Acer Iconia Tab A511 Review: Tegra 3 tablet for playing heavy games

Written by B Johnson January 19, 2014
Acer Iconia Tab A511 Specs
Hi guys, welcome back to this site!

Just a moment ago, i’ve already showed you some of Acer tablets which i thought were worth recommending to you guys here, especially for those of you cheap budget tablet hunters out there.

To be precised, there are 4 Acer Iconia tablets that i’ve been showcasing on this website in the past few days, from the Acer Iconia Tab A110, Acer Iconia Tab A500, Acer Iconia Tab A700 and last but not least, Acer Iconia Tab AI-830, which hasn’t been launched yet to the market.

(Acer Iconia Tab A511 Specs)

Acer Iconia Tab A511 benchmarks and gaming performance

But did you notice that many of Acer’s tablets that i’ve reviewed on this website were mostly powered by NVIDIA’s homemade processors, Tegra?

Well, to tell you the truth, the reason why i’ve always been so picky in choosing the right tablets to review on this website is because i just wanted to recommend you the tablets that were great for gaming.

So since i know quite a lot that many of Tegra-powered tablets are mostly great for gaming, in fact, they are all great for gaming, then the sector that i’ll always scan firstly on the tablets that i’m gonna review are their processors.

So after showing you some of Acer’s tablets packing the Tegra processors, today, i also have another good Acer’s tablet that i also believe will be great for gaming.

And this one is called Acer Iconia Tab A511, a 10.1-inch tablet sporting the 720p resolution, and hell yeah, it’s powered by Tegra 3 processor.

Well, if you’re interested to know more about this tablet, especially its performance and gaming capability, then here you go, my personal review of Acer Iconia Tab A511.


In the tablet space, not all tablet manufacturers can have the same massive sales and popularity that have been gained by big players, like Apple, Samsung or Asus.

As a matter of fact, other big names like Sony or LG are still playing catch up with the competition, in terms of sales especially.

So with the tablet market dominated mostly by Apple, Samsung and Asus tablets, there will be no space left for other small players to enter.

And even though Sony Xperia tablets and LG G Pad 8.3 are starting to gain ground in the global tablet market, their sales are not as impressive as Apple, Asus or Samsung.

Acer Iconia Tab A511 - Full tablet specifications/SPECS

And the story is much even worse with small tablet manufacturers like HP and Acer. As you can see around the tablet stores, or even mobile device stores in general, Acer and HP tablets are not familiar to see, compared to Samsung, Asus or iPad that are spreading out like crazy on the market right now.

Well, that’s no surprise because most of Acer and HP tablets are only available in some emerging markets, where cheap budget tablets are selling like hotcakes.

Even so, that doesn’t necessarily mean that tablets from HP and Acer will suck.

Well, that’s wrong. Even though most of Acer and HP tablets are not that popular and selling as great as iPad or Samsung tablets, there is still something to write home about on these tablets, especially in terms of hardware and performance.

Acer Iconia Tab A511 is one of some Acer’s tablet which i think can be a good gaming tablet, if not great.

In fact, this tablet will probably be on the same level with Google first-gen Nexus 7, both in terms of hardware and gaming performance.

The reason is simple, this Acer’s tablet is packing a Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM and 12-core GeForce ULP GPU, plus 720p display, the same exact hardware specs found on the first-gen Google Nexus 7.

But the real question is, does Acer Iconia Tab A511 have all what it takes to be the real challenger for Google’s tablet, not to mention, other competing tablets on the market?

Well, we’re about to find out in just a minute.


In terms of design, Acer Iconia Tab A511 actually looks really generic with other regular Android tablets out there, with small rounded corners, thick bezels and soft brushed aluminum finish on the back cover.

Acer Iconia Tab A511 Review and Gaming Performance

However, despite not having some cool premium design and feel, this tablet should give thanks to its spec sheet because its specs are just really impressive, even for today’s standard.

However, i also still like the fake metallic trimming on the right and left edges on the back, making it look more solid and elegant as a media-consumption device.

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  • Released August 2012
  • 10.1 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen, 1280 x 800 pixels (~149 ppi pixel density)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Nvidia Tegra 3Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU
  • ULP GeForce GPU
  • Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 5 MP rear-facing camera, autofocus
  • 1 MP front-facing camera
  • MicroSD card slot for up to 32 GB
  • 16/32 GB Internal storage
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • 3G
  • Mini-SIM
  • HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • USB
  • Java
  • HDMI port
  • No Radio
  • Li-Po 9800 mAh battery
  • Up to 15 h Talk time
Acer Iconia Tab A511 comes with some really great goodies inside.

From a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 12-core GeForce ULP GPU, 10.1-inch 720p display (1280x800 pixels), 5MP camera on the back with 2MP camera on the front, microSD card slot, 3G cellular connectivity, a whopping 9800mAh power battery, HDMI port and a bunch of other standard features.

I think this tablet sits in mid-end tablet market given that its spec sheet is just really impressive for a tablet made by Acer, even though its mid-end rivals are already using 1080p display.


When it comes to display, Acer Iconia Tab A511 really nailed it on that sector.

It may not have that insanely sharp 1080p display just like other rivals on the market, but despite using the outdated 720p resolution on its 10.1-inch display, it’s actually a great match to its hardware.

By using 720p display, then it means this Acer’s tablet will be able to perform much faster and smoother consistently because its hardware is only tasked to deliver its power to a rather medium-resolution 720p display.

So there are not many pixels that its Tegra 3 must execute to the screen, unlike other 1080p or even 2.5k tablets that “ask” their hardware to execute gazillion of pixels and bring them all to the screen in smooth and fast performance.

So yeah, this 720p resolution on 10.1-inch display of this tablet is still considered as good, even for today’s standards.

Movies will still look sharper.

Reading books or magazines or browsing the web will be pleasing because the text and images look sharp and crisp in normal view, eliminating the needs to zoom in zoom out so often on this huge and sharp display.

Playing games will also be awesome on this tablet because the games look bigger and the on-screen keys/buttons are much easier to see and press, making the experience of playing games a lot better.


Just like any other Acer’s tablets with Acer UI, Acer Iconia Tab A511 also shares many of the standard features found on Acer’s tablets, like cool circle lockscreen key with shortcut apps, awesome 3D-alike carousel effect on music player, categorized apps, photo browser 3D and many more.

I think some of my favorite features on this tablet are the shortcut apps on the lockscreen key and photo browser 3D.

As i’ve already mentioned on my other posts several times, the shortcut apps on lockscreen key is actually the same kind of feature found on CyanogenMOD-installed devices, which basically allows you to put some of your favorite shortcut apps right away on the lockscreen key, which will show up in the form of circle when you press and hold the lockscreen on-screen key.

So if you want to go to one of your favorite shortcut apps, you can just hold and press the lockscreen key (when the tablet is being locked), and then slide your hand to the wished app that you want to open.

So instead of just unlocking the screen, you will be automatically jumping to your shortcut app once the screen is unlocked. I think this feature is really cool and should be implemented on the next Android updates from Google.

User Interface

In terms of User Interface, the UI of this tablet actually looks just like any other regular Android tablets out there, where you’re able to put your favorite widgets, apps or shortcut apps all over the homescreen.

However, what makes the UI of this tablet much cooler than on the UI of stock Android OS is because this Acer UI has many more features and cool effects implemented on many of its pre-loaded apps, like video players, music player, photo browser, etc.

So you’ll get more rich-content features that probably can’t be found on other Android tablets.


On the performance sector, it’s good to hear that Acer Iconia Tab A511 is packing some little monsters inside, like a quad-core Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.3GHz, 1GB of RAM and 12-core of GeForce ULP GPU.

With all of these goodies, this tablet without a doubt will run super fast and smooth for daily tasks.

And by looking at how fast the first-gen Google Nexus 7 in performance, then you can expect the same thing on this Acer’s tablet, especially given that they both share the same exact internals, like the same Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 12-core GeForce ULP GPU and not to mention, the same 720p screens, which have the same 1280x800 pixel resolution.

So for doing some simple to heavy tasks, like, say, watching movies, reading books or magazines, browsing the web, sliding the homescreen, using the live wallpaper or playing games, all of these jobs can be executed perfectly in buttery smooth performance with no lag whatsoever.

And thanks to the 1GB of RAM inside this tablet, you’ll be granted to multitasks many apps at the same time without decreasing the whole performance and experience.

Not to mention, given that this tablet also comes pre-installed with some multi-window apps (like video player, web browser, note-taking app, etc), the whole performance will also stay at the consistent level of smoothness even if you multitask many multi-window apps at the same time on the screen, thanks again to its 1GB of RAM.

And the fact that this tablet is only packing the 720p resolution on its huge 10.1-inch display, also makes its hardware capable to deliver its best performance to the tablet, thus giving a constantly smooth and fast experience to the users.

The story would definitely be different if this tablet used the high-resolution 1080p display (1920x1200 pixels), which could put much heavier burden to its hardware, thus making the performance of this tablet less powerful compared to when it used a 720p display.

Not to mention, the battery would drain much faster.

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Just like the first-gen Google Nexus 7, which is already a good gaming tablet, Acer Iconia Tab A511 can also be a good gaming tablet.

In fact, thanks to much bigger 10.1-inch screen size, playing games on this tablet will be a lot better and more fun than on Google’s tablet.

The on-screen keys will look bigger and easier to press, plus the huge screen real estate also makes the games look much better and clearer.

In terms of gaming performance, this Acer’s tablet is also no different than Google’s tablet given that they both share the same exact internals (Tegra 3, 1GB of RAM, 12-core GPU and 720p display).

So if you love playing tablet games and are looking forward to play games on this Acer’s tablet, then your hobby will be accommodated very well on this tablet.

Any games on Google Play Store, even the most graphically demanding games like Modern Combat 4, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Asphalt 7: Heat, GTA Vice City, plus other games that were released in 2012, all can be played perfectly on this tablet in buttery smooth performance and the most importantly, in full graphics.

But the bad news is, when faced with much newer and latest games released in 2013, like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dead Trigger 2 or GTA San Andreas, this Acer’s tablet will struggle a lot and the games are just not playable if they’re set in full high graphics.

As for the Asphalt 8: Airborne, yes – this game can work and run on this tablet, but it only runs in medium graphics setting, and it doesn’t run smoothly though.

Meanwhile, as for GTA San Andreas, i don’t think this tablet is capable enough to run this game in full graphics.

In fact, if you play this game in full graphics with this Acer’s tablet, the game will absolutely stutter really bad and it’s just not playable for human being.

The good news, for Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2 and GTA San Andreas, these games allow you to set the graphics from high to the low level. So you’re probably in luck in playing these 3 games if you set their graphics on the lowest level.

Overall, Acer Iconia Tab A511 is a pretty good tablet, if not the best, and capable to run any graphics intense games released in 2012 and even low-graphic games that were released in 2013.

Not to mention, thanks to its Tegra processor, you’ll be able to gain exclusive access to Tegra Zone where you can find plenty of games that are well-optimized specifically for Tegra-powered tablet, including this Acer’s tablet.

So games on Tegra Zone will have more detailed graphics, more particles and more sophisticated visual effects than other games on non-Tegra devices.


By looking at the whole specs of this tablet, this is definitely not a cheap budget tablet. Therefore, having a 5MP camera on the back is truly a must on this mid-end tablet. However, despite having a 5MP rear-facing camera, you cannot expect this tablet to have the same best quality photos or videos just like on the iPad or Samsung flagship tablets.

This Acer’s tablet may not have one of the best cameras on the tablet market, let alone the best, but still, having a 5MP camera should be appreciated, right?

You’d never know, maybe its camera might come in handy in case you forgot to bring your smartphone or digital camera at your disposal.

Unfortunately, there is no LED flash found on this tablet, meaning that you can’t take some great shots in low-light condition.

Battery Life

Battery life is definitely one of the strongest points on this tablet.

Thanks to its whopping 9800mAh power battery, this tablet could even last more than 2 days in heavy usage.

This battery capacity is actually the biggest power battery on any tablet and still bigger than the biggest 9000mAh battery on Google Nexus 10 or Lenovo Yoga 10 Tablet.

So if you’re looking for a good 10-inch tablet with powerful and long lasting battery life, then Acer Iconia Tab A511 is one of the best choices out there.

And the fact that this tablet is only packing a medium resolution 720p display, really makes its battery life capable to last much longer than expected.

So if you’re gonna use this tablet for some heavy daily tasks, like watching movies, reading books or just checking out your widgets or updates, you can expect to see this tablet last in more than 2 days or even 3 days the longest.

And if you’re using this tablet to do some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen, like watching movies in marathon or playing games in the row, the battery life of this tablet still rocks though, probably could still last in more than 1 day, which is great and even the best battery life on today’s tablet market.

My Personal Opinions

So to sum this up, i definitely like Acer Iconia Tab A511. And a lot.

What makes me really impressed with this tablet is the fact that this Acer’s tablet is packing a huge 10.1-inch display sporting the resolution 1280x800 pixels, armed with some great hardware and powered by a whopping 9800mAh battery.

I think all of these goodies really make this tablet a really ideal tablet for media-consumption purpose.
  • It has a sharp looking display,
  • it has powerful processor,
  • it has a fast and smooth performance,
  • it has a long lasting battery life
  • and the most importantly, it’s good for gaming, watching movies and pretty much everything.
I also like the fact that this tablet is only using a medium resolution 720p display, not 1080p display, which is great and a perfect match because it will ensure that the performance and experience will stay constantly fast and smooth, plus this kind of display won’t drain the battery of this tablet, thus making it last longer even in 3 days the longest.

As for gaming, this tablet will also be a good one for that matter.

It has a powerful quad-core Tegra 3 processor, accompanied by 1GB of RAM and 12-core of GeForce ULP GPU, and it has a huge screen, meaning that this tablet will be capable to run any games, even the most graphically demanding ones very well.

And these games can be enjoyed at the max thanks to its huge screen real estate, making the experience of playing games a lot better and more fun to do.

So in conclusion, Acer Iconia Tab A511 is definitely a good tablet in its class.

If you can snatch this tablet below $200, then you just made a good purchase.

And considering that Acer is not as popular as Apple, Asus or Samsung, then you can have your hopes high that this tablet is priced aggressively by Acer at even low price points.

However, i doubt that because this tablet also comes with 3G cellular support, meaning that the price will likely fall above $200 or around it.

But then again, given that this tablet was released back in 2012, which was 2 years ago, you can still expect to see the price sit around $180 - $200.
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