to be shunned.

It may be a bit overly-glossy with quite a bad glare-reaction to bright light, and the colours may appear a little faded and washed out but, overall, viewing is a pleasant experience on the A510, with decent angles and bright images.

Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

As mentioned, the action is all powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, which is backed up by 1GB of RAM, and there's a healthy 32GB of on-board storage for all your digital files.

This can be increased up to 32GB more by making use of the microSD expansion option.

Acer is promising 12 hours of video playback from its impressive 9,800mAh battery.

We'll go into detail as to how we got on with battery life later on in the review.