The Acer Iconia Tab A700 is the best tablet that Acer has to offer right now, one with the highest resolution that Android can support, and the first to come out to offer such high resolutions. That is quite a few superlatives used though is the tablet as good a device when taken in its entirety? Let’s find out.
Design And Looks
The A700 does not break any new ground with its design though Acer has still managed to come out with a device that is sleek but well built. There is a metallic surround all around the device while the rear sports a speckled finish, the latter allowing the device to be held easily. The tablet is slightly longer and narrower than the current gen iPad 3 in spite of it sporting a 10.1 display. Lookswise, the A700 is a lot familiar to the A500 though the one thing, among several others, that sets the A700 stand out from not only its stable mates but also from the vast majority of other tablets is its resolution. At 1920 x 1200 pixels, the display is second only to the Apple’s iPad 3 but is still a stupendous improvement over the A500. The pixel density for the A700 10.1 inch 10 point multi touch display stands at a healthy 224 ppi. The only other tablet that comes with a 1920 x 1200 pixel display is the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity.
The Acer Iconia A700 features a 10.1 inch screen and is running on a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core CPU with a clock speed of 1.3GHz. The A700 also boasts of Nvidia’s GeForce 12-core graphics hardware that provides the tablet with excellent graphics munching abilities. System memory stands at 1 GB while on-board storage amounts to 32 GB. That’s not all as there is a microSD card slot as well that can take up a few more GBs (96, to be precise) which is gaining importance as we move towards more multimedia oriented data. A SIM card slot is also present but is inactive in the current version. Acer has stated that would be made live in a future A701 version.
For ports, the tablet sports a microUSB and microHDMI slots in addition to the microSD card slot already mentioned. There is also a head phone jack point and the volume rockers as well as screen lock buttons. The power button is located to the top left of the tablet which is what it was in the older A500 variant too.
Performance is breezy as the device proved its mettle in being able to run even the most memory intensive of games or 1080p video playback with perfect elan and without ever dropping any frames. That said, some apps such as the skype often crashed when invoked or the screen tended to freeze unexpectedly on some occasions though such events can be considered more an exception than a rule.
This is one of the most important aspect of a device and its here that can make or break a tablet. For this is one prime reason where the iPad series have always excelled and has been the tablet to beat for three years in a row. Competitors have been able to churn out tablet PCs that presented hardware credential that might have matched the iPad but has never been able to offer an overall package that allowed for the right mix of convenience and functionality. In this respect, A700 can be considered to be a nice attempt to get to that.
The A700 runs Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich though Acer has tweaked it enough to allow for a surprisingly nice user experience. Also, its a ring that has made the A700′s UI so special as it provides a snapshot of all apps currently open. A green bulls eye located at the bottom of the screen invokes the ring to get an idea of the current status of the tablet or control its various features, like lock screen or adjusting volume. The ring UI is inviting to say the least and does add to the tablet’s appeal. The ring is also customizable, so users can add apps to it that they need frequently.
Another thoughtful addition to the software side of A700 is an app that allows the user with the option to print out what is being displayed on the screen. Acer is claiming its app is compatible with a whole host of wireless printers currently available though prospective buyers would do good to check out with their currently existing hardware if printing out from the tablet is a top priority.
Another nice feature with the A700 is that it can be connected to any other Acer hardware like a laptop or desktop that anyone might have. For this, a simple registration app is all that is needed to be taken care of. Then there also is the NVIDIA TegraZone that the A700 qualifies to have access to on the back of it being powered by the Tegra 3 chip. NVIDIA TegraZone holds a repertoire of exclusive applications only compatible with a Tegra device.
As for other apps that the tablet comes pre-loaded with include Amazon MP3, Evernote, Netflix, YouTube, and Polaris Office, with the latter allowing for opening and editing MS files. For e-book reading, the A700 comes with the Amazon Kindle and Zinio while McAfee’s VirusScan Mobile provides for data protection. Then of course, there is the whole host of Google apps such as Google Music as well as Google+.
Acer bundles its tablets with special content folders and one is devoted to reading! The company has suspended their relationship with Kobo to provide 2.3 million free eBooks but it does have access to Google Play. This means you can easily download Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo, Overdrive and many other popular reading apps. If you are a comic book fiend you can download Marvel, DC, Comixology and other apps too. Sometimes when you live outside the USA you are limited to the companies you can deal with or have access to via Google Play. We recommend downloading our own Good e-Reader App Store Client right to your device and download any reading, newspaper or magazine app right to your device.
The ten inch screen really makes reading comics and newspapers a little bit more vibrant. It certainly does a better job with the seven inch Acer Iconia A100 tablet that the company releases last year. It gives you more screen real estate and is a bit easier on the eyes.
This also happens to be another extremely positive quality of the A700 as it can survive an entire day on a single charge when used moderately, or several days for intermittent use. To put that in figures, about 8 hours of runtime can be expected when playing videos and with Wi-Fi kept on from the A700′s 9800mAh hour battery. While more on this is always welcome, the figure in itself isn’t that bad either.
The A700 is available in two color options of matte black and silver at an attractive price of $450. The latter bit does make the tablet extremely desirable to say the least for here is a tablet that promises some solid performance with acceptable battery back-up times. Sure the tablet is not without its share of shortcoming — design is boring while the tablet also tended to get a bit hot at the lower left region on prolonged use — the A700 still has a lot to go for it in the 10 inch category of tablet PCs. Also, no other tablet offers so bright and vivid a display at such a price point. Its closest competitor is the Transformer Pad Infinity with better performance, better all-round display and better battery but it also costs $50 more.