I’ve had the pleasure of using an Acer A100 Iconia Tab for the last month. The Iconia A100 is Acer’s 7″ tablet, however only comes with 8gb on-board memory and retails for anywhere between $299 to $349 — a little expensive for a 7″ tablet that doesn’t even come with 16gb of memory and only a little bit less than the Acer Iconia A500 which sells for between $349 and $399 with 16gb memory.
Quick specs for the Acer A100 Iconia Tab
- 7” HD Multi-Touch Display: (1024 x 600) resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio
- NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 1GB DDR2 Memory
- NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU
- 8GB Internal Storage
- MicroSD memory card slot up to 32GB
- Dolby® Mobile Technology
- Dual Analog Microphone
- Dual Speaker
- 802.11b/g/n Wireless(802.11n 2.4GHz only)
- Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR
- 1- Micro USB 2.0 Port
- 1- USB 2.0 Port
- 1- Micro HDMI™ Out (with support for 1080p & Dual Displays)
- 5MP Rear Facing Camerawith Auto Focus and single LED flash
- 2MP Front Facing Camera
- Sensors:G-Sensor, E-Compass, L-Sensor, Gyro-meter
- Rechargeable Lithium-ion polymer Battery
Using this tablet is a pleasure, I like the small form-factor primarily because it’s easier to carry around with you. Compared to my 1st generation iPad the Acer Iconia A100 is smaller, and lighter. Though most images I’ve seen and reviews seem to show the tablet being used in portrait mode, I much prefer landscape since you get to see more of the document or website you’re on. There are a few applications (for example, the app that you can download that can control the Western Digital Live MediaPlayer) that force the screen into portrait mode but those make sense to run in that way.
The tablet is equipped with a Micro USB 2.0 port so that you can expand memory from a measly 8gb to 40gb by adding a 32gb micro-SD memory card, and a USB 2.0 port to connect to your computer. You also have a micro-HDMI port plus a proprietary connection for an Acer docking station. On the right side of the tablet you’ve also got two speakers, plus the power connection in addition to a pin-hole reset button.
Having a USB port is advantagous in that you can pull information off of the device directly to your computer, or connect virtually any device to your Acer Iconia A100 – for example, an external hard drive (if 40gb isn’t enough for you) however those options are only good if you’re at home or in an office, you don’t want to carry around an external hard drive as that would really defeat the purpose of having a portable device like a tablet.
I didn’t get the opportunity to test the HDMI or the dedicated dock, however read several reviews and didn’t find anything negative about the HDMI output. As it is a micro HDMI port you will need to buy yet another cable if you don’t already have micro HDMI to (standard) HDMI.
The other side of the device features a headphone jack, plus the power button – not much to see there.
The Acer Iconia A100 is also equipped with two camera, a 2mp front facing and 5mp rear facing. Images taken with the 2mp front facing camera are very crisp and clear. Even images taken with the 5mp camera are nice to look at. I like the front facing camera so that I’m able to video chat with my son, or wife (or anyone that has a similar configuration whether it’s a smartphone or tablet and is running Skype or anyone of the VOIP applications available on the Android Market or Apple App Store) as this device does not have 3G/4G or any wireless capability (at least the device that I was given to use) other than WiFi you need to tether to your smartphone or connect to any available WiFi signal that’s open.
What you don’t see on the device is what’s inside: Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR, GPS, sensors galore (G-Sensor, E-Compass, L-Sensor, Gyro-meter). Amazon mentions built-in 4G technology, however the device I was given to play with did not have this and from what I’ve read 3G/4G is NOT available on the Acer Icona A100 Tab.
The colors on the screen are rich, and vibrant – the only fail is that the viewing angle isn’t the best although this wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, it could be an annoyance for anyone else that is comparing this to an iPad (which virtually everyone compares their devices to).
Here is more information from Amazon:
The Acer® Iconia Tab A100 is designed to enrich your mobile life with its compact 7″ size that easily fits in your pocket or purse providing a rich and vibrant experience on the go. The orientation-less multi-touch screen display ensures optimal on-screen viewing from every angle – up and down or left to right.
The latest build of Android™ Honeycomb™ operating system provides enhanced audio and visual support, smoother streaming and file transfers, resizable app widgets and more! The Android™ Market lets you choose from thousands of your favorite apps to customize your A100 Tab ANY way you want.
This tablet has the power you want, in the portable size you need for your busy life on the go. Showcasing a stunning 7-inch 16:10 multi-touch screen (1024 x 600 resolution) while offering convenience, versatility and speed.
The stylish Iconia Tab A100 with smooth, rounded edges and lightweight design fits comfortably in one hand- and with all the fun features you’ll definitely be hooked!
NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2, the first mobile dual-core CPU brings the fastest, most visually-rich tablet experience, and extreme multitasking for effortless multimedia enjoyment. Enjoy the best Web experience with up to two times faster browsing, full Adobe® Flash® support*, and console-quality gaming with an NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU.
Discover all the amazing things you can do on your Iconia Tab A100! The 5 point multi-touch display and gyro meter control give you a gaming experience on par with the best consoles. Download the latest HD games from the Android Market place for hours of fun!
This latest Honeycomb OS now supports Google Apps! Rent the latest flicks with Google Movies and listen to your personal play lists with Google Music in great Dolby® Sound! Port this whole entertainment experience to your big screen TV in full 1080p HD glory through the micro-HDMI™ port.
The battery provides up to 4.5-hours of cable-free battery life giving you the freedom to experience fast web browsing, email, view photos and HD videos, play high-end games and read ebooks wherever you may be!
As this was primarily a review device, I didn’t download a lot of paid applications except for several $0.10 apps purchased during the Google celebration of 10,000,000,000 downloads. Most were games that would also run on my Android phone.
The apps that I did download were:
- SimCity Deluxe – could not get it to work on this device at all
- GLWG – ran fine
- Captain America – ran fine
- Sleepy Jack – ran fine
- Sentinel 3 – ran fine
- Puffle Launch – ran fine
- Heavy Gunner – ran fine
- Star Chart – ran fine
- Amazon Kindle – ran fine
- Camera Zoom FX - ran fine
Most games ran great on the supercharged device, I didn’t notice any lag on any of the games. My son also tested out most of the action games like Captain America and Puffle Launch (if your child subscribes or uses Club Penguin from Disney they will love Puffle Launch) and didn’t complain at all though he liked to play the games on his iPad instead.
I also used some other applications on the Acer Iconia A100 Tab, such as Pulse, Twitter, Google+, DVICE, Skype, YouTube and DOCS and found that they are all easy to work with on the smaller screen and form factor.
The other plus is that you can connect a bluetooth keyboard to the device if you want to use another input method instead of the screen – but with the 7″ form factor typing on the screen is much easier thumbing.
So what don’t I like about this?
Battery life is poor as with all smart phones and devices. I can get through a work day easily since I can’t use it much and on those days pay very close attention to the screen settings, ensuring BT and WiFi is off. On days that I’m out and about, I still watch battery usage quite closely as I didn’t have a car charger and you can’t charge using USB but could manage to pull in an 8-hour day with very tight (manual) power management. I didn’t spend money on Juice Defender or any other similar application.
Screen viewing angles are not as good as it is on the iPad, but again this would not be a deal breaker for me.
Overall I was quite happy with the Acer Iconia A100 Tab. It performs exceptionally well, sound and image quality is superb and I thoroughly enjoyed the 7″ form factor. Combined with a device that comes equipped with a dual core processor, 1gb of memory plus 8gb RAM which is expandable by adding up to 32gb via micro-SD you’ve got a device that’s ready to go. Initially I thought not having 3G/4G connectivity would hamper but I pair with my phone when I need to – sure that’s not the same as “always available” but a minor inconvenience. As well I don’t need a separate plan for my phone and device.
The reviews found on Amazon have been mostly positive with 69 reviews. 55 of those reviews gave the Acer Iconia A100 Tab 4 – 5 stars.
The Acer Iconia A100 Tab is definately something you will want to consider when looking for a 7″ device.
UPDATE January 15, 2012
ASUS has announced a 7″ tablet during the recent CES. I’m already seeing the price of their larger tablet drop in price somewhat (between $20.00 and $50.00 price drops locally, and online). The 7″ Tegra 3 Tab is expected to retail for $250.00 – check out the post over at TechCrunch and ArsTechnica.
If you can’t wait and want a 7″ tablet then the Acer isn’t a bad buy – but I’d wait if you’ve not made the jump. ASUS builds quality products, and I’m sure that the 7″ will not disappoint. Eagerly waiting for this tablet to take it for a drive (permanently) — apparently first half of 2012.
Having been on the “hot seat” a few times over the lat 20-years of my career, I’m now in the position to interview candidates. One of the key areas when running a call center is ensuring that you hire the right candidate otherwise they can become a toxic component in your team.
Here are several questions that I use to weed out who I bring in for a 2nd interview:
- What is important for you in a job? What are you expecting from us?
- How do you handle a difficult colleague?
- Ideally if you’ve interviewed correctly, you should not have difficult employees – but some people are exceptional interviewees and you can only spot the toxic ones after you’ve hired them.
- How will you add value to the team?
- Talk to be about a time where…
- I like this question because if does prompt the candidate to think about what they’ve done in the scenario you present to them. You can always tell who is honest in their response as well by using these types of questions.
- Tell me about a mistake you made, and what you did to fix it
Though many companies use hiring agencies to fill certain posts, it is still important to meet with a potential candidate that may well be in your employee for 2, 3 or more years. The interview is part of the process, and hopefully the agency you use also vets the good from the bad.
If you’ve got interview questions that work for you, please do share them.
With the economy being what it is right now, those graduating from university, or gollege will have a very tough time getting jobs. There have been many articles written over the year about this issue:
I went through the same scenario many years ago and was competing against government employees (accountants) that had years of experience and were willing to work for less in order to just have a job.
So what’s a new college or university graduate to do?
Start their own business.
But even this is not a sure fire proposition and though they are starting to fall in CANADA http://money.canoe.ca/money/business/canada/archives/2011/02/20110203-112033.html, http://www.bankruptcycanada.com/bankstats1.htm there are still problems in the US (as can also be seen on the news): http://www.bankruptcy-statistics.com/, http://www.uscourts.gov/Statistics/BankruptcyStatistics.aspx with the constant threat of another recession hot on the heels of one we’ve just worked our way through (others would also argue that we’re still in the recession).
In Canada in August 2011 bankruptcies declined by 3.7% compared with the same month last year. Consumer bankruptcies were also down by 9% in August 2011 compared to the same month last year. While the actual breakdown does present other numbers, such as an 11% increase in BC to a 20% decrease in Manitoba you also have to go beyond the numbers to look at the actual numbers and the per-capita rates as all provinces and cities are different in size and dynamics. One misleading or perhaps misconstrued number that would send someone reeling is the 100% in NT in August 2011 but we’re only talking about single digits here – not in the hundreds, or thousands.
I’m certain you would see something similar in the US, however I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at the rate of US bankruptcies however you can get the breakdown at http://www.uscourts.gov/Statistics/BankruptcyStatistics.aspx and at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/bankruptcyprof_blog/bankruptcy_statistics/ which does a great job of explaining the information found at the US Courts website.
Also keep in mind that the US has several different classes if bankruptcy (Chapter 7, 9, 11 – 13, and 15). Some of the notable ones in the US has been Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Washington Mutual and Worldcom – not to forget the one that everyone remembers Enron (will the USPS [http://newsinabox.net/2215/u-s-postal-service-faces-bankruptcy.html] be the next big one?).
Bankruptcies will also vary by region, for example (http://www.buffalonews.com/business/article663228.ece) noted that new filings for Western New York dipped in November for the 18th month by 17.50%:
New bankruptcy filings in Western New York dipped again in November for the 18th straight month, as fewer people can afford to file for court protection or have fewer reasons to do so.
According to the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York, new cases fell by 17.5 percent in November in the Buffalo and Rochester courts, to 531 filings.
The purpose of this post isn’t to hilight where the economy is or is headed - we all know what’s going on through radio, newspaper, TV and Internet. What it does go to hilight is that with the amount of uncertainty in the economy and the job prospects bad for well experienced individuals, how does a student compete? Simple, they don’t and instead consider going into business for themselves.
However when taking this step you need to set out clear, concise goals. You need to have a vision for what you want to do, and drive yourself forward to that vision. If you’ve decided upon a business that you want to get yourself into and have done the research build your business plan. This will help you get money from friends, or family since most banks may not be willing to lend you anything. It will also help you in that others will be able to scrutinize your plan – see if anyone can poke holes (let them play devils advocate) in the plan.
There are several great resources out there for developing your business plan. One of the best places to start your research is through LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com) and their Answers section. There is a treasure trove of information there and one post to pay pay attention to is this one http://www.mohamedbhimji.com/business-plan-fundamentals – the link is shortened, but it will take you to LinkedIn. It’s a long post, so I’ve summarized the information below in bullet form – it’s primarily a list of resources and individuals that you can possibly ping to help you:
- Software – http://www.paloalto.com/
- Individual – http://be.linkedin.com/in/frankliesenborgs
- Software – http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/default.aspx
- Software – http://www.paloalto.com/ps/bp/sampleplan_sample_view.cfm?Studio67
- Software – http://www.dynamicbusinessplan.com/category.asp?ID=1 / http://www.dynamicbusinessplan.com/answer.asp?ID=2
- Resource – http://www.sba.gov/hotlist/businessplans.html
- Resource – http://small-business-resources-cafe.blogspot.com/
- Resource – http://www.businessplans.com
- Resource – http://www.bplans.com
- Resource – http://www.score.org
- Resource – http://www.theresourcequeen.com/businessplans.html
With respect to Score.ORG one person that answered the question had this to say about the resource:
- It is a great asset to have.
- It is a FREE service to use the website.
- You can get FREE mentoring.
- I’ve paid for classes, but that has been for an intimate venue that has specific focus. But either way, it was not expensive at all.
- When you go to the site, on the left hand side you can click on “Business Tools” and you’ll be right on track with what you need.
- You’ll have more resources than you’ll know what to do with, but luckily most of it is self-explanitory. (But the Mentor is there for when it’s not).
- A great part of having a business plan is the pride of knowing that you worked on it yourself, and in it, you will be able to focus on the parts of your business that you know to be amazing.
- I have gotten A LOT of assistance from SCORE, including how to go about financial backing.
Now if you want to see ALL the information on how to write a successful business plan on LinkedIn you can follow this link http://www.linkedin.com/searchAnswers?results=&sik=1323304496730.
If you have any resources that you would like to share, please leave a comment. I will approve all comments that add value – don’t spam because I’ll just delete the comment.