Acer Iconia Tab A500 Review (Android 3.0 Tablet)
Acer’s Android 3 table Iconia A500 must not to be confused with the manufacturer’s Iconia Tab W500, which is their Windows tablet/netbook hybrid. It’s somewhat unfortunate that the names are so similar. At any rate, the A500 is more or less what you expect form an Android tablet these days; it comes with a dual-core Tegra 2 processor and a nice-looking 10.1-inch display. The button-free design, brushed aluminum chassis high-gloss screen make the Iconia A500 easy on the eyes, and it both looks and feela solid. The front is as it should be, with no buttons, but with a small 2 megapixel camera for video calls. On the edge at the top you will find the volume buttons and a lock button for screen rotation. This is clever, so you do not have to turn off the rotation in the menu if you just want to view the screen in a certain way.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Specifications:
Processor: 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core
Memory: 32 GB, expandable with Micro SD cards
Screen: 10.1 inch capacitive touch screen, 1280×800 resolution
Camera: 5 mega pixels on the back. 2 megapixel camera in front
Others: Bluetooth, WLAN, GPS
Operating System: Android 3.0
Size: 10.24″ x 6.97″ x 0.52″
Weight: 1.61 lbs
|*Great display *Affordable *Easy on the eyes||*Poor camera *Not fully updated|
On the one side sits a power button and a mini-HDMI connector, and on the opposite side micro USB as well as full-size USB ports and a jack for the power cord. You can connect accessories such as USB flash drives and keyboards right away, and with a later update it will also be possible to connect a mouse directly to the tablet. The HDMI output is capable of delivering 720p but will – also pending an update – be able to handle 1080p, which the dual-core Tegra chip is certainly capable of.
As usual, the unit comes with a number of pre-installed apps such as an app that will keep track of your social networks, a media player, an ebook reader and some other goodies. The camera can shoot video in 720p, but the quality is not good, whether it’s still images or video. If you happen to be one of probably few users who make frequent use of your tablet for photography, this is one to avoid. On the other hand you’d be hard pressed to locate an Android tablet with great optics.
The display is more than OK; contrast is really good, it has a wide viewing angles and offers clear and sharp images with distinct colors. It is not AMOLED class, but compared to many other Android tablets on the market right now, this is definitely one of the better.
With the dual-core CPU from Nvidia and Android 3.0, the interface flows smoothly and is very responsive. We encountered very few problems with lag. The overall experience is not quite on par with the iPad 2 yet, but Android tablets are getting there. One issue with the video player was that it did not play mkv files, but according to the specifications it should easily be able to handle 720p but you may have to use files with different encoding than mkv.
Compared to its closest competitors, the Iconia Tab A500 is quite affordable. You can currently find it for less than $400, which is a bargain for this device. It has an excellent screen and is generally fast and responsive. The cameras lower the overall impression, but they deliver basic functionality at least. Also, some of the features are missing today but will be offered in future updates. In that way it’s sort of an unfinished product. The bottom line is that the A500 is still a good Android tablet with a very reasonable price tag.