Acer Iconia Tab A510 review

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

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Google designed Ice Cream Sandwich to be as intuitive on a larger tablet form as it is on a smaller-screen smartphone and, as such, is the best version of Android so far in its 'vanilla' form, i.e. untouched by the manufacturer.

And, unlike Samsung and HTC, Acer seems to agree as it has left the Android 4.0 experience about as native as it gets, with only a few minor tweaks – all of which we're in favour of.

The first tweak you'll see is from the lock-screen, which is HTC Sense-esque by providing four apps that you can automatically open upon unlocking.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

The apps can be customised by the user to whatever they wish to have quick access to, and the shortcuts are presented in a wheel formation with different coloured highlights indicating which app is selected.

This lock-screen tweak is our first look at Acer's big ICS customisation job – the Acer Touch Ring.

The Touch Ring, in unlocked mode, provides an easy-to-use carousel platform for quick launching into your favourite apps or web pages.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

It can be fired up simply by tapping the prominent green circle button found in the middle of the bottom bar between the regular ICS tablet software buttons and inclusions (back, home, task manager, clock, connectivity and battery) and, like the lock-screen circle, can be customised to fit your tablet needs.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

It also provides quick access to the volume setting, and a universal search client that will scan the web, your contacts and your installed apps.

The usual array of ICS widgets are on offer, which you can decorate any of your five homescreens with.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

There's no 'hold and place' option on the homescreens though, you'll need to access the widgets through the app menu.

Switching between and loading apps is a breeze with the Acer Iconia Tab A510, with the Tegra 3 platform gliding through any task that we threw at it with relative ease.

The standard ICS multi-tasking button is on offer, making it easy to kill open apps with a swipe of a finger.

However, it's not all lightning fast. The Acer Iconia Tab A510 is slow to boot up from power-off, with more than a minute's wait from the time you push the power button to when the homescreen appears.

It is super speedy once it's come to life though, and there are no issues waking it from sleep.

 Acer Iconia Tab A510 Review

The keyboard is of the regular Android variety, with plenty of space on offer, making it easy to type in both portrait and landscape modes.

Haptic feedback is nice, although the default key-tones annoyed us within a couple of minutes and had to be switched off.

You can, of course, install your own preferred keyboard such as Swype if you prefer.