Ico­nia Tab 10 A3-A20

This An­droid tablet has a de­cent-size screen for draw­ing, to­gether with ac­cess to all the soft­ware and sty­luses you need to get started…

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

Price £180 cer’s Ico­nia Tab 10 A3-A20 joins a dizzy­ing ar­ray of tablets in all sorts of shapes and sizes. De­signed pri­mar­ily for en­ter­tain­ment, it com­bines a widescreen dis­play that’s ideal for watch­ing videos and crunch­ing Dolby sound with an un­fussy de­sign.

The Ico­nia Tab 10 is run­ning An­droid 4.4 KitKat, which isn’t the new­est ver­sion of Google’s mo­bile op­er­at­ing sys­tem, but can still han­dle the latest apps. Wisely, Acer hasn’t messed about too much with Google’s stan­dard in­ter­face, which has de­vel­oped to a point where it’s pleas­ing to use. There are rather more pre-loaded apps than you might want – es­pe­cially when Mo­biSys­tems Of­ficeSuite, for ex­am­ple, is merely a 90-day trial – but oth­er­wise this is an ap­peal­ing and rea­son­ably re­spon­sive hard­ware-soft­ware combo.

ACom­pany Acer

Web www.acer.co.uk

Oc­to­ber 2015

What we re­ally want from a tablet, though, is a tool for spon­ta­neous draw­ing on the move. An­droid is much bet­ter sup­ported than it used to be in this re­spect, with big-name apps like Au­todesk Sketch­Book Pro, Wa­com Bam­boo Pa­per and Adobe Pho­to­shop Mo­bile all easily down­load­able via the Google Play Store app.

Sketch­Book Pro or the free Ex­press are in­stantly fa­mil­iar to any­one who’s used them on an iPad or a desk­top com­puter, with a small puck giv­ing you rapid ac­cess to tools and set­tings while pro­vid­ing an un­clut­tered screen as you cre­ate. We also en­joyed us­ing Ar­tipunk’s Char­ac­ter Maker (in­ter­est­ingly, not yet out on iOS), which en­ables you to draw line art on top of a 3D fig­ure you’ve posed first.

There’s no sty­lus in­cluded in the box, but plenty are avail­able for pur­chas­ing sep­a­rately, in­clud­ing Acer’s own Ac­cu­rate Sty­lus. The brand-new Ico­nia Tab 8 model of­fers the en­tic­ing prospect of be­ing able to draw on the screen us­ing an or­di­nary graphite pen­cil in­stead of a sty­lus, some­thing that the older dis­play tech in the Tab 10 doesn’t al­low. If you’re happy enough to draw with your fin­ger, though, it’s an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence. Some tablets use dis­plays with rel­a­tively wide gaps be­tween the touch-sen­si­tive glass and the screen it­self, which makes fin­ger-draw­ing feel oddly dis­con­nected, but there’s none of that here.

That’s not to say that the dis­play is per­fect for draw­ing and paint­ing, how­ever. Widescreen pro­por­tions may be great for watch­ing video, but they cramp your style when you’re ap­ply­ing brush­strokes, com­pared with the more open scale of an iPad. The screen it­self is no great shakes, with some low

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