I was also unhappy with having only 3-4 hours of battery life but I followed another board's explanation on how to make/use battery power packs. I now get about 12-20 hours of normal usage with my setup which is a 4800 ah 12v Li-on battery + an Acer a100 adapter wire and plug. The whole deal only cost about $28.
Now I love my little tablet!!
I would like to say that I am on a similar path right now with the choice between what to do with me money and tablet. I got one for 199.99 here in Chicago, I was strongly debating which one I wanted to go with. My reasons are similar yo yours aswell and I am also wondering about the Car docks or stands. As far as specs go with one already running ICS which was a big draw for me. The only thing that differs from me and you is I want to use the tab for signing contracts from photography work. I am hoping that the S-pen will work with either of them. Or ill have to bite the bullet and go with a HTC View/Flyer for the pen support. I personally would exchange the unit seeing as how you are getting 4 hours of usage out of it and then wait for the ICS on the 27th and make a decision from there. If you have and suggestions on a tablet under 300 that will allow for signing with a stylus(spen/fujitsu?/N-trig) please throw the name out there
Happy to .It is post #22 by st23r on the Forum "External battery for A100".
He cut the cord but it is not necessary if you purchase the following on Ebay under "Car DC Adapter For ACER ICONIA TAB A100 Tablet PC Auto Power Supply Cord PSU P/S"
Make sure you ask for the extension cord ONLY. It will be $4.99
Get a Li-On battery here: Ebay "Power Pack 12V Li-On battery 4800 ah"
It will cost $23.74 delivered (USA). Both parts fit together without adapters or cord cutting.
Hope it works as well for you as me.
In my opinion if you're gonna be using it mostly for signing I hear lots of good stuff about the HTC flyer or View. It's still running HC and will probably will never see ICS but you cant beat the stylus and screen. They work well together. Also that can be charged via micro usb. Longer battery. The single core is powerful enough for what you'll be doing with it.
The sammy is good too but too much proprietary connectors going on with it. But at 249 you get the latest stuff. It's probably a good idea to check out one for yourself. Unless someone can chime in. I've never seen or played with it myself.
As far as Acer goes, it does sometimes suffer from touch screen losing touch with either finger or capacitive stylus if its just sitting on a table. But there is a fix for it in HC but I'm sure youre gonna want to upgrade to ICS eventually when it comes out. For the most part ICS eliminates the issue but I still can see it from time to time. To eliminate the issue completely you have to hold the tablet with 1 hand so its grounded while you touch the screen with your other finger or stylus. Also when its plugged into the charger it doesnt have the issue.
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