If you're looking for the most bang for your buck, reviewers say the 7-inch Acer Iconia Tab A100 tablet delivers. It sports the Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system -- most 7-inch tablets use the older Android 2.x Gingerbread OS -- and its capable internal components make the diminutive tablet just as quick and responsive as bigger models. The small, lightweight slate is very portable and can slip into a pocket. Acer's distinctive Zoom mode magnifies apps made for phone usage, enabling users to run them much easier than can be done on 10-inch tablets.
There are some downsides, however. For starters, the five hour battery life is very short for a tablet, and it can only be charged with a proprietary adapter rather than a USB connection. Additionally, the 8 GB hard drive in the base model is small, but storage can be expanded another 32 GB with a microSD memory card. If you have a bit more money to spend and want a full-sized slate, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer (Discontinued) garners strong reviews, only costs $60 or so more and has an available accessory (*Est. $125) that adds a physical keyboard.
A number of reviewers tackle the Acer Iconia Tab A100, including CNET, PCMag.com, Laptop Magazine, PC World, Engadget.com and ComputerShopper.com. The U.K.-based TechRadar.com and TrustedReviews.com also cover the 7-inch tablet. Finally, users have left their opinions of the device at Amazon.com.
1. Laptop Magazine
Michael A. Prospero's review of the Acer Iconia Tab A100 shows all of Laptop Magazine's usual depth; virtually every aspect of the tablet is examined, from display to battery life to user interface and all points in between. While Prospero only gives the Acer slate a slightly above average rating, he says, "With the Iconia Tab A100, Acer offers one of the best tablet values on the market."
Review: Acer Iconia Tab A100 Review, Michael A. Prospero, Aug. 12, 2011
"The Acer Iconia A100 is one of our favorite tablets so far," Sascha Segan writes en route to giving the slate a rating of 4 out of 5. He says it is good to great at everything, including multimedia, casual and productivity tasks, but the "teeny-tiny battery" holds it back from being named the new Editors' Choice pick for best Android tablet.
Review: Acer Iconia Tab A100 (Wi-Fi), Sascha Segan, Aug. 12, 2011
CNET reviewer Eric Franklin comes away impressed with the 7-inch Acer Iconia Tab A100. He can only name two solid cons for the device: its sub-par viewing angles and its short-lived battery. While he calls the tablet one of the most feature-rich around in its size, he fails to rate it higher than 3.5 (out of 5) stars due to pricing and size concerns. "It's still a 7-inch tablet, and larger, better tablet experiences are less than $100 away," he writes.
Review: Acer Iconia Tab A100 (8GB), Eric Franklin, Oct. 10, 2011
Dana Wollman is less impressed with the Acer Iconia Tab A100 than other reviewers. She dislikes the feminine fishnet-style pattern on the rear of the device, as well as the battery life. She also runs into issues with some apps force-closing.
Review: Acer Iconia Tab A100 Review, Dana Wollman, Aug. 12, 2011
5. Computer Shopper
The Acer Iconia Tab A100 earns a rating of 3 stars out of 5 as well as Gaming and Back to School tags at ComputerShopper.com. Unlike other reviewers, Daniel A. Begun finds overall performance a bit sluggish, although the tablet posts some of the best graphics scores the site has ever seen in a tablet.
Review: Acer Iconia Tab A100 (8GB) Review and Ratings, Daniel A. Begun, Sept. 2, 2011
Britain's TrustedReviews.com posts a fairly detailed, three-page report of the Acer Iconia Tab A100. The publication assigns numerical ratings in several different categories, including battery life, design, features, performance and value. The short battery life and poor display are cited as major flaws.
Review: Acer Iconia Tab A100 Review, Andrew Williams, Sept. 16, 2011
7. PC World
PC World gives the Acer Iconia Tab A100 a rating of 3.5 (out of 5), which is one of the better scores issued for a tablet. The colorful display, peppy performance and portability all garner praise, though Melissa J. Perenson does mention the tablet's poor viewing angles, short battery life and bugs with Android Honeycomb. She still likes the Acer Iconia Tab A100 overall. "With its feature-laden, yet practical design and compact size, the A100 has the goods to deliver a modestly sized alternative to the 10-inch class of tablets."
Review: Acer Iconia Tab A100, Melissa J. Perenson, Aug. 12, 2011
John Brandon's critique of the Acer Iconia Tab A100 is comprised of nine full pages of hands-on analysis and is brimming with illustrative photographs. The tablet aces the publication's benchmark test, but like others, Brandon dislikes the glossy screen and short battery. "This is the best of the 7-inch lot," he writes.
Review: Acer Iconia Tab A100 Review, John Brandon, Aug. 30, 2011
The Acer Iconia Tab A100 garners a rating of 4.3 (out of 5) stars, with nearly 50 users checking in. Overall, those who own it love the tablet, especially the fast performance and the bright, colorful screen. The lackluster battery life earns some gripes, however. Still, at last look, no owner deemed issues sufficient to give the A100 the site's lowest rating.
Review: Acer Iconia Tab A100-07U16U 7-Inch Tablet (16GB), Contributors to Amazon.com