TechSpot: Acer Iconia Tab A500 Review

Google’s Android Honeycomb OS was the talk of the town as the calendar rolled over to 2011. Billed as Android’s first true tablet OS, most got their first look at Honeycomb during CES where it was loaded on the Motorola Xoom. Since then we have seen numerous Honeycomb-based tablets find their way to market, and today we’ll be looking at another tablet built around Android, this time coming from a traditional PC maker, meet the Acer Iconia Tab A500.

Acer has been one of the leading netbook manufacturers in the past few years, a position that gave them the chance to grow sales in North America and in Europe. With tablets eating up on netbook sales at an accelerated pace, we can clearly see where Acer is headed with the Iconia offerings.

We intend to figure out what’s Acer proposition with the Iconia Tab A500, not only from a value perspective -- a driving force of netbook sales -- but in terms of features, design and overall experience.

Read: Acer Iconia Tab A500 review

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19 Comments

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I like my A500 but I agree with the "Gripe" on the A500 Ruciz posted. I don't like the fact that I couldn't drag and drop a video already converted onto my A500 without getting the "This can't be played on this device, it will be used for storage only blah, blah"

I was originally going to get the Thrive or the Galaxy.. I really wanted the Galaxy but no usb or micro sd slot. The Thrive had a lot more but the A500 had what I was going to us. Plus I will never get an Apple product until they add a SD and USB ports.

Flying back from Dallas to Boston. I was able to watch a 1:43 movie, play my Golf HD game, and Stupid Zombies. I only used 20% of my battery. I played a few games prior to boarding the aircraft.

I personally could care about the thickness. Ya it could be a tad bit thinner but I rather have the USB/MicroSD than have it thinner.

As usual with the help of xda-developers I have this running super smooth with netflix enabled, kernel OC and a stock ROM. The tablet itself is super snappy and video playback is smooth, flash works in the browsers.. but having Acer rely on Google to develop Android for their hardware has lead to problems. HW accelerated video playback was only achievable with my custom kernel, and audio codecs are still lacking.

Every day Im seeing ports of iDevice games to android, and found a few good titles thats android-specific. Personally the android cells are much more developed than their tablet brothers.

One gripe with A500:
charging. Its just dumb. I hate it. Terrible short corded OEM charger, no charge over USB.

Gripes with Android OS:
Text scrolling is still (visibly) SMOOTHER on an iDevice, this could be personal opinion however.
Lack of tablet-optimized/specific apps, specifically video chat utilizing forward cam

The product has a lot of out-of-the-box features for $400 compared to an iPad for $520, the software is massively lacking though. You will not find another tablet with USB host & USB data port, HDMI out, microSD, expansion/dock port, two good sized decent sounding speakers, back and front cams with flash

I got that tablet, it's definetly not perfect and very rough around the edges in some places but to be honest I'm happy overall with it although to be honest, the iPad 2 has nothing to fear from it and the [iPad 2] is definetly the superior tablet. That is my 2 cents take with a grain of salt.

Xerxes said,
I got that tablet, it's definetly not perfect and very rough around the edges in some places but to be honest I'm happy overall with it although to be honest, the iPad 2 has nothing to fear from it and the [iPad 2] is definetly the superior tablet. That is my 2 cents take with a grain of salt.

iPad is twice expensive;)

coth said,

iPad is twice expensive;)
No it isn't, only about ~AUD$100 more expensive (based on the 16Gb Iconia Tab [WiFi only] and 16Gb iPad 2 [WiFi only]) but the Iconia Tab's saving grace is the micoSD card slot, allowing for upto an extra 32Gb storage.

Xerxes said,
No it isn't, only about ~AUD$100 more expensive (based on the 16Gb Iconia Tab [WiFi only] and 16Gb iPad 2 [WiFi only]) but the Iconia Tab's saving grace is the micoSD card slot, allowing for upto an extra 32Gb storage.

13000 rubles vs 22000 here

Xerxes said,
I got that tablet, it's definetly not perfect and very rough around the edges in some places but to be honest I'm happy overall with it although to be honest, the iPad 2 has nothing to fear from it and the [iPad 2] is definetly the superior tablet. That is my 2 cents take with a grain of salt.

I agree. There were certain things I liked about the honeycomb but it just wasn't a very fluid os. I exchanged it for the iPad 2 even though my screen and camera was better with the droid tablet. Droid tablet even had the hdmi out and micro sd card but the operating system with the iPad won out in the end. It's just better.

It's first worldwide available android 3 tablet. Seems to be popular. But android 3 itself isn't. There are just two device on world market - acer iconia tab and asus eee pad transformer. So iOS still in leading positions.

Anyway, personally disappointed with Android 3. It's still phone OS, like iOS, with improved UI. It lacks of many fundamental PC OS features - no wide range system API, no DDK, no printing subsystem, no any good IDE, no authorization etc etc etc

I'll wait for Windows 8 and Android 4.

Meh... it's ok. I mean the UI is pretty boring and spaced out. Plus, it just looks all junky and unorganized with all those apps, websites,and widgets just thrown on there.

Microsoft Expert said,
Meh... it's ok. I mean the UI is pretty boring and spaced out. Plus, it just looks all junky and unorganized with all those apps, websites,and widgets just thrown on there.

Don't like the widgets, apps, and other crap on the screen, you can easily remove them. Silly things to dislike a product about.

Congratulations, you won the most useless comment of the day. I mean seriously, if you don't know about this product (or OS) don't comment on it. You have 5 Home Screens which you can add widgets, shortcut to apps and custom shortcuts. This functionality is all straight out of the box. No rooting or installation of custom launcher required.

techbeck said,

Don't like the widgets, apps, and other crap on the screen, you can easily remove them.

How about that enormous bezel? Can you remove that? I'll bet if you calculated the area of the bezel it could cover well over 1/3 of the screen, and maybe close to half.

Paradise Pete said,

How about that enormous bezel? Can you remove that? I'll bet if you calculated the area of the bezel it could cover well over 1/3 of the screen, and maybe close to half.

I really hope you're not an Apple fanboy...

UndergroundWire said,
Congratulations, you won the most useless comment of the day. I mean seriously, if you don't know about this product (or OS) don't comment on it. You have 5 Home Screens which you can add widgets, shortcut to apps and custom shortcuts. This functionality is all straight out of the box. No rooting or installation of custom launcher required.

Why the hell are you getting so mad over a ****ing opinion, stop getting all worked up over it. The real problem I have with it is it's so spaced out. And I'm not an Apple fanboy, Android fanboy, or any other. Just a regualr guy, giving an "OPINION."

Microsoft Expert said,
The real problem I have with it is it's so spaced out.

You're right, those icons are so spaced out. You cannot change, replace or delete them. They're there forever, being spaced out.

Microsoft Expert said,
The real problem I have with it is it's so spaced out.

That's so true, they're so spaced out. You can't even change, move or delete them! They're just there forever, being so spaced out!

Microsoft Expert said,

Why the hell are you getting so mad over a ****ing opinion, stop getting all worked up over it. The real problem I have with it is it's so spaced out. And I'm not an Apple fanboy, Android fanboy, or any other. Just a regualr guy, giving an "OPINION."

So what would look better oh wise one?

I agree. I took my Asus Transformer back and got the iPad 2 instead. Much more fluid os.

Microsoft Expert said,
Meh... it's ok. I mean the UI is pretty boring and spaced out. Plus, it just looks all junky and unorganized with all those apps, websites,and widgets just thrown on there.

Boyd Petersen said,
I agree. I took my Asus Transformer back and got the iPad 2 instead. Much more fluid os.

How can you agree with this statement when the iPad can't even do Widgets and it basically doesn't have home screen; you're just organizing the App Drawer?

You can only get credit for "much more fluid OS" statement other than that you're sill for agreeing with that statement.

Should I post the pretty pictures to illustrate my point? I do have a Honeycomb Tablet and an iPad 2 to do this.