Acer A510 up for pre-order for $450

cer a510 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

The Acer A510 is the company’s latest Android tablet. It’s a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel device with a Tegra 3 chip, 1GB of RAM, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, 32GB of internal storage, and a microSD slot. There’s also microHDMI, a 5 megapixel back camera, and up to 12 hours of video playback. Sounds excellent, right?

I honestly wish that Acer didn’t make it so easy for me to point out weaknesses with its devices, but unfortunately that isn’t a case this time either. Let’s start off with this sentence in the press release:
“Plus, the new tablet has been enhanced with the ability to conveniently charge it from its USB 2.0 port via another USB 2.0 device”
This isn’t exactly the most crystal clear statement I’ve seen. In my mind, the thing you charge from is the power source and the thing you charge via is the link to the device, but I guess I can see it the other way around too. The reason I’m a bit confused here is that the A510 has a 9800mAh battery, meaning 37Wh. With USB being 2.5W, you can expect a 20 hour charge time by the time energy loss and all that is in the equation. To me it makes more sense to give a device like that the ability to charge other devices from the tablet’s built in battery, as you could potentially charge a normal smartphone 3-5 times off a battery like that. Then the press release would actually have meant to say “..conveniently charge another USB 2.0 device via its USB 2.0 port”.  To me that just sounds like a much more useful feature to brag about than the ability to spend 20 hours charging the tablet off USB

Grammatical bickering aside, the other issue with this tablet is the same issue that has been present on every Acer tablet to date: it’s thick and heavy. The press release says that the Olympic Edition – which seems to be just a slightly differently branded version – is “10.2(w) x 6.9(d) x 0.43(h) inches and weighs just over 24 ounces”. If Google is correct in its conversions of those measurements to metric, we’re looking at a device that’s 11mm thick, which is quite a bit more than the Transformer Prime’s 8.3mm. As 24 ounces is 680 grams, I assume that “just over” that is about 685-690. Transformer Prime? 586.

Finally, the screen either has the absolute worst viewing angles I have seen on a brand name devices in ages, or Acer’s press release writer has made an oopsie again. To quote this soon to be infamous press release once again, the screen has a “wide 85-degree viewing angle ensure an optimal viewing experience”. So basically that means that if you get more than 42.5 degrees off center the screen becomes unwatchable? I sincerely hope that it’s just a mistake and it actually means 170 degrees, meaning it’s measured from the center, but choosing the least impressive and most unconventional way of listing viewing angles isn’t exactly the best marketing move in history. There actually is enough of a difference between high quality and low quality screens for this not to be a mistake too, and if that’s the case the screen would definitely be a strong point for avoiding this tablet.

If we try to ignore all these press release issues and stick to what we know for sure, there honestly isn’t much point in this device. Amazon has the Transformer Prime 32GB at $499, which means this device will save you Americans $50 when it eventually is released. You might end up seeing better battery life by a few hours if the 12 hour mark is in any way realistic, as long as you don’t include the battery in the Prime’s keyboard dock of course. You end up with a significantly thicker and heavier device that appears to have a lower quality camera, lower quality screen, and way less to show for in the accessory department. I don’t like using absolute terms like “best” because there’s always the odd feature that makes one device better suited for some people than others, but honestly, I’m really struggling to see what this device brings to the market. Which by now is pretty much the default conclusion I make when new Acer tablets are announced. If you disagree though, $450 will ensure you get this device once it”s released in the US. I see it being listed in other parts of the world too, with May 9th as an unconfirmed delivery date.


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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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