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Acer Iconia A700: hands-on with the quad-core ICS tablet

Although Acer spent most of the time at its CES press conference today talking about the Aspire S5 Ultrabook (that’s so thin the ports are hidden in a powered MagicFlip flip-down wedge), the not-really-ultra instant-on 14 and 15” Timeline notebooks and the AcerCloud services launching in the second quarter, president Campbell Kan also briefly showed off the ‘next generation’ 10.1” quad-core Iconia Tab A700 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet that’s coming “later this year”.
Acer isn’t going into detail on the specs or the price but we do know it’s a quad-core system running at 1.3GHz. Acer wouldn’t officially confirm to us that’s it’s an Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset, but the graphics are certainly good enough for that.
They’re shown off well by the best feature of the new Iconia; the full HD 1080p screen, with 1920 by 1200 resolution. The screen is bright and clear, with a good viewing angle and the 1080p video Acer had playing on screen looked superb, with smooth playback and crisp, clear details. We didn’t get to hear the sound quality, but there’s a Dolby logo on the back of the unit, so it should be a great video player. At just under 10mm thick, this is slimmer than the Iconia Tab A500.
Holding the A700 to enjoy a movie will be slightly easier because of the textured back which gives you extra grip, although there’s a smooth surround at the edge. The rear-facing camera and flash sit just on the edge of that surround, there’s a front-facing camera and around the edges of the case are microSD, micro-USB and micro-HDMI and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
We spotted some customisations to Android 4, including Acer’s home screen widgets and the Acer Ring launcher menu on the lock screen.
We’re expecting plenty of quad-core tablet announcements at CES, with more details than Acer is providing, but the HD screen might help the A700 stand out from the crowd.

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