Acer Iconia Tab A500 review

Bulkier Android tablet has muscle and new software tweaks

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acer iconia tab a500

The 5MP camera on the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is serviceable enough. It's easy to use and snaps clear photos. One gripe is that there's a delay between when you focus on a subject and when the photo actually snaps – the focus only works when you release the shutter. This isn't quite as annoying as the BlackBerry PlayBook, which makes a chime only after the photo snaps.

acer iconia tab a500
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The camera app provides the typical features for Android 3.0 – you can use a polarise setting and make all photos look black and white.

acer iconia tab a500
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One unique offering on the Iconia Tab A500 is that you can set a time-lapse for the video cam setting which makes your movies look like they're deliberately stuttering. In our tests, these videos didn't really work right and just had excessive stuttering during playback. They're supposed to look like stop-motion films where the camera snaps a photo at regular intervals.

acer iconia tab a500
See full-res sample

For video quality, you can select up to 720p as the highest level. There's also a low quality setting for smaller files and a YouTube formatted video option. In 720p, videos looked clear but lacked a colour depth we'd expect for HD videos. Also, on one test machine – a Lenovo ThinkCentre M – the videos played with some stuttering. Once formatted for the Web on Picasa, they looked smooth.

acer iconia tab video

Acer plans to update the Iconia Tab A500 this year so that you can record and play 1080p videos.

The Iconia Tab A500's front-facing camera, at 2MP, is less usable on this tablet, since there's no built-in video conferencing app like the iPad 2's FaceTime. Instead, the only app we found that even supports video chats is Adobe Connect Mobile, but the app didn't recognise the video camera on the Iconia Tab A500, which was also a problem on the BlackBerry PlayBook.

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