Acer Iconia A110 8GB Android tablet review
Tegra 3-based Asus Nexus 7 worrier?
The Acer Iconia A110’s user interface is stock Jelly Bean with no added apps, which is a mark in its favour. It uses the same T30L quad-core Tegra processor as the Nexus 7 – apparently clocked at 1.2 rather than 1.3GHz. The reduced speed, if indeed true, has no discernable effect on performance, as the benchmark scores reveal.
AnTuTu and Sunspider benchmaking results
Physically, the Acer is a little shorter than the Nexus but also a bit wider and thicker. Consequently, it has a slightly more bezel at the sides but less at the top and bottom. It’s also 50g heavier but I’d be lying if I said it was any harder to hold one-handed. There’s little in it when it comes to build quality, the Nexus having just the slightest of advantages by being the more pleasant to hold, due to its chamfered sides and soft-touch dimpled back. That’s not to say the Acer feels cheap or fragile, it doesn’t.
The Acer has by far the louder speaker of the two though. Its more than a little raucous at high volumes and the position is in just the right place to be covered by your hand when holding the device by the sides in landscape. It's a small point but I prefer the layout of the A110's sockets and ports - USB and HDMI on the upper left side and 3.5mm audio on the top - to the Nexus' everything-on-the-bottom approach.
Home screen and browser
The Acer packs a much smaller battery than the Nexus – 3,420mAh vs. 4,325 – which has a naturally deleterious effect. Looping a 720p video continually, the Acer snuffed it at just over the 4hrs 30mins mark, compared to 7hrs 10mins for the Nexus 7 under the same conditions. I should point out though that the A110 will recharge from 1 amp power sources like external battery packs, something the Nexus 7 won’t. It’s a failing of the Nexus that is beginning to annoy me.
An 8GB A110 will set you back £180 which is a tenner more than the equivalent Nexus 7 after you add post and packaging – the 8GB model only being available from Google’s Play Store. If you want to buy a Nexus 7 over the counter, you have to go for the £200 16GB model, which may give the Acer an edge in the impulse purchase stakes.
Media savvy: Which 7in Android would Yoda buy?
The A110 has a less impressive screen than the Nexus 7 and a lower capacity battery. On the other side of the mattress, it has a Micro SD card slot and an HDMI port. In my book that makes it a close call, although Android updates will roll out to the Nexus 7 faster than to the Acer. If display quality is your main desire, buy the Nexus 7 but if it’s storage flexibility that floats your boat, then the Acer is definitely worth a look. ®
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