Acer A700 tablet impressions: Taking on the iPad with a Full HD screen

Acer Iconia Tab A700 high resolution screen

Make sure to check out our full Acer Iconia Tab A700 review.

Not everyone may like the iPad, but its screen is quite nice. Thanks to the laws of competition, we’re already seeing the competition attempt to catch up and move ahead of Apple. The Acer Iconia Tab A700 is one of the first premium post-iPad 3 tablets we spent a lot of time with, and so far, it’s looking quite nice, with a quad-core processor and Full HD screen. 

The A700 looks excessively similar to other recent Acer tablets like the A200 and A500, but now comes in the electronic world’s two favorite colors: silver and black. The form factor is pretty standard for iPad competitors running Android. It has a 10.1-inch screen and its only about 1.5 pounds. On the outside, there is nothing to rave about, design-wise, but Acer has steadily improved the look of their tablets, and this one looks about as good as most of the competition. Few will likely turn an A700 down due to its style. Really, it’s what’s on the inside, and on that 10.1-inch screen, that counts.

The screen of the Acer A700 has been improved significantly from previous models. Most Android tablets have stuck with a 1280×800 pixel resolution, but Acer has bumped the pixel count up significantly to the widescreen equivalent of 1080p: 1920 x 1200 pixels. The new screen appears more vivid and sharp than other Android tablets. Like the iPad’s new retina display, it’s not a change that will shock you to your core, but it’s hard to go back to a pixely world once everything is smoothed over. 1080p is a natural evolution for tablets. I’m not sure how much impact future resolution bumps might have on the experience, but this increase makes sense. The screen is also LED backlit and has wide 178-degree viewing angle — important for a tablet.

In addition to increasing the resolution of the new Iconia Tab, Acer is one of the first companies to take the plunge and incorporate a 1.3GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor into its tablet. The Tegra 3 actually boosts processing power and battery life, making a bit of a win-win for consumers. Acer reps told me that battery life for the A700 is actually better than its predecessors. They’re claiming video playback can reach 10.5 to 13 hours, depending on whether you are using Wi-Fi or not. If Web surfing is all you do, a charge should last you 8 hours. There have been some tests showing that the Tegra 3 might not live up to the new iPad’s power, but it’s difficult to do a direct comparison between the two because of the difference in operating systems. The Tegra 3 is currently one of the best options we’ve seen for tablet processors. From our two hands-on experiences with the tablet earlier this year and a few weeks ago, the A700 seems snappier than previous models, but we haven’t been able to perform any rigorous tests.

Acer Iconia TAb A700 front and back

Android 4.0 is also loaded. Since it comes from the PC world, Acer doesn’t have a history of tinkering around with the design and functionality of operating systems, which makes it one of few companies that leave Android alone, for the most part. The A700 runs a mostly clean version the OS, with Acer’s only modification being the addition of some apps, widgets, and an “Acer Ring” that lets you coverflow your way through recent activities and launch your favorite apps. The Ring can be customized in the settings menu.

The A700 also comes with 32GB of internal flash storage, Dolby-enhanced speakers (they still are pretty quiet, like all tablets), 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot capable of supporting 64GB cards, a 5MP rear camera, a “HD” front camera, and common features like GPS and Bluetooth (2.1).

Overall, we’re fairly impressed with the A700. Acer hasn’t leapfrogged Apple, but it is now offering a comparable product to the new iPad. And unlike other vendors, the A700 is actually cheaper as well. Acer is taking US and Canada pre-orders starting today for $450, or $50 less than the iPad. It’s not as cheap as we wish it was, but Acer appears to have a good leg up on the Android competition, when it comes to price and features. 

Deals

Amazon slashes price of 2018 iPad to under $250 in time for Christmas

Whether you love Apple or prefer Android, this 2018 iPad 32GB tablet deal is rather tempting. If you're still on the hunt for gifts, then this deep discount from Amazon makes now an excellent time to pick one up.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

A render video gives us a 360-degree look at the midrange Pixels

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Mobile

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.
Mobile

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Mobile

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.