Acer Iconia Tab A500 review

  • £449
  • $449

Bulkier Android tablet has muscle and new software tweaks

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acer iconia tab a500

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 uses a fairly typical 10.1-inch touchscreen that looks bright and clear. The initial reaction to the screen might not be "wow, that's amazingly bright". However, it mostly functions as you'd expect and doesn't lessen or improve the Android 3.0 experience compared to the Asus Eee Pad Transformer or Motorola Xoom.

Also like the Xoom, the Iconia Tab A500 screen tends to get grime-covered after several hours of usage. The iPad 2 uses a similar grime-reducing coating as the iPhone 4 and tends to look less smudged. It's not such a serious problem on the Iconia Tab A500 that the device becomes unusable, however.

acer iconia tab a500

We were unable to test it in time, but there's a dock available for the Acer Iconia Tab A500, which costs £60. The dock charges the Acer Iconia Tab A500 and has an external 3.5mm port for connecting speakers. There's also a remote for advancing through music tracks or to the next scene in a movie. As an add-on, the docking station is a good way to view videos or photo galleries on the screen while the tablet charges.

Another important note about the Iconia Tab A500 screen is that it tends to represent colours a hair better than the Motorola Xoom. In several tests with the built-in camera, shots looked more accurate to the physical object. For example, the dark burgundy of a photo frame looked more realistic on the Acer Iconia Tab A500.

The BlackBerry PlayBook revealed some shortcomings on Android 3.0 devices, namely that you can use the side bezel on that tablet to control parts of the interface. Until Apple leads the industry again with a full side-to-side display (presumably on the iPhone 5), the bezel on most tablets is just there for looks. On the Acer Iconia Tab A500 it's slightly wider, but that makes the device a bit easier to grasp.

One other gripe: in some lighting conditions, the Iconia Tab A500 shows a slight dot pattern on the screen. This wasn't an issue in everyday use, though, and might only be noticeable in bright sunlight.

Speaking of sunny days, the Iconia Tab A500 also has a surprisingly glare-prone screen. In one test with the built-in rear-facing camera, the glare was so harsh we couldn't even see the screen to take a photo.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
HDMIYes
Product FamilyICONIA TAB A
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Processor Model250
ColourSilver
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameAcer
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeTegra 2
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Number of Cells2-cell
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)765 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height13.3 mm
Width177 mm
Depth260 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesA
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelA500
Product NameICONIA TAB A500 Picasso Tablet Computer
Product LineICONIA TAB
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberXE.H6LEN.005
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

Smaller than a magazine, the ICONIA TAB A Series sports a 10.1" widescreen display with customizable folders that open new possibilities for interaction. It runs on the new tablet-tailored Android™ 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system, weighs just 1.7 lbs. and is 0.52" thin, so it's easy to use and great for carrying. Enjoy a whole new touch experience!

Strikingly powerful

Encased in the smooth and handsome aluminum unibody chassis is an NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 dual-core mobile processor and GeForce® GPU, putting striking power and graphics in your hands, while ample RAM enables fast multitasking. The multitouch screen and fluid interface make using this tablet a breeze. And use it your way: Hold the ICONIA TAB in any direction and it'll auto-rotate to your perspective. Use it for a long time too, with up to 8 hours of HD video playback.

Package Contents
  • ICONIA TAB A500 Picasso Tablet Computer
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adapter