July 07, 2012, 7:43 AM — Google's upcoming $200 Nexus 7 tablet may be catching all the current buzz for smaller, 7-in. devices, but Acer's $450 Iconia Tab A700 may give other 10.1-in. tablets a real run for their money.
Iconia Tab A700
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At 10.2 x 6.8 in., the A700's rounded case is slightly longer and narrower than that of the third-generation iPad, despite having a 10.1-in. screen vs. the iPad's 9.7-in. display. It's a slim 0.43 in. deep, which is in the ballpark for most 10-in. Android tablets, as is its weight of 1.47 lb. A small AC adapter and power cable adds just 0.19 lb. to that.
Available in matte silver or black, the tablet's case features a textured plastic back, making it easy to grip and carry. In addition to the power switch, the A700 has a rocker switch for raising and lowering the volume as well as a button that locks the controls.
The tablet is powered by Nvidia's 1.3GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor. The A700 includes 1GB RAM and 32GB storage (non-upgradeable); it also offers a microSD slot on its side that boosts the A700's total storage potential to 96GB.
While the A700's display can't touch the iPad's phenomenal 2048 x 1536 resolution Retina display, its 1920 x 1080 screen is a big improvement over the 1280 x 800 resolution displays used by many other tablets. It has a secret weapon: Nvidia's GeForce 12-core graphics hardware that puts its competition to shame.
The multitouch capacitive screen, which can handle up to 10 simultaneous finger inputs, responded accurately. I used multi-finger touch to rotate images and to zoom in and out. In addition, the display worked well with a Wacom Bamboo Stylus.