$330 Acer tablet offers 10-inch screen, multiple USB ports

While new iPads continue to cost $500 and up, the market for cheaper alternatives is exploding. Unfortunately, most of the budget options are tied to smaller 7" screens with lowly 1024×600 display resolutions. Not Acer’s new Iconia Tab A200, which is set to offer a 10.1" panel with a 1280×800 display resolution. The asking price? Only $330.

Nvidia’s Tegra 2 SoC takes care of processing duties for the new Iconia, which looks to be about the same size and weight as Asus’ first-gen Transformer. Presumably to cut costs, Acer has dropped the Iconia’s rear-facing camera—no big loss on a tablet. The A200’s connectivity options are surprisingly robust, though. In addition to a standard USB port, the tablet features a Micro SD slot and a Micro USB connector. Most tablets lack even a single USB port, making the Iconia rather well-equipped in this regard.

Although the A200 will ship with the Honeycomb version of Android, Acer says an update to Ice Cream Sandwich will be available in mid-February. The tablet itself is set to hit store shelves on January 15. There will be a $330 model with 8GB of internal storage and a $350 option with 16GB of flash memory. Both will purportedly offer up to eight hours of battery life.

The old 10.1" Iconia Tab A500 has already been slashed to $342 on Amazon, likely signaling its impending exit from the market. The 7" A100 is slightly more expensive at $360, but that price should drop after the A200 becomes available. It will be interesting to see whether Acer comes out with a cheaper 7" model in the same price range as the Nook and Kindle Fire. There’s room at the high end of the Iconia lineup for a slimmer tablet based on Nvidia’s new Tegra 3 processor, too.

Comments closed
    • mcnabney
    • 8 years ago

    With Apple bumping the resolution of tablets up to 2048×1536 I am going to wait a little longer.

    1080p (or 1920×1200!) seem to be the ideal resolution for a ~10″ tablet. And a beefy enough GPU to drive it…

      • phileasfogg
      • 8 years ago

      “1080p (or 1920×1200!) seem to be the ideal resolution for a ~10″ tablet. And a beefy enough GPU to drive it…”

      I don’t understand why you would say that. The prevailing wisdom among TV manufacturers and consumers is that at nearly all reasonable viewing distances, 720p is nearly indistinguishable from 1080p. A tablet is viewed at a distance of approx 12 to 24 inches, perhaps even 36 inches (let’s say 1 meter max, for those who prefer metric notation). So at this much smaller viewing distance, I would expect 720p to be adequate for everyone, for watching motion video.

    • stupido
    • 8 years ago

    Ha, moar USB! I like that!
    this one is worth looking at…

    • gamoniac
    • 8 years ago

    Not bad at all — going from 8GB to 16GB for only $20 more. A welcomed change!

      • phileasfogg
      • 8 years ago

      absolutely, yes. Quite unlike Apple – they would tack on a price increment of $50 for the extra 8GB. When all of us know that what the extra 8GB costs them (to purchase in the massive quantities that they do) is probably $5. Coincidentally, Barrons has an article this week saying Apple is making massive profits by “reselling NAND”. Apple consumed 23% of all worldwide NAND production last quarter. If that isn’t staggering, I don’t know what is.

      “Ironically, Apple earns nearly twice as much from reselling NAND than all the NAND suppliers combined, with NAND resale responsible for 20% of Appleā€™s total operating profits last quarter, at an annual run-rate of $10B+.”

      Here’s the complete story: [url<]http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2012/01/06/apple-building-a-nand-empire-says-bernstein/?mod=BOLBlog[/url<]

    • ChronoReverse
    • 8 years ago

    It’s kinda too bad that it’s on the Tegra2 SOC. I’d prefer the Qualcomm S3 Snapdragons (same generation dual cores) since they have both better performance and better media decoding capabilities.

      • Alexko
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah. Given the price of this tablet and Tegra 2’s rather poor performance compared to the competition, I think NVIDIA might be selling it at a really low price these days.

        • phileasfogg
        • 8 years ago

        Tegra2 die-per-wafer yields are likely at very high levels, given how much time they’ve had to optimize yields. So, yes, they can still make decent margins selling the chip in the “low to mid teens” if they haven’t already dropped to that level.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 8 years ago

    Are ya’ll going to review it? This looks really promising at that price point–if it can work as a media consumption device that’ll interface with amazon’s video store (and/or netflix) and ebook store, it should be pretty good for me.

      • Kollaps
      • 8 years ago

      Have you considered Amazon’s own option, the Kindle Fire? It’s only a 7″ screen but the rantings and raving on some reviews about the devices limitations are really overblown.

        • paulWTAMU
        • 8 years ago

        I really want the expansion slot–the fairly skimpy storage is a deal killer for unless I have an expansion slot. I want this as a media player, so I can carry around all my mp3 and a good portion of my video files while I’m traveling for work.

        • trackerben
        • 8 years ago

        Unless you regularly cross the border or fly off elsewhere and buy one for use as your travel big-screen. Then the Kindle Fire’s region-denial features really come into their own.

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      You can get the Kindle software on any Android tablet as far as I know.

    • jcamel24
    • 8 years ago

    Got one of the A500’s just before Xmas as a present for my wife. Works great! Best part was, it rang up for $249 instead of the $348 on the display case. Hoping for an upgrade to ICS soon, too!

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    Good news. As bad as I think Android 2.3 is on my Samsung Galaxy Tab, I’m happy to see the platform moving forward and new Android-based tablets coming out. I hope other Android tablet makers such as Toshiba and Lenovo pick up the pace; they don’t seem to be very active lately. And what about Fujitsu, Sony, LG, Nokia, etc.? Don’t they plan to take a bigger slice of the tablet, or enter it? Acer seems to be, apart from Samsung, the only company serious about tablets.

      • StuG
      • 8 years ago

      And Asus?

        • ronch
        • 8 years ago

        Ah yes, Samsung, Acer, AND Asus.

      • codedivine
      • 8 years ago

      Sony already has a tablet called “Tablet S” or something. It is yet-another-Tegra2-Honeycomb tablet but with some added Sony utilities (like Playstation Suite, media sharing etc) and a funky design.

      • trackerben
      • 8 years ago

      The others appear to be waiting until new breakthroughs happen. Maybe Android 4.x will be it, or perhaps Windows 8. Motorola is first among equals because it now goes forth as platform lead for Google. Samsung, Sony, and LG are heavily into parallel smartphone spaces and each have full design, channel, and supply advantages in shipping volume into the tablet space. HP showed that x86-centric brands including the likes of Toshiba, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer just aren’t there yet, HTC and the china champions don’t seem interested or are barred by contractual or supply constraints.

      With all that said… Acer and Asus have a chance if they can emulate LG as brands friendly to ecosystem updates, something which Samsung and Sony had troubles with. HP is a question mark but they’ve done great smartphones before, they are tough as Apple at the channel and supply-chain game, and they are unleashing WebOS. If that web-centric platform somehow evolves as the next-generation choice, they can ride that wave. Or they could play tough with Apple upstream and in the channels and then lever that into becoming the second-source for the iOS experience, even if only in vertical markets like office automation.

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