December 2nd 2011 2:17 pm

71
9.0
final rating

reviewed on
this review has been viewed 707 times

Criteria Comments Rating
  • Features Multiple storage expansion options and Micro USB make for easy media transfer, but a proprietary charging port means multiple chargers may be needed. good
  • Display Colors are good, with decent viewing angles. Glossy glass attracts fingerprints and makes bright light viewing tricky. good
  • Battery life Daily usage results in an average of two "days" between chrarging. Usage is email management, music and/or video streaming at work, and web browsing at home. great!
  • Ease of use While not iOS simple, Android ICS has made great strides, and Acer has done nothing to hinder the base OS. Interaction is simple and straightforward. good
  • Storage capacity With storage choices of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB built in, storage is ample. USB and MicroSD ports allow for even more storage expansion options. great!
  • Design and form factor At 10.1" the screen is standard sized. Button placement is thought out and easy to reach. Not thin, but not over-sized either. Front facing camera only. good
  • Portability (size / weight) Fits easily in hand and not heavy. While not being a svelte or a 7" tablet, size and weight make for a highly portable device. good
  • Durability Build quality and solid feel give the impression of a very durable device. As the device is only a couple months old, long term durability is yet to be seen. good
Detailed review
The Acer A200

Acer is known for their budget conscious products and the A200 fits that bill. With a $299 price tag for the 8GB model, and a $329 price tag for the 16GB model I purchased, they are definitely cheaper than other Android 10.1" tablets on the market.

With excellent battery life for your average user, and that it offers a full size USB port and Micro SD expandability, this is a versatile little Android tablet. Design wise, the A200 does prominently feature the power button, headphone jack, and two USB ports on the left side. One of the USB ports being a Micro USB and the other one a full size USB, and under the door next to them are a Micro SD slot and a reset button.

* The Micro USB is for a tethered USB connection to your computer, allowing you to access the internal storage on the device, but does not allow you to charge the device.
* The full size USB port does support the use of keyboards and mice, but it also allows you to read and write to USB storage devices. So, in addition to the traditional Micro SD slot storage expansion, this offers even more expandability and access to media files you may not want to store on your device long term.
* There is a bonus feature to the USB port though. This feature is that you can connect a device that allows it to be charged via USB, like your Android phone, to the full size port via a cable and it will charge that connected device.

Overall these features make for a great little Android tablet, and for the price you pay you get a great device. But the reason Acer has been able to offer this price point is at the expense of two noticeable areas of the tablet's design, the use of plastics in the external surfaces and the lack of a rear facing camera on any of the A200 models.

* The external surfaces appear to be made from a high quality plastic, including a optically clear screen covering. The back has a dimpled texture which helps in preventing slipping while holding the device and gives the impression of a secure feeling grip. There does seem to be a very thin raised black plastic bezel around the edge of the screen which extends maybe 1mm above the screen on my device. My belief is that this was intended to keep the glass off the furniture surface when placed face down, but he narrow gauge of this bezel does make for a sharp feeling edge.


* The exclusion of a rear facing camera was definitely a cost saving feature, and to many probably a welcomed one at that. While personally I am perfectly content to not have a rear camera on my tablet, I can see them being useful in circumstances like a video chat session with a loved one. Acer could have included the same 2MP front camera in the rear for that purpose, but including anything higher resolution than that for shooting high quality stills, I'd say would be dubious at best, and price gouging at worst

Overall, I think Acer has managed to produce a more refined and budget friendly device in the A200, than compared to their original A500. For your average tablet user who is looking for an internet surfing device, and a media playback device, this fits the bill to a tee. My only real complaint with this device is the proprietary charging adapter. So if you plan on using this device heavily during the day, pick up a spare power adapter, or bring your included adapter with you.
review history
2012-03-08
Updated detailed review

Comments (3) subscribe to this review's comments

cass

Nice review!

Quick question: You mentioned "Acer has done nothing to hinder the base OS". Does that include UI tweaks and skinning?
locoloki77

Yes, there is no UI skinning perse, and the only obvious tweaks are a widget and the Acer ring. The ring an be disabled on the home screen at least. I have a pattern lock enabled, and that seems to override the ring on the lock screen.
locoloki77

Just checked, the ring is only present on the slide lock screen in ICS. On Honeycomb, the slide and lock worked together, if that makes any sense. :-)