Acer introduced its A200 tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier in January, and unlike many products shown at the event, this one is already available for sale in the U.S. Best Buy is already stocking the 16 GB version of the A200 in some stores for $349.99; an 8 GB version isn’t available yet, but will cost $20 less. The price is right for a large tablet, but does that mean this slate will sell quickly?
It’s too soon to say, but for those seeking a low-cost, large tablet, there are a few points to consider in the A200. Although it’s a new model, it’s still based on last year’s tablet technology. The device is powered by a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, for example, and runs Android 3.2 (Honeycomb). Acer is said to be rolling out a software update to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as early as mid-February, however.
I reviewed the similar A500 tablet last year and found it to be a capable slate and a good value for the $449 price tag. Just like that model, the A200 uses a 1280 x 800 resolution display. Those who want ports and options certainly should be happy with the A200, as it generally provides most of the important ones: full-sized USB 2.0, micro USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, microSD memory card slot and 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Battery life is estimated at 8 hours.
That Acer found a way to build a similar tablet that shaves a little weight as well as $100 off the suggested price is certainly impressive. Once the device sees the Android 4.0 software update, I expect it to impress even more. But new Android tablets with more capable hardware are coming soon, so sales are likely to depend on how much value consumers perceive in the A200. I plan to hit up my local Best Buy over the weekend and see for myself.
In the meantime, I found a nice overview video of the A200 at Android Central to satisfy my curiosity. More important to me than the hardware look is the software customization Acer revamped for the A200. I like what I see in the new Ring launcher and integrated screenshot capture function. Have a look and see what you think.