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Acer Predator 8 Tablet: In Depth Review

The Good

  • Sharp, colourful screen
  • Decent performance
  • Robust

The Bad

  • Poor battery life
  • Odd design
  • Shield Tablet offers more for less
3.5

Acer Predator Tablet review: We have a serious play with Acer’s new gaming tablet, the Acer Predator 8 Tablet GT-810; an Android slate that packs an Intel processor, HD screen and four ‘Quadio’ speakers.

You may have caught our unboxing and first-look review of the Acer Predator Tablet just before Christmas, where we unwrapped this £199 Android tablet aimed at gamers. We’ve not been big fans of gaming tablets in the past, with the likes of Archos trying and failing to create a big-screen Android device that gamers will love playing the latest titles on. Still, the Predator Tablet boasts some decent specs and unique features, so we downloaded some of the latest games to fully test it out.

So, is the Predator Tablet a great gaming device and how does it compare with that other big gaming tablet, the Nvidia Shield Tablet?

Read next: Best iOS games of 2015 and best Android games of 2015

Design

As you can see in our unboxing video below, the Predator Tablet sports an angular design just like Acer’s Predator gaming laptops, as well as popular rivals such as Alienware devices. Some gamers will probably think it looks funky, while some will inevitably think it looks tacky, especially with those sticky-out speakers at each corner. And while the tablet feels rugged enough to survive plenty of strong knocks, it’s made of plastic rather than premium materials.

Still, those soft-touch pads at the edges of the Predator Tablet help with grip when your mitts get all sweaty and the tablet’s quite light too, making for a comfortable experience even during extended play sessions. My only complaint is those corner speakers, which occasionally stick into your palms when you’re gaming.

The Predator Tablet packs the standard connections for an Android device: micro USB for charging and data transfer, plus a headphone jack. There’s no HDMI port like you’ll find on the Nvidia Shield Tablet, so you’ll have to use Chromecast if you want to get some big-screen gaming on the go back home.

Screen and media

The Acer Predator Tablet is quite a compact Android tablet, sporting an 8-inch TFT screen that’s still more than spacious enough for gaming on the go. The TFT panel is reasonably colourful while the 1920×1200 pixel resolution produces sharp images whether you’re blasting aliens or kicking back with a movie.

That’s a match for the Shield Tablet, which also sports a 1920×1200 resolution. And while the IPS screen of the Shield produces pleasingly rich colours, the Predator Tablet comes damn close for a TFT display.

Acer’s screen is highly reflective when used outdoors, but it’s also pleasingly bright and I didn’t have much trouble seeing the action when playing games outside, unless it was a particularly dark scene.

So, how good are those four ‘Quadio’ speakers? Well, they’re perfectly fine for having a quick blast on a game or streaming video, with enough volume to counter noisy environments. However, they’re also typically tinny, unsurprising for a tablet’s built-in speakers, so don’t expect to blast your music loud and hear crystal-clear audio.

If you want to carry around a big collection of videos and music, the 32GB of built-in storage can be expanded using a microSD memory card. So that’s nice.

Performance and battery life

One of the key decisive factors when it comes to gaming devices is of course performance. After all, it’s no good if your play sessions frequently descend into a stuttery, frustrating mess.

Thankfully the Predator Tablet’s Intel Atom processor mostly produces silky smooth results. Fast-paced games that recently hit the Play Store, such as Asphalt 8, almost always run with a decent frame rate. In the first few days of use I did see the occasional frame drop, with the tablet also stuttering on start-up. However, after this it seemed to settle and produce more consistent results across all titles, especially after a firmware update, so I’m putting that down to teething issues.

Battery life is sadly below average for a compact tablet. The Nvidia Shield Tablet gives roughly four hours of gaming per charge, while I managed a maximum of three hours on the Predator Tablet. And if you try streaming video non-stop you’ll get 2.5 to three hours of playback before the juice runs out.

Verdict

The Acer Predator Tablet is an affordable gaming device that has plenty going for it, including a sharp and colourful screen and respectable performance. However, the Shield Tablet K1 is even cheaper these days and packs a supremely powerful Nvidia processor, which brings with it exclusive game support as well as game streaming abilities. As a result, it’s difficult to recommend the Predator Tablet over Nvidia’s tab.

Specification

Screen size8-inches
Screen resolution1920x1200
WeightN/A
OSAndroid Lollipop
Front camera2-megapixel
Rear Camera5-megapixel
Processor2.4GHz Intel Atom
Memory2GB RAM
Storage32GB
4G LTENo

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