Acer Iconia Tab A500 Android Tablet Review

By Julio Franco
Aug 3, 2011
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  1. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,487   +73

    Good that they have lowered the price to compete with the 7" models from manufacturers like COBY selling KYROS MID7015, MID7016 and MID7022 all running Android Gingerbread OS 2.3.3 along with Market V3 found on HoneyComb OS 3.x. Makes this a tough market to sell the 10" versions. Price is the selling point then features. $179 vs $395 is the deal breaker for most customers.
  2. I have to say this review sounds terribly biased in favour of the iPad 2.
  3. "I have to say this review sounds terribly biased in favour of the iPad 2."

    That's because the iPad2 is a better overall experience (at a price). The author does a decent job of explaining the differences and why he prefers one over the other.

    What seems "terribly biased" is your baseless opinion.
  4. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,443   +267

    @tipstir, I don't think Acer or other larger manufacturers need to target the very entry level, so-called tablets that you mention. Correct me if I'm wrong but most of these don't even run Honeycomb and the touch panels are completely lacking. On other hand, selling at the same price or even worse at a premium than the iPad 2's price point is overkill for most Android-based tablets since Apple arrived first to the game and so far maintains a considerable headway, especially in the apps department.

    As for being biased, comparing against the market leader was a must along with other competing Honeycomb models, we tried to call it as we saw it.
  5. mosu

    mosu TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 290

    First of all, I agree this review is in favor of iPad2.How could you run a 720p (1280x720) movie on a 1024x768 resolution screen?Of course scrolling pages on a lower resolution may feel smoother, it's about processing bigger images with quasi the same graphic power.A bigger screen and a smaller battery usually gets you shorter usage time, so please compare Apples with Apples.
  6. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,487   +73

    Well as you know already Gingerbread OS is under HoneyComb OS. There is hidden way to access it under HoneyComb OS. But in all 7" is very popular right now. 10" Android Tablet running HoneyComb OS 3.x is still slugglish with the default Chrome Lite browser. To bad you didn't test Dolphin HD V6 with the OS. Tegra2 runs only at 550MHz dual core and mostly runs to save battery at 550MHz at idle time. Cortex A8 runs at 1GHz always. iPad2 graphics based on sprint vs vector or IPS stuff most of these companies are peddling now on Android. iPad2 limits are no external storage feature like microSDHC or SDXC 64GB for those would want to save or add our own images, music and videos. Apple won't allow such a feature. Android does, then Adobe Flash is good for certain features, but I don't want to see Flash ad pop in my face. So Apple needs to figure out to allow Flash or not. Android Flash isn't perfect but when it works it nice to have.

    Right now I can watch Netflix, HBOGO, Crackle and GeekTV on my KYROS without issues. To me right now all Android tablets are basically the same they do the same thing. 7", 8", 9" 10" these are what are available to the mainstream. 7" is popular because it fits in you hand and can be taken anywhere. iPad/iPad2 was the first to come out but Android market share has grown and these cheaper tablets are selling like hot cakes. Some do more than others offering WiFi 802.11G/N, 3G/4G, bluetooth, GPS, ADSL, 10/100 ports, dual microSD slots an etc.

    Good review by-the-way.
  7. monkeychef23

    monkeychef23 TechSpot Member Posts: 88

    I have this tablet, and I was in between purchasing the Iconia and the Transformer. I was leaning towards the Iconia because A) all the ports are built in, no $150 dock needed B) when comparing the two screens side by side, I see almost no difference

    The Iconia also has a good amount of development for it, and it is a fast and stable device. I am extremely happy with the purchase.

    One additional note, the Iconia is a bit heavy. You won't be holding this in one hand for more than 10 minutes, and you certainly won't be holding it in two hands for over an hour. But other than that, it feels solid and sturdy, which I like.
  8. I also have the Iconia, having made the decision to purchase it instead of the Transformer when the latter sold out so quickly. The latest updates have made Android run much snappier and responsive before, and it is a very good value overall.

    I generally do not recommend the Iconia for two reasons:

    1) The Iconia must be powered by a standard power adapter, not a USB adapter. For 2011, this is simply unacceptable. It's too much to ask that I carry a large, bulky, proprietary adapter for my Android tablet when I have 2 dozen mini-USB cables and wall units.

    2) Lack of accessories. The docking port on the bottom of the tablet led me to believe that Acer would be releasing a Transformer-like case + docked keyboard for the Iconia. No such luck. The media docking station is only useful if you want to use your tablet as a gateway for music and movies at home, and I have other devices for that. Plus (as I understand it) the dock doesn't come with an extra power adapter, so you have to use the ONE that came with the tablet.
  9. It is true that the Acer dock does not include a keyboard or any other ports but it does come with a media remote which is kind of nice. Consider it a stand at about half the price of the Asus keyboard dock. Remember that the Acer tablet does include a USB host port so it allows you to connect any USB keyboard you have handy while the tablet is sitting in the stand.

    My least favorite thing about the Iconia is the large, cheap, plastic cover over the SDHC and, I assume, 3g/SIM slots.

    Overall a nice buy for $400 or less.
  10. Can I uninstall Android and install w7 on it?
  11. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,487   +73

    Why would you install Windows 7 on it when you can get the W500 from ACER that comes with Windows 7 on it already. W500 is Windows 7 Tablet by ACER. As for ASUS Tablet I did try it out yesterday it looks well built but the ACER is more like Tablet ASUS seems like it couldn't take a one drop to the floor before it would break. Of course that the only single issue with a tablet. If you drop it would it work again!
  12. The problem with this "review" is that this is not a review, its an "android vs ipad" comparison. This review seems intended to people who are coming from an ipad1/2, but we are not all here to hear how smooth and clear screen the ipad has, and how many differences are for those who are used to iOS. I don't think that this tablet BY ITSELF provides a lacking experiencie to people who never had a tablet, and that's not what I read, I read just how great the iPad is, but both have their strengths and weaknesses, and yeah, maybe you prefer the iPad, that's great, I understand it, but you are not here making a review of the Iconia just to tell us how used you are to the iOS and how much you love it.

    iOS is pretty smooth, ill give you that, but its also really plain, with no customization whatsoever, it has plenty of limitations, it doesn't have flash, and guess what, in my home pc i got flash, i can see whatever i want at the expense of some random banner, so?, at least i have the option to turn it off and to see every media in flash i want, that's a no brainer to me.

    No USB port?
    No flash?
    Smaller screen?
    100$ above?

    C'mon, Honeycomb dates from January or so, give it time, and this Iconia is worth every penny you spend on it.
     
  13. How do i get movies to load on to the Iconia Tab? Netflix does not work?
  14. You are completely right. His lack of familiarity with android creates a biased opinion. I agree that iOS is a faster more user friendly operating system but if you know how to use android it's freedom out weighs any benefits of the iOS.
  15. Thanks for pointing that out. Not being able to add more memory, connect to a detatchable harddrive, or my television, is exactly why I chose not to get an Ipad.
  16. I have to definently agree seems as if they own an ipad 2 (obviously) theyre totally biased
  17. It was a decent comparison. He outlined all of the things this tablet can do that the IPAD cannot. The ipad is a solid machine but people are looking for something that runs flash and can expand. The ipad is not for everyone but it is certainly the leader in the hardware market.
  18. I have to disagree about iOS. I had an iPad for a few months and returned it. It was my first, and likely LAST, Apple experience. I was FORTUNATE that Sam's Club gave me a full refund! Everything Apple, as near as I can tell, is irrevocably tied to iTunes, for which software there is NO manual, unless you want to spend money on a 3rd party publication. Apple "genius" assistance was not so smart when I went to an Apple store and tried to learn how to remove an image from my iPad (it had NO trash can). When I called Apple, I was RUDELY told that I was beyond the time limit for free support and that I had to PAY for an answer. After literally BEGGING, the techie directed me to the Apple web site where I found NOTHING. Ultimately, I found the answer in some forum like this! To me, that is NOT "customer service," that is a company that has gotten too big and too fat, too fast and that no longer values its customers (I HOPE someone from Apple reads this!).

    In its place, I bought a CHEAP Samsung Galaxy 7 with Android 2.1 or 2.2. It functions well and there are many more apps for Android now. My ONLY complaint is that Samsung used a proprietary connector instead of a standard USB port. HOWEVER, to me the HUGE selling point, and for THIS Acer device too (and the reason I am BUYING this ACER device for the larger screen), is that Android allows you to easily connect and manipulate files. NO iTunes hassle!


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