Acer ICONIA TAB A500 Review

Introduction and Design

Are you curious about all the fanfare surrounding Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets, but you’re seemingly hesitant about picking one up since the current selections are just too exorbitantly priced for you? Well, you might find the Acer ICONIA TAB A500 especially gratifying since its starting price of $449.99 is by far its most attractive offering – and at the same time, it won’t bite you much in the wallet compared to the competition. In addition to packing along all of the lovely wonders that the tablet optimized platform has to offer, there are still some impressive things that make it a reasonable contemporary offering, which of course, makes it an equal contender to the other Honeycomb flavored tablets available on the market. Can this truly be the one that will proliferate Honeycomb to the masses?

The package contains:

  • Acer ICONIA TAB A500
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Micro-fiber cleaning cloth
  • Quick Guide
  • Product Safety Brochure


Despite sharing the same display size as the Motorola XOOM, the Acer ICONIA TAB A500 is  noticeably larger, bulkier, and heavier (25.75 oz) to hold in the hands – thus, coming across as being rather cumbersome. In terms of design, it’s neither boring or eye catching with its pointed tapered edges, but rather, it manages to trick the eye by making it appear as though that it’s streamlined. We obviously adore seeing it utilizing a brushed aluminum exterior, although it only provides a subtle sense of durability – it's noticeable that its quality is not on par to premium tablets like the iPad 2.

Matching the size of the Motorola XOOM’s display, its 10.1”WXGA (1280 x 800) capacitive touchscreen is very sharp looking and produces some iridescent looking colors; despite its support for 262k colors only. In fact, it rivals the one used by the XOOM, but its brightness output appears to be slightly stronger. Combining that with its acceptable viewing angles, colors maintain their appearance in almost all angles, which in turn, allow it to be visible in outdoor conditions. However, the display isn’t as sturdy as we’d like because two scratches soon appeared on the surface after some use – making it seem as though it’s more susceptible to scratching. Strangely, there might be some sort of bug with it because we experienced seeing the display randomly turning at various interval when it’s completely off.

Peeking at the left edge, we find its microHDMI port, 3.5mm headset jack, and a reasonably sized dedicated power button that has some good feedback to it. Oppositely on the right side, you’ll locate its proprietary power port, microUSB port for data connection, manual reset button, and a standard USB port. Interestingly enough, you can connect a flash drive to it for additional storage, or simply use it to charge other devices – like your handset.

Meanwhile, the orientation lock and volume rocker are all positioned on the top edge of the tablet. Even though the chrome accent of the volume rocker looks nice, we’re not fans of its stiff feel. Additionally, there is a plastic flap that can be removed to access its working microSD card slot, and an empty space that would be used for the SIM card slot. Conversely, the only thing found on the bottom side is a dock port – albeit, there is no mention as to what exact accessories would use it.

Near the upper left corner of its display, there’s a 2-megapixel front-facing camera positioned in the bezel surrounding the display that’s used for video chatting and self-portraits. Turning to its rear, you’ll locate its 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, that’s primarily your go to thing for shooting photos and videos. Finally, the tablet has stereo audio support thanks to its left and right speakers.

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