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

The Acer Iconia Tab A510 could be the perfect tablet for you if you're looking to score a powerful Android tablet without breaking the bank.

It may cut some corners to achieve its lowly price-tag but is still a decent performer and is a great way of getting in on the Ice Cream Sandwich fun.

We liked

We're big fans of the native Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience and so we're delighted that Acer has decided to keep things relatively untouched on the software front.

Performance is also brilliant, with the Tegra 3 chip purring inside, and breezing through apps, video, music and games without any worries.

It's a hardware setup, with a few cutbacks admittedly, that rivals anything at the top of the Android pile – with the benchmark scores to back that up.

We disliked

The lack of originality when it comes to tablet design is not a crime the Acer is solely guilty of but the A510 isn't shy with its brazen 'borrowing' of design features from previous models in the Iconia Tab family. It's also a bit of a bulky tab.

The display is one area where Acer has obviously had to compromise to keep the price-tag below £350, with the TFT display looking slightly dated and sub-standard, despite its HD resolution, compared to some of its higher-priced rivals.

The camera quality, both for stills and video, isn't great – with grainy images and washed-out moving pictures. However, this is not a problem solely laid at Acer's door – tablet cameras are never brilliant as a rule.

Final verdict

For your financial outlay, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 represents a shrewd investment, especially for people willing to accept a few minor flaws.

There are cheaper tablets out there running Ice Cream Sandwich, such as the Scroll Extreme Tablet PC and the Disgo 9104, both of which will cost you around £150 less, but these budget offerings do not offer the sheer power of the Tegra 3 platform, and the lightning-fast Android 4.0 experience.

Yes, the design is a little tired and yes, the display isn't startling, but these are two minor quibbles for what is a very impressive and attractive offering from the Taiwanese giant.

If you're looking to score the best tablet in town then there are still only two viable options – the latest iPad and the Asus Transformer Prime.

But the Acer Iconia Tab A510 sits just below those lofty kings, alongside the Asus Transformer Pad 300, on the 'next-best' shelf.