Acer Iconia Tab A500 review

Bulkier Android tablet has muscle and new software tweaks

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acer iconia tab a500

Overall usability on the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is good, but not as high as competing devices. Part of the problem is button placement – the Motorola Xoom power button on the back, as we mentioned, is a bit odd to use at first but it's easy to find, even in a dark room.

The iPad 2 buttons are arranged in a way that, if you're holding the device the wrong way, you can still figure out how to find them. But on the Iconia Tab A500, the buttons are sometimes hard to find and, if you're holding the device upside-down, can cause confusion.

acer iconia tab a500

Another issue with the Iconia Tab A500 is that it feels bulky. Some users might find that appealing – a little heft means you'll be less likely to drop the device. If you do, it might withstand the drop. Yet, both the Apple iPad 2 and Motorola Xoom felt svelter in the hand and more portable. This is all perception: the Xoom and Iconia Tab A500 weigh exactly the same, with the same screen size, but the Iconia Tab A500 has a wider footprint.

One highlight in using the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is the browser. Like the Xoom, sites pull up quickly and run in Adobe Flash 10.1 without any problems. Most sites work correctly, but Hulu, for some reason, still sees Android 3.0 tablets as smartphones so blocks access and shows an error message.

acer iconia tab a500

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 has a few other minor issues. One is that the power cable is abnormally short, so you won't be able to charge it on a desk unless there's an outlet within arm's reach.

Battery life on the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is just average for an Android device – about seven hours in our typical everyday-usage test. Some reports indicate a battery life that's longer – up to nine hours – and much shorter – only six hours. The issue is that the battery life depends greatly on how you consume media.

acer iconia tab a500

If you play movies and listen to music, you can expect a six hour usage time. If you turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, connecting only as needed, use mostly light apps for note-taking and business work, then you can expect a nine hour battery life or even more. What we found is that the Iconia Tab A500 doesn't last as long as the Motorola Xoom or the Apple iPad 2 in everyday usage, and we ended up being annoyed at having to re-charge at midday.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
Wireless LANYes
Product FamilyICONIA TAB A
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Processor Model250
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
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 Address
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