The 7" Acer Iconia Tab A100 looks a lot like the 10" Iconia Tab A500, both inside and out. Unfortunately, the similarities aren't all good.
The Acer Iconia Tab A100 is one of several 7" Android tablets to hit the market in 2011. Like its 10" cousin, the Acer Iconia Tab A500, the A100 has a stylish exterior, dual-core processor, two cameras, HDMI out, expandable memory support, and comes with Android 3.2 installed. But, The smaller version has a 7" touchscreen display (1,0240x600).
As of this writing, the A100 is available in 8GB ($329.99) and 16GB ($349.99) versions. The current versions only support Wi-Fi connectivity. But like the A500, there is an empty spot inside the A100's case and on the motherboard for a cellular card. The A100 weighs 0.92 lbs. and measures 7.7" (W) x 4.6" (H) x 0.5" (D). It's lighter than the HTC Flyer and BlackBerry PlayBook.
Unfortunately, the A100's similarities to the A500 aren't all good. Like the larger tablet, the A100 has a rather jumbled internal hardware layout. And given the A100's smaller case, Acer crammed a lot of tech into a tight space.
Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Acer Iconia Tab (A100)
Cracking Open observations
- Easy-to-open case: There are no external case screws on the Iconia Tab, but the back cover was surprisingly easy to remove. Using a thin metal or plastic blade, I was able to quickly pop off the cover.
- Standard screws: Inside the Iconia Tab A100, Acer used standard Phillips screws to hold the internal hardware in place. I remove all the internal screws with a Phillips #0 bit.
- Battery can be replaced: The A100's 1530 mAh Li-ion battery is easy to remove and replace.
- Display is stuck to the front panel: The digitizer (front panel) and LCD screen are held together with strong adhesive.
- 3G-ready motherboard and case: As they did on the A500, Acer left open spots on the motherboard and inside the case for a separate 3G card. The internal mounting plate even has a screw hole for the card.
- Cramped, convoluted interior hardware layout: The A100's internal hardware layout is extremely similar to that of the larger A500. Acer placed the u-shaped motherboard at one end of the case and the battery at the other. A small circuit board is located below the battery and connected to the motherboard via a ribbon cable. Wires are placed haphazardly around the case and secured to the surrounding components with tape.
Our Acer Iconia Tab A100 test unit had the following hardware components:
- 1530 mAh, 11.3Wh Li-Polymer battery pack (BAT-711)
- Pioneer 8ohm 1w speakers (x2)
- Cypress Semiconductor CY8CTMA375 touchscreen controller (x2)
- Cypress Semiconductor CY8CTMA395 touchscreen controller (x1)
- 2 MP front-facing and 5MP rear-facing cameras
- 1.0 GHz dual-core NVidia Tegra 2 application processor (12B3B002 1110A4)
- 1GB Elpida B8132B2PB-6D-F LPDDR2 SDRAM
- Broadcom BCM4751 Integrated Monolithic GPS Receiver
- Parade PS8122 1-to-2 DP & HDMI/DVI De-multiplexer
- Invensense MPU-3050 Triple Axis Gyroscope with Embedded Digital Motion Processor
- Texas Instruments LVDS83B power controller
- Wolfson WM8903 Ultra low power audio CODEC
- Texas Instruments TPS65862 power-management IC
- Texas Instruments 51125 Dual-Synchronous, Step-Down Controller (power management chip)
- 8GB Samsung KLM8G2FEJA-A001 moviNAND flash memory module
- ENE Technology KB930QF A1 quad power amplifier (REALTEK)
- Winbond 25X10BVN1C 1M-bit Serial Flash Memory
- AzureWave AW-NH611 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth, FM Combo Module IC
- Texas Instruments LC02A
- APA2605 SN208
Update 12/19/2011: This post originally appeared in our TR Dojo blog.