True to their word, Acer is announcing the availability of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for their recently launched A200 tablet. We posted the PR blurb about the A200 in early January, and we were able to get some hands on time with the A200 at CES 2012. The quick summary is that Acer has trimmed a few features from the A500, like the rear-facing camera and HDMI port, but they also changed up the industrial design. While the plastic exterior may not sound as impressive as the aluminum shell of the A500, the reality is that in hand the textured plastic actually feels better (at least in our opinion).

As far as the Ice Cream Sandwich update, while Acer’s press release states that they’re updating all of the Iconia line to Android 4.0 (including the A100, A200, and A500), the reality of the updates isn’t quite so impressive. The update is currently being pushed to Iconia A200 customers (it’s not clear if you can get it faster by checking for a system update or not) and should be completed over the coming week. A100 and A500 users eager to get the ICS update on the other hand will have to wait a while longer—April to be precise.

Besides all the Android 4.0 goodness, there are a few features that are unique to Acer. Chief of these is their Acer Ring, allowing you to navigate directly to apps from the lock screen. While the idea is nice, in practice we haven’t found the Acer Ring to be necessary and at least the one time I looked at it, it felt a bit chunky and sluggish to launch and navigate (though I could say the same for Android 3.x in general on Tegra 2 hardware). The only other extra feature Acer mentions is an improved weather widget.

You can read more about ICS in our Galaxy Nexus review, though obviously there will be some differences when running on a Tegra 2 tablet. It should provide a better UI experience on Tegra 2 tablets, but unfortunately unless you’re one of the users that purchased an A200, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. The A200 8GB is currently selling for $330 while the 16GB model goes for $350. However, at this late stage in the life of Tegra 2, we wouldn’t recommend buying a new tablet running Tegra 2 hardware unless the price is under $200, especially considering Tegra 3 tablets are expected to hit sub-$300 prices in the very near future.

Source: Acer Press Release

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  • nathanddrews - Friday, February 17, 2012 - link

    We love our A100s. Some ICS is just ice cream on the honeycomb cake...

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