Review: Acer Iconia A500

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Here is the Acer Iconia A500 tablet computer running the brand new version of Android, Honeycomb. This version of Android has been optimised for tablet’s and it has really shown.

The Iconia features an NVIDIA processor, plenty of RAM and plenty of internal storage. Check out the full review of this tablet after the break.

  • Score:

    7.5 / 10

  • The Good:

    Fast, lots of RAM, Host USB Port

  • The Bad:

    Moderate Battery Life, a little heavy, screen terrible in sunlight

  • Bottom Line:

    Great tablet for browsing the web and playing games.

Hardware and Performance

The Iconia features a NVIDIA Tegra 250 processor which has a dual core 1GHz speed, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 16GB or 32GB of inbuilt flash memory,¬†10.1in capacitive touchscreen with a 1280×800 resolution, a MicroSD port for additional memory and a full sized USB port for additional storage. Additional features include 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1,¬†Rear 5.0 MP Auto-Focus camera (with LED flash and 720p recording) and a front 2.0 MP camera for video conferencing.

The screen is great when being not being viewed in direct sunlight. The colours on the screen are vivid and the screen is bright when turned up. However, we did see some problems when trying to use the tablet outside in direct sunlight. It was extremely hard to see even with the brightness turned up. We where disappointed by this but know many tablets experience the same problem.

The Iconia has a built-in battery with up to 10 hours of life, however, we didn’t experience this when using the tablet. We tried using the tablet is a variety of situations including normal daily use and constant use. During the daily commute to and from home we did some general web browsing (twitter, news etc) and played some short games, it was connected to a Mobile WiFi hotspot and it lasted for 2 days. While this is a good result, when using the tablet constantly playing games, browsing internet, listening to music and watching videos, the battery drained quickly, however it did last for 7 hours before needing a recharge.

Opening applications and games was speedy and responsive. Additionally, having multiple applications open in the background also didn’t see the tablet slowing down in any way. Browsing the internet was also fast and we also tested Flash (something the iOS devices don’t have) and it was extremely responsive.

Features

While we won’t go in depth about Android Honeycomb 3.0, we will note that the new Tablet optimised operating system is a huge improvement over the previous versions of Android. Some features include, the action bar showing open applications, time and WiFi/3G information, tabbed Web Browsing, five customisable home screens with Widgets, an optimised on screen keyboard and improved copy and paste support.

The new Web Browser is fantastic and a huge improvement over the older version. The entire browsing experience is comparable to a desktop or laptop using Google Chrome/Mozilla Firefox and makes the experience better. However, some websites such as Facebook will revert to the mobile versions of the site on the Iconia – sometimes a quick fix by clicking on Full Website.

Conclusion

The Acer Iconia A500 is a great tablet for browsing the web and playing games, with moderate battery life and a fast processor. We recommend this tablet if you are looking for one, however, there are some better alternatives out there.