final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Features No comments great!
  • Display The display is generally good, but suffers from that old-skool LCD problem of color distortion if you hold it at a funny angle good
  • Battery life The battery life is generally alright. But the one thing that irks me isn't so much the battery as the fact that you can't charge via USB. so-so
  • Ease of use Coming from using Android 1.5 all the way to 2.3, Honeycomb made a lot of drastic (read: confusing) UI changes. good
  • Storage capacity I would give this a 5, but the lack of clear way to move apps to the external SD card has me scratching my head. good
  • Design and form factor Great design! Love the orientation lock switch. Big screen and the dual cameras (front and back facing) are a big plus. great!
  • Portability (size / weight) For a 7" Tablet, this thing is a tank. I've seen tablets of a similar size (Playbook, Samsung Galaxy Tab) which felt much less cumbersome to hold. so-so
  • Durability The upside to this thing being as bulky as it is....I feel like I could huck this thing into oncoming traffic and it would emerge unscathed. great!
Detailed review
Gizmodo gave this thing 2 out of 5 stars...a bit harsh in my mind, because I'm generally quite pleased with this device. They remarked on screen glare, which I've yet to experience at all. In fact, the models that ship to Canada all come with Chapters/Indigo's Kobo store preinstalled, and having bought and read a couple of ebooks on it already. I can safely say that the aforementioned screen glare issue is WAY overhyped.

As for Honeycomb, it's a bit of a mixed bag for me. Having come from Gingerbread and the versions preceding it and generally loving (and growing accustomed to) the Android UI, the drastic changes in Gingerbread's launcher and general UI were a touch confusing. It took me a moment to reorient myself and start re-learning where everything was. On that note too, the one REAL problem I have coming from the 2.x world, is the lack of a clear way to move apps to the external SD card. Research done suggests that Honeycomb does this dynamically, but that sounds like BS to me (if I'm wrong please let me know).

The only other REAL issues I have with this device are that:

1. You can't charge it over USB, instead they give you a standard AC adapter to charge it with...which means you have to carry the charger everywhere with you and also means that external batteries (which are mostly USB) are of no use to you without some sort of adapter.

2. Acer kinda piles a lot of bloatware onto this thing. So rooting the device to uninstall that bloat was one of the first things I did.

Having said that though, Rooting this tablet is RIDICULOUSLY easy...no local root exploit needed whatsoever. Yep. you read that right. No need for ADB even, as you can just install Terminal Emulator from the Market along with a file explorer, Superuser and Busybox, then just manually download a zip file with the SU binary and take care of the rest in Terminal Emulator. If you've ever manually rooted an Android device, this whole process should be familiar to you. If you're used to SuperOneClick however...good luck to you.

So TL;DR version: This tablet is NOT the best on the market, but it's not trying to be. That said, it's definitely a contender.