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Acer Iconia Tab A510 puts a quad-core Tegra 3 behind Android 4.0 (hands-on)

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The Acer Iconia A510 made an appearance at Nvidia's booth at CES 2012. The quad-core Tegra 3 tablet performs well, but lacks the features necessary to stand out from the crowd.

Gallery Photo: Acer Iconia A510 pictures
Gallery Photo: Acer Iconia A510 pictures

Just as with the original Acer Iconia A500, Nvidia is the first to publicly show off its followup: the Acer Iconia Tab A510. The chipmaker is obviously interested in showing off the power of the quad-core Tegra 3 processor inside, clocked at 1.3GHz. In that regard, Ice Cream Sandwich seemed to run quite smoothly and a couple games we tried performed well. Of course, the A510's predecessor also managed to look good with Nvidia's handpicked games but didn't really stand up to long-term use — and the fact that we found some touchscreen accuracy issues on this floor model doesn't bode well. We should be looking at a 1280 x 800 screen instead of the A700's 1920 x 1200, so the A510 is clearly coming in at the mid to low end of Acer's tablet lineup. The hardware is not especially endearing on this 10-inch tablet, but mainly because it's not trying to make any kind of statements. Though there is a nice rubbery coating to the back of the tablet, it's otherwise a somewhat thick, straightforward black slab.

On the software side, we are fairly close to a stock version of Android 4.0.1. Acer's main contribution is a center button in the middle of the bottom bar, which launched a circular toolbar with access to bookmarks, volume, search, screenshot functionality, and a few shortcuts. With any luck, that relatively minor customization will mean that Acer will be able to keep the tablet up to date as future Android versions are released.