Iconia Tab A500 is one of the few tablets that run on Android 3.0 Honeycomb. The tablet comes in both 3G and WiFi only version with some good features.
Hardware and Looks
The Acer Iconia Tab A500 has a 10.1 inch touchscreen that offers 1280×800-pixel resolution.
On the front you will also see a 2 megapixel camera for video calling. However, on the front you won’t find any physical buttons.
The normal home and back buttons of any Android device are replaced by virtual buttons on screen. You can see the buttons in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
The advantage of this placement is that if you shuffle between portrait and landscape orientations, the buttons are always on the lower left-hand side of the display.
There’s another button at the lower left corner which gives access to all recently used apps.
On the back of the tablet you will see a 5 megapixel camera. The built quality of A500 gives a cheap feeling because they have mainly used plastic.
There is an orientation lock key and volume adjustment key on the top edge of the tablet. The device also features a Micro SD card slot, a SIM card slot, micro-USB port and micro-HDMI port.
On top of A500 is a headphone socket. The tablet is 13.3mm thick and weighs 765g. That means its 164g heavier than the iPad 2. The A500 runs on the Tegra 2 processor and has 1GB of RAM.
Display and Camera
The 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 TFT LCD of A500 is a visual delight. Another plus point of the display is its viewing angle.
You can position the tablet at any angle and still the readability remains very good. Though the readability reduces significantly under sun, it performs pretty well indoor conditions.
The 5 mega-pixel rear camera takes nice photos under a bright sky and front camera is just ok. But the main problem is that cameras lose the focus if you try to capture anything away from it and produces blurry images. Despite the 720p HD video capturing capability, the captured video quality is not good at all.
Software and Performance
Acer’s Iconia Tab A500 runs on Android 3.0, a specially customized OS for the tablets and it certainly works like a breeze.
A500 features a great browser with Flash support. You can open multiple tabs and multi-task. The Honeycomb on screen keyboard is a delight. It supports multi-touch, so you can touch type.
You can also hold down the shift key or number key to get quick access to certain characters. The Gmail client, music player, calendar, photo browser, chat and maps application works brilliantly.
The apps in the Android Market for the Honeycomb devices are not so many and Google should look into this matter as the common Android apps can not utilize the screen space of the tablets. The tablet runs on pair of 3260mAh batteries and offers almost 7 hours of battery life.
The overall performance of Iconia Tab A500 is good. But there are some negative points too. It’s a very heavy tablet, battery life is little poor, and compared to some tablets its price is bit high.
While ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is priced at $400 with almost the same facilities, A500 is priced at $450.