Asus's Transformer Prime just got some company. Available for pre-order today, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 brings the price of entry for a 10.1" Tegra 3-powered tablet down to a cool $449.99, $50 less than the similarly equipped Asus offering. Like the Prime the A510 features a 10.1" 1280x800 display, the 1.3 GHz Tegra 3 SoC with 1 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage expandable by microSD. The base battery life on the A510 is an impressive 36.26Whr, not quite as much as the new iPad, but somewhat higher than its prececessor and the Prime. That big battery does lead to a somewhat portly frame, with a thickness cresting a centimeter and weighing nearly 100g more than the Prime. The frame is similar to the A200 we saw in January, but is actually a little thinner and with a textured back for extra grip. 

Android 4.0 is on order for software, complete with Acer's Ring UI, a relatively innocuous skin that mainly seeks to put your most commonly used apps in easy reach. When we took a look at the A500, we were pleased with its display quality, not quite IPS but great for a vanilla LCD; we hope we can expect more of the same from this display. Software pre-load includes the usual branded media players and print software, along with Polaris Office 3.5 for productivity. Gone though, is the full-sized USB port, replaced by microUSB, though it remains compatibile with portable HDD up to 2TB in size. 

There's no shortage of options for tablet buyers right now, and everyday another pops up. But if performance, battery life and price are your main criteria, the A510 may just be the tablet for you. Pre-orders start today for $449.99 at your favorite e-tailers; no ship dates are available. 

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  • codedivine - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Didn't Asus already announce the cheaper 300 series, which starts at $399? But I guess that is not up for pre-order yet.
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Not sure when the 300 series will launch, but that will be Tegra 2 based and essentially supplant the original TF. Similarly, Acer has their 200, which is basically the same internals as the A500 (Tegra 2) in a better chassis. Oh, and the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) from Samsung is also likely a rehash of the original. So basically, everyone has a lot of Tegra 2 SoC's saved up and need someway of moving them.
  • LiveBow - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    There's already a arriving date to local resellers, and it's a Tegra 3.

    TF300T 32GB Tegra3 10.1 WF
    TF300T-1K108A --> Around 1st week April

    TF700T 64GB Tegra3 10.1 WF
    TF700T-1B072A --> Around 1st week June

    There will be a 700 WF + LTE
  • Visual - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    I don't get it really, why are all those manufacturers so clueless?
    After the Kindle Fire set the precedent, an ARM tablet will never be a success unless it goes for around $200 or so. It is completely pointless to release it at $450.
    At the same time, there are users like me ready and willing to pay triple that for a good x86 tablet. Yet no one wants to release one...
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    The only way that Amazon's model works is if there's revenue coming in from content distribution. And that's why you see every major tablet ODM/OEM trying to get involved with a 3rd party content partner (think Rovi). So, if Samsung's Media Hub suddenly becomes a hit and generates tons of revenue, then they might chop their tablet prices in half. Alternately, sales of the tablets can sky rocket and companies can consider competing on thinner margins based on volume.

    My guess? Tablets will become commodity devices just like laptops and be sold at fixed price points based on components, with oddballs (like Amazon on the low-end and Apple on the high-end) bookending the market based on their business model.
  • mcnabney - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    You really think Apple is on the high end for tablets?
    The Acer tablet only undercuts the new iPad by $50, but that extra $50 will buy you a hell of a lot better screen and a much, much better GPU. Oh, and access to a whole lot more tablet-based software.
    Sorry tablet makers, but Apple just raised the standards while keeping the price the same. If you are going 10" the screen better be 1200p. Only Asus appears capable of competing here and they will need to drop the price of the upcoming high resolution Transformer a bunch.
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    The price difference is $150 as this Acer tablet has 32GB of NAND, whereas the low-end iPad has only 16GB. No doubt that Apple has set the bar high though, the new iPad is definitely the best tablet in terms of hardware at the moment.
  • Conficio - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    And, Apple has the System in place that besides paying for the hardware you keep on paying Apple for using new software or content on the device.

    Add to that Apple's lock on you being supported, and you are in QuickBooks land. When you pick up QuickBooks, can you tell that some of the major functions, like the ability to send invoices per e-mail, to import your bank account data from your bank, go puff after three years, because they depend on Intuit's servers and they simply close the service for older versions. So yes, if you want to buy into a subscription eco system (Amazon, Apple iOS (and soon Mac OS X), online gaming, DRM music, ...) then do so, but for my money I think twice to do so.
  • steven75 - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Wtf are you talking about? iOS is no more of a "subscription ecosystem" than Android.

    And iTunes hasn't had DRM music for a few years now. Good lord!
  • Tanclearas - Friday, March 23, 2012 - link

    Marketing works...

    You took the bait and are blindlessly repeating what Apple fed you. "We have a better screen and better GPU, so we're better."

    The real story? "We had to improve the GPU to drive the extra pixels on the screen, and we kept the CPU exactly the same, while delivering a heavy, hot chunk of metal that essentially performs exactly the same as the device we have been selling for a year now."

    Now, don't read into this that I think Nvidia isn't guilty of the same thing. "We're giving you moar corez!" Tablets aren't ready for quad-core, but Nvidia does at least have a more balanced product (fast processor with fast graphics rather than medium processor with high-end graphics).

    As for "a whole lot more tablet-based software", more is not equal to better. The respective "app stores" both have ridiculous amounts of apps to choose from, most of which are crap. I will grant that more crap ends up in the Android store, but it doesn't mean that there aren't just as many quality apps there. I have far fewer than 100 apps installed on any device (I use both iOS and Android devices), so I really don't need to worry about the other "gazillion" apps that both companies want to brag about having in their stores.

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