It feels like it's taken a long time for 7-inch Honeycomb devices to show up. And then, as always, several turn up at once. The Acer Iconia A100 is the most recent and offers many of the usual features. Ours is a Wi-Fi only model, with 8GB of built-in storage which can be upgraded via Micro-USB.
The first impressions we had as we took it out of the box were that it feels solid and well built. It's pleasing too, that manufacturers seems to be learning from Apple, with sleek packaging rather than a mess of nasty brown cardboard boxes.
Included in the pack is a USB cable, proprietary power connector and, of course, the tablet itself. We're disappointed that Acer hasn't dropped this power-adaptor nonsense yet. It's much easier to provide devices that charge over USB, and it means that you can have chargers in lots of places, ready to re-juice your device when it runs low.
On the plus side, there's an HDMI socket, for connecting the A100 to your TV, USB for transferring files to the tablet and, naturally, a headphone socket. Speakers are also present, giving you a way to watch video or listen to music with friends. Another proprietary connector is on board too, but this allows you to connect the Acer to accessories, and we can more easily forgive its restricted nature.
As this is a Honeycomb device, the hardware buttons have largely gone. There's a home key, but apart from that everything is handled by the OS itself. This is something of a mixed blessing, but hardware keys can get in the way when you're holding a tablet in landscape mode, so perhaps their gradual disappearance is a good thing. If anything crashes though, you're going to have to find a pin to stick into that reset switch hole.
Because it's a 7-inch tablet and we've got a Galaxy Tab, we're comparing the Iconia to the aged Samsung 7-inch device. While old, it still does everything we need a tablet to do, and it's amazing how close these devices are to one another. Both are weighty, sturdy and feel nice to hold - an advantage over cumbersome 10-inch models. Each also has a 600x1024 resolution display, although the newer Acer has far more power behind it, including an Nvidia GPU and a dual-core processor.
From our short time with Acer Iconia A100, we're pleased. The build quality and hardware specification show a lot of promise and we think the 7-inch form factor will appeal to lots of people too.
If you're keen on a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet, you should also read our ViewSonic ViewPad 7x review. A full review of the Acer Iconia A100 will be published shortly.
Will you be investing in a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet? Let us know in the comments below...