When the word ‘Acer’ comes to mind, most of us think about their wide and much-worthy range of computers and laptops. Very few people know about Acer Tablets and they are clearly missing out on some of the best Android Honeycomb devices.
Android Honeycomb is specifically designed for gadgets that have a larger screen size. It allows you to use contact and email applications in dual-pane UI, the gallery can be viewed in full-screen mode, and the browser has an incognito mode, bookmarks, and allows you to use several tabs at once. Furthermore, it has an easy-to-use keyboard and personalized home screens of up to five.
With a 10.1-inch touchscreen, the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is one of the best budget-friendly options for you. It weighs only 1.16 pounds and will easily fit in your bag.
It has a rear as well as front camera, stereo speakers, and Gyro, Accelerometer, and Proximity Sensors. Whether you want it for your studies or daily use, the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is worth considering.
Having dimensions of 10.24×6.97×0.52 inches, the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is easy to hold and use. However, it is bulkier than many of its rivals. The bright side of its thick prototype is that it will not get damaged easily. With its aluminum back, the device can survive a few accidental bumps and drops.
The LCD touch screen has 256K colors and provides a resolution of 800×1280 pixels. It offers great colors that are bright, vibrant, and sharp. Though at some angles the display might look a little faded, that only happens when you view it at a tilted angle.
On the other hand, we did not like how the screen picks up a high amount of fingerprint smudges. To solve this problem, a cleaning cloth comes with the package that does its best to remove all the oily streaks.
Though the tablet has Android Version 3.0, it can be upgraded up to 4.0. It is based on the NVIDIA Tegra 2 T20 chipset which is equipped with a 32-bit processor and has two cores.
To provide better graphics, the chipset uses a ULP GeForce graphics processor whereas the CPU is a dual-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A9.
The speakers are present at the bottom two corners on the back of the unit. This blocks out the sound when you are holding it in landscape mode, but it is not a major issue.
The A500 is Wi-Fi enabled and has a Bluetooth version of 2.1. The battery is a Lithium Polymer 3260 mAh that has a standby time of approximately 200 hours (which is 8.3 days)! Some of its other features are Abode Flash, HTML, MP3/WMA/WAV/Eaac+ player, a document viewer, and predictive text input.
The device also has an HDMI port on the left side that lets you play 1080p videos and pictures on your HD Television. The 3.5mm headphone jack is on the same side. On the right side, you will find a normal-sized USB port and Micro USB ports.
On the top side, beside the power button, there is a port cover that hides a microSD card slot, a rigid volume rocker, a rotation lock switch, and a taped-over slot for a SIM card. Last but not least, you get a USB cable and charger with the Acer Iconia Tab A500.
In landscape mode, the left and right edges curve inward, which makes holding the device very comfortable and easy. A glowing power button is present on the left edge of the tablet.
The unit gives you a UI add-on that helps you to categorize different applications on different screens according to your preference; however, the limit of screens is five.
Camera quality is fine, given the fact that this device was released in 2011. The auto-focus is mediocre and image quality is average. You will notice a lot of grain and color aberration. Video is about the same; it does not adjust well to the white balance. But as far as Android cameras go, the front camera gives good performance if you are taking self-portraits or making video calls.
However, if there is one thing we did not really like about the camera, it was its placement. Since it is near the edge, it will get finger smudges quite frequently. So, if you want a good picture, clean the camera before capturing a shot.
The sound output of the device is quite good, considering the model and the price range. It can be used with Dolby’s audio software which enhances the quality of the playback. If you use the standard settings that do not have Dolby, you will hear sharp, almost harsh, sound output. We suggest that you tweak up the Dolby settings to get the best stereo quality.
Another con of the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is its inability to play videos with larger HD resolution and size. Upon testing its limit, we found out that it can play mp4 videos less than 100MB flawlessly.
If you play any video above the size of 10GB, it will fail to load. We were let down by this because its HD screen and HDMI output will not benefit us as much.
Above, we talked about the battery life in general terms. We tried to evaluate the battery life of the device by playing different videos and internet browsing. In the former experiment, the tablet lasted for eight whole hours of HD streaming whereas, in the latter experiment, the battery lasted for 10 hours!
This is pretty impressive and will be perfect for people who want a fast-working device that gives you all of the basic operational features.
Does the Acer Iconia Tab Compete?
There are two main rivals of the tab: the Motorola Xoom MZ606 and the iPad 2. In the following table, we have rounded up seven main features that we think you should evaluate before you invest in any tablet.
You can see that the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is similar to the Motorola Xoom MZ606. The major difference between the two tablets is the display. While the Iconia Tab A500 has an LCD, the MZ606 has a TFT.
The differences between the Iconia A500 and the iPad 2 are more distinct. They lie in network technology, resolution, operating system, and the camera.
|Acer Iconia Tab A500||Motorola Xoom MZ606||iPad 2|
|Network Technology||No Cellular Connectivity||No Cellular Connectivity||GSM/ HSPA|
|Resolution||800×1280 pixels||800×1280 pixels||768×1024 pixels|
|Operating System||Android 3.0 |
Can be upgraded to 4.0
|Android 3.0 |
Can be upgraded to 4.0.4
|iOS 4 |
Can be upgraded to iOS 9.3.5
|CPU||Dual-core 1.0GHz Cortex-A9||Cortex-A9 Dual-core 1.0GHz||Dual-core 1.0GHz Cortex-A9|
|Weight||1.61 lbs||1.61 lbs||1.34 lbs|
Final Thoughts on the Acer Iconia Tab A500
The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is one of the very first tablets to have Android Honeycomb. It is small, powerful, affordable, and portable. Although it has a few flaws, it is the perfect device for anyone who is looking for a fast-operating tablet that can do daily tasks easily.
The Acer Iconia Tab A500 has the best prototype among its competitors. It has a rugged design and is a bit bulkier than normal. Though we do not get why they made it so thick, it does have its perks, since the device can endure a few unintentional knocks. Furthermore, it has a wider footprint which gives you an excellent grip on the device.