Acer ICONIA TAB A500 Review

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.



1. JaimeCarlos

Posts: 25; Member since: Feb 17, 2011

I prefer the Asus Eeep Pad Transformer much more... + More elegant + Hdmi! + Better camera + Better 720p video record + Keyboard + Better Price

2. urdaddi

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 27, 2010

Yeah...and not available anywhere.

6. GeorgeT unregistered

But no usb onboard!

9. ernstk unregistered

@JaimeCarlos Iconia has hdmi and is plenty elegant. And better price and keyboard on the Transformer are mutually exclusive, as the keyboard is extra and bundled it would cost far more. Iconia is getting a Bluetooth keyboard as well, but this is neither here nor there as it's a tablet, not a net book. I'm sure the Transformer is a great tablet as well, but I've yet to see one in store. It's clear though that when you wrote this comment you haven't had your hands on either of these.

3. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

So this begs the question then. What do you choose if you have the choice of WiFi only versions of the Xoom, Tab 10.1, or this? Despite the measly 16GB of internal storage, I'm thinking this is the best choice out of the group because it has a USB port AND microSD expansion.

4. urdaddi

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 27, 2010

Looking at this Acer Tab right next to the Xoom at Best Buy....I could not see a difference.....and I tested them pretty good to the point I was irritating the sales people by being there for so long. In my opinion, the Xoom has 2 problems off the bat : 1) no current working SD slot & 2) price. Additionally, I got a Droid X on it's launch date and soon found out that Motorala was slow to get updates out and just absolutely horrible with communicating with it's customers. So I opted for the Acer Tab. I have not regretted it yet. I am finding it to be a very good deal for what I paid for it. You can more or less comensate for a smaller internal memory with the ability to use USB drives and SD cards.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Tablets are still extremely new, a lot of patches need to be made before I will consider spending more money than my freaking rent is.

7. tnfsmith unregistered

I would refer you take this tablet

8. imchillyb unregistered

I picked up this tablet from St***es and I've had it for a couple of days now. I love this chunky beast. I consistently get 8+ hours of heavy use out of it. That is with auto brightness on, The live wallpaper Shadow Galaxy running, WiFi chugging away, and a mountain of games and media streaming apps thrown at it. The USB drive was nice for me as that's how we backup our data at work. I have a couple year old Mi*****ft bluetooth mobile keyboard 6000 that paired with it flawlessly. I found it a pleasure to have the full screen tablet experience while retaining a mostly full size keyboard. It was well worth the $450 pricetag imo. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. I'll answer all I can.

10. Howlingwolfuk unregistered

Is the American version different too the uk one as i just bought one of these and the internal storage is 32g not 16g as quoted here

11. Bigdog4au unregistered

E-bay has these for 379. with free shipping now

12. ÜI unregistered

hello to all the people who have bought this product...I just like to ask you if the 3g version of this tablet has SMS functionality?

14. J unregistered

I have one of these and definately worth it for the price

15. Iconia A500 Battery Charging I unregistered

Oct. 6, 2011 After about a week of using my new Acer Iconia A500 the unit developed an issue where the battery would not charge. This was an intermitent trouble whereby at times the unit would charge the battery for a few seconds or maybe a couple of minutes before stopping the recharging process. I used multiple power adapters with the same results from each. I performed a factory reset and a hard reset on the unit but, the resets did not correct the issue. I contacted Acer Support and sent the unit in for repair. I received the A500 back from the repair facility 8 days later still with the battery charging issue. They returned it to me without repairing or correcting the issue. I contacted Acer Support this morning and again returned the A500 for repair. After searching some of the Acer A500 forums, I found that other users were experiencing the same issues with their A500 tablets. If the power adapter is connected the battery status indicator indicates 'Discharging' but, the battery percentage stays the same. When the power adapter is removed, the battery percentage indicator begins to decline. When the power adapter is connected, the A500 battery does not charge. Based on my experiences with this product and the Acer Repair Service, I would not purchase an Acer Iconia A500 again and I would not reccomend this product. Acer Service/Support has not offered to replace my defective A500.

16. Carlos B unregistered

I bought this one a few months ago from Best Buy. To decide which one I would use, I compared this one to the ASUS Transformer and a Toshiba also available at that time at the store, and finally I decided to buy this one with the corresponding leather sleeve and screen protector. I don't regret my decision! This thing's really cool! It has a very neat look, it has a very good performance and it's practical. I know it can be bulky or heavier compared to other tablets, but to tell you the truth I don't even feel it when I'm carrying it in my backpack everywhere I go. I also have to tell that the MIcro SD and USB port options are great additions since they allow me to share data fast and easy, without worrying about additional cables, or wireless connections, and all that stuff. I just had a problem connecting it to my Nokia N8 to use my data services on the tablet, because Nokia uses Symbian^3 OS and it cannot create real wifi hotspots (even using Joiku). However, I got my Nokia stolen a few days ago and since then I bought a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, powered with Android. I didn't have to do anything, just activate the hotspot option on my cell phone and now my tablet is working great anywhere. I really recommend it. In fact I would also say the aluminum back cover gives it a bit disctintion and style, I like it.
  • Display 10.1" 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 2 MP front
  • Storage 16GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 3260 mAh

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