There’s seems to be a lot less tablets on the market in recent years and this tablet is a welcome alternative to other higher priced tablets.

When Acer asked me if I wanted to review their recently released 10″ tablet, how could I say no? After all, tablets are great mobile gadgets that let you do more away from your desk.

I’d like to point out although this is a review model sent to me by Acer, this post contains my honest opinions and experiences with the Acer Iconia Tab 10.

Specs

Processor MediaTek 1.5 GHz Quad Core (MT8163 Cortex A53)

GPU: Mali-T720 MP2

RAM 2GB DDR3L SDRAM
OS Android 6 (Marshmallow)
Internal Storage 32GB
Screen IPS 10.1” Full HD LCD with 1920 x 1200 resolution (Multi Touch)
Connectivity IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n WIFI and Bluetooth 4.0
Media Built-in Mic, Front (2MP) and rear (5MP) camera and 1080p video
Speakers Front facing DTS-HD
Card Reader Micro SD
Battery 2 Cell Li-Polymer 6100 mAh / 8 hours battery life
Weight 1.2 lbs (529 g)
Ports Micro USB, Micro HDMI and 3.5mm headphone jack

The MediaTek 1.5 GHz Quad Core processor is the brains of this tablet and works well for multitasking because of its 4 cores. It’s a power efficient CPU that is able to handle most everyday tasks and its integrated graphics (Mali-T720 MP2) are pretty good at dealing with multimedia and light to medium gaming.

Paired with 2GBs of DDR3L RAM this tablet can cope with lots of apps being open at the same time and response times are quite snappy. Along with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and 32GBs of internal storage the specs are impressive for a tablet in this price range.

There’s standard WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity as well as 2 cameras and a built in mic.

First Impressions

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On unboxing I was pleased with the size, it feels just right in both hands and I like that it isn’t just a generic looking plain black tablet. Instead there’s the bronze strips on both sides and a decorative feature around the rear camera in the same colour.

The back cover is a grippy texture and the curved edges are an attractive design feature.

The tablet is a bit on the heavy side though, at 1.2 lbs it felt heavy when I tried to use it one handed for more than a couple of minutes. The overall design is quite nice and the size is big enough to have advantages over just using an Android phone.

Before turning on the tablet, I rummaged around in the box to see what accessories were included, here’s what I found:

  • The power charger
  • A USB cable for charging and transferring data
  • A foldable stand
  • The paper guide and warranty info

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The foldable stand is actually a really useful accessory for sitting the tablet upright which makes the screen easily viewable. This will be particularly useful when working and taking notes, watching movies and helping children with their homework.

One cable missing is the micro HDMI port to full HDMI port cable. Most of us won’t just have one of these lying around and I think accessories like these should be included by default.

Great IPS screen with Android 6.0

One selling point for this tablet is the full HD IPS screen that allows more than one person to comfortably see the screen clearly from different positions. Colours are good and fonts and pictures look crisp. The screen is bright enough for most lighting conditions and the only grumble I have is the reflective nature of the screen.

Even in indoor light levels, the screen is quite reflective and this makes the colours look a bit washed out. Although you can get anti-reflective screen protectors, it would be nice if manufacturers would include these as part of the product.

With a resolution of 1920 x 1200 on a 10 inch screen, web browsing, reading, gaming and watching movies is a pleasure. This is where I think a 10 inch tablet really works because it’s small enough to carry around but large enough to do most things without straining your eyes. I call it gadget squinting and I see it all the time on my train commute to work!

Although multi touch is standard, some screens have a delay in responding but the Iconia Tab is very responsive, whether that’s touching, dragging, zooming or swiping.

iconia-tab-10-crop

Many tablets in this price bracket tend to have older versions of Android and since the operating system is the heart of the operation, the Iconia Tab 10 is ahead of the pack. I also like that the customisations that Acer have added are minimal and the apps that are included are useful.

For example the 5 finger app that allows waking up the tablet is a good idea and the screenshot app also is quite useful. I’m not sure whether the Kids app will get used much since there are so many apps in the play store that kids will already be familiar with.

Average Front and Back Cameras

Apart from the reflective screen and the tablet being slightly overweight, I have been impressed so far. There is however a let down in the form of the front (5MP) and rear (2MP) cameras which are average at best.

You can however, record videos at 1080p but again the quality isn’t amazing. The cameras are more suited to video calling and taking quick photos. If taking photos and making videos is going to be one of your main activities, this tablet probably isn’t for you.

Multimedia and Gaming

The front strips on either side of the tablet add to it’s design but also double up as the 4 front speakers as well as the volume buttons and Media Master button. Media Master button, what’s that? Well it toggles the sound to adjust to what you’re listening to but to be honest, I didn’t really see a huge difference.

This button would have been better served as the home button.

The speakers themselves are loud and produce a high quality sound output. I think putting them on the front and integrating them into the design is a great idea.

There’s a headphone jack and Micro USB port on the left side but there’s also a hidden compartment for the Micro SD card and Micro HDMI port. In fact, even after opening the secret compartment, the SD card slot is so hidden that some people might not even realise it’s there! Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean…

hidden

Making these ports hidden keep them safe but the cover is a bit flimsy. If I was regularly plugging this tablet into my TV via the Micro HDMI port, at some point I think the cover would break off. If children were using it well..let’s just say it’s likely that a sticky tape repair would be needed after some use.

There’s already 32GBs of internal storage but having an SD card slot is very useful for loading lots of apps, games and multimedia. I also think it’s easier and to copy data on an SD card than plugging the tablet into the computer.

To test how well games work, Captain Jr was more than happy to give Asphalt 8: Airborne. This is his current favourite game on his Android phone and I’m sure if he had his way he could play this all day!

On default settings the game played but there was times when there was some lag. Changing the in- game camera angles caused the game to struggle and so we kept to the default camera angle.

He was still able to play and enjoy the game especially because of the 10” display. I would say most light to moderate games should be ok but anything over that will lead to disappointment.

Sketching…

I see on the Acer website that I should be able to use something with a fine tip for note taking and drawing. Sketching with a blunter tip is far more fun for loose sketching so I thought I’d use my homemade stylus.

I have to admit I was quite surprised how well it worked and I hope you can guess who my sketch is of:

sketch

What’s the Verdict?

Overall the Iconia Tab 10 is good value for money with an impressive 10” IPS HD screen. It feels quite durable in both hands but is a bit heavy for single hand use. The extra screen size is definitely a bonus.

Android 6.0 is a great operating system with lots of apps that you’ll probably already be familiar with if you have an Android phone.

The processor is snappy enough for most tasks and can handle moderate gaming with a large 32GBs of storage as well as the option to add a Micro SD card.

Both the front and rear cameras let this tablet down slightly but battery life is decent at 8 hrs and as a media tablet it ticks a lot of boxes.

For those of you looking for a tablet to watch movies, surf the web, listen to music, read and play games, this tablet is a good balance between price and features.