[OT] Unboxing the Acer Android Tablet

Chipp Walters chipp at chipp.com
Tue Aug 2 00:08:16 EDT 2011

I purchased an Acer Iconia Tab Android 32GB tablet today which we will use
in working on the Android app for a client project. Even though it will
eventually be in Chris's hands, I am 'unboxing' it tonight before giving it
to him tomorrow. Yes, I also unwrap and play with my child's toys before
rewrapping and placing them under the Christmas tree - (at least the ones I
*really* like).

Couple of observations:

   - The screen is amazing. Much better and much higher resolution than my
   iPad2: Nvidia Tegra 2, 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 WXGA screen with an aspect
   ratio of 16:10
   - First thing it did was notify me there was an update-- and that it
   would/could download it immediately and install it. Wow. Big difference from
   having to doc to iTunes, wait 45 minutes to sync, then say yes to install
   the update, wait another 30 minutes to download and install, then transfer
   back all the data etc. It all happens in much, MUCH less time than on an
   iPad. Hopefully, iOS 5 will be like this.
   - Absolute super touch screen. Same technology as Apple and the NVIDIA
   display response is just incredible. Never a wait on anything. Watching HD
   YouTube videos was amazing.
   - Launched the browser and there was a microphone next to search, so I
   clicked and spoke, "Acer Iconia Review" and it instantly recognized and
   provided the correct links. Sweet!
   - Went to the App store, and there were quite a few familiar apps there.
   I installed rdio, pandora, and a wallpaper-- except none of them installed.
   Turns out when you install an app, it's sorta like a Kindle where you have
   to "TELL" the Android App Store what device to "PUSH" the install to.
   Certainly not that transparent to first time users.
   - And speaking of first time users, I'm not sure everything is quite a
   simple and "just works" as iOS does. It will certainly be interesting to
   figure out how to provision for this device.

So far, I've been able to navigate around, but have quite a few questions.
Like, for instance, the Gmail browser client is worse than horrible. It's
not even as good as the iPad, but instead shows the iPhone mobile interface,
which pretty much sucks. While I'm sure there's a fix, I'm not sure where to
find it.

But, it does seem to be more Windows like and less Mac like in that it has
many more settings and configuration options. Plus (big plus) it has both
micro and full USB slots for memory storage along with built in micro-HDMI.
Both front and rear facing cameras are significantly higher quality than
iPad2, and I'm praying they work with Skype, which would be huge.

The price was right, too. It was around $430 for a 32 GB WiFi version at
Costco. Supposedly there's a sister model with AT&T 3G/4G. That's
significantly less than the iPad2 32Gb WiFi which goes for around $600. It
will be interesting to see how well the Android can compete with regard to
decent apps.

Chipp Walters
CEO, Shafer Walters Group, Inc.

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