Acer Iconia Tab A500 review

Bulkier Android tablet has muscle and new software tweaks

TODO alt text

acer iconia tab a500

The screen clarity on the Acer Iconia Tab A500 makes it a good choice for media, and the fact that this model came out well after the Motorola Xoom means that Acer benefits from a slightly more mature Android 3.0.1 operating system. Still, like the Xoom, movie playback is a bit laggy at times. When testing the film Fair Game, playback chugged along slightly during scenes shot over a skyline.

acer iconia tab a500

For music playback, there's a new player in town. The Music app now supports Google Music, and while some have called the cloud portal yet another Napster clone, it's perfectly suited to Android 3.0. Once you load all of your music on the service from the desktop, you can then play songs without having to download them on any Android device. (Google: give us local download from the site.)

acer iconia tab a500

Photo playback on the Iconia Tab A500 looks clear, and pictures flowed smoothly in slideshow mode, both from the gallery app and when using the built-in browser and viewing a Picasa photo album.

One of the most important things against the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is that there's no way to rent or purchase videos. When we reviewed the Motorola Xoom, we had the same fault, although some noted that you can consume media fairly easily through the browser. The problem is that, if you salivate over the latest blockbuster release every Tuesday, you're more interested in rentals that are reliable (and cheap).

acer iconia tab a500

The Motorola Xoom recently added a new service for renting movies, and the Samsung tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1V provide a similar feature. We expect Acer to follow suit as well, but for now you have to load your own on the Iconia Tab A500.

The Clear.Fi service we mentioned does help you set up a streaming network, but that doesn't help in those situations where you're unplugged from everything and riding on a bus somewhere.

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