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The Acer Iconia Tab A500

Seems like this summer, tablet computers are all the rage. We've got another recently released product to look at today, this one made by Acer. The Iconia Tab A500 hit the markets this past week at a very reasonable price. It's only $450.00, a full fifty less than the starting price of the Ipad 2. 

But what exactly does that $450.00 get you? Let's find out, shall we? 

The Look

Acer's recently released Tab A500 looks pretty near identical to the preview models that Acer was flashing around a full five months ago. Still, that might not necessarily be such a bad thing. Truth be told, I kind of like how the Tab A500 looks. There's something doubtlessly endearing about the product's appearance, although I can't quite put my finger on it. Could be the fact that it looks a touch retro,and is ergonomically fashioned on top of that- everything's in the right place, as it were. (PC World)

Unfortunately, if you're looking for a computer that redefines the word 'compact', you might be best served looking elsewhere. Though a lot of people probably won't notice the difference, the Iconia Tab A500 has a bit of extra junk in the trunk, measuring at 10.2x0.7x0.5 inches, with a weight of around 1.7 pounds.  (LapTop) The screen's a 10.1 inch, 1280x800 resolution LCD panel. While the picture on the display is completely awesome, there's been some reports of glare as well as a tendency to hang on to oil from fingerprints.(Engadget) There's also the fact that the maximum brightness just doesn't seem bright enough, a problem which is most definitely agitated by the aforementioned sheen of the screen. (Mobile Tech Review)

Aside from those minor quips, though, the aesthetics of the A500 are right solid. But how does it perform otherwise? 

The Specs

Technical specifications for the Acer Iconia Tab A500 are as follows(Specs from LapTop and PhoneArena): 

  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS
  •  16 GB Flash Memory
  • Nvidia Tegra 2 Dual Core Processor (1 GHz clock speed)
  • 5 MP Rear Camera/2MP Front Camera
  • 1 GB RAM
  • microSD(64 GB maximum size), USB 2.0, microHDMI, microUSB
  • Nvidia Geforce Graphics Chip
  • 6.9 Hours Maximum Battery Life

The only real problem I'm seeing here is with the battery life. It's...a touch abysmal, isn't it? Compared to a lot of other tablets on the market, the Acer Iconia Tab A500's battery is an utter weakling. That's a shame, too, considering everything else about the tablet is actually pretty decent. Some of you are probably wondering what the big deal is.

Given the fact that a lot of tablets seem to share very similar technical specifications, it seems pretty likely that bettery strength becomes one of the selling points of a tablet. Granted, it might not make or break a sale, but the fact that the A500-released as a direct competitor to the Motorola Xoom- can't stand up to the Xoom in terms of battery strength...isn't going to do it any favours.

Still, the Iconia A500 is considerably faster than a lot of its competitors- perhaps part of the reason for the low battery life. Engadget's benchmark tests set the Iconia at the leader of the pack by a pretty considerable margin. And in terms of battery strength, it does beat out a few foes- namely the Dell Streak 7 and Samsung Galaxy. But at four and six hours, respectively...that's not really much of a victory. (Engadget)

Final Word

Truth be told...I like this tablet. It's reasonably priced, aesthetically pleasing, and on top of all that, it's not too shabby as far as raw power's concerned. True, it doesn't have a great many peripherals, and the battery life is rather sub-par, but just the same...it's a nice product, 

If it was released to compete with the Motorola Xoom, I'd hazard to say that it will take to that purpose very, very well. Otherwise, we've got to face facts- there's not a lot the Iconia has going for it to distinguish it from every other tablet out there-well, aside from the highly competitive price.  . I'm sure it'll do well in sales, but...it's not going to be king of the hill, by any stretch.

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 can be purchased from Acer's website