Acer has officially unleashed its Iconia Tab A500, a 10.1-inch tablet poised to defy the likes of Apple and Motorola. Unsurprisingly, Acer is billing its new creation as the ultimate companion device for Web browsing, accessing social networks, reading e-books, listening to music, watching videos, playing games and so on.

Like Motorola's Xoom, the Tab A500 is powered by Android 3.0 Honeycomb and a dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 250 SoC, which is quick enough for 1080p video playback and mobile gaming. In fact, Acer is shipping the slate with free copies of Need for Speed: Shift and Let's Golf installed (the former is $5 via the Android Market).

The slate carries a 1280x800 display with 80-degree viewing angles and the ability to register input from all 10 fingers. You'll also find 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (a 32GB model is in the works), a microSD card reader that can handle up to 32GB cards, a 5MP rear camera with flash and auto-focus and a 2MP front cam.

Connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI-out, USB and GPS. There doesn't appear to be any WWAN options mentioned in today's press release, but we have to assume 3G or 4G will be offered at a premium. The device gets roughly eight hours of gaming or video playback per charge and up to 10 hours of browsing.

The Iconia Tab A500 is a tad bulkier than competing tablets, weighing 1.69lbs and measuring 10.24 x 6.97 x 0.52 inches. Besides the aforementioned games, the device is preloaded with Acer to quickly share media with other DLNA-compliant devices. Support for Adobe Flash and the Android Market are a given.

Best Buy has opened preorders online today while in-store preorders will start on April 14. The device will launch on April 24. Pricing starts at $449.99 while accessories such as a full-sized Bluetooth keyboard, a dock with an IR remote, a protective case, and a power adapter set with four connectors are an extra $30 to $70.