Acer Iconia - Android Tablet

Acer Throws a Hat in Tablet Ring

April 9, 2011

Tablets are being made by everyone it seems and this article is about Acer's entry into this already crowded field. As of the writing of this article the tablet is available as a pre-order only and then only at BestBuy. I'm not wild about single source vendors, though I'm certain there will be a host of cellular providers that have their hands on this soon.

Also, only one model seems to be available with the and that with the 16GB memory option. I'd like to see a 32GB and 64GB offering before I can call this an iPad2 competitor.

Though Acer is calling it the Iconia the model number is A500. The tablet will run the latest version of Android (Honeycomb) and will have a 10.1" (diagonal) screen.


Iconia A500
Iconia A500 | Source

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Iconia BackIconia bottomIconia topIconia right side
Iconia Back
Iconia Back | Source
Iconia bottom
Iconia bottom | Source
Iconia top
Iconia top | Source
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Iconia right side
Iconia right side | Source

Iconia Specifics

The Iconia 16GB (the only model offered) is priced roughly fifty dollars less than a similarly equipped iPad 2. This is not a huge price differential, but is certainly there directly challenge the iPad 2 on its "home turf."

This tablet features wireless LAN for connecting to the Internet without wires and a microSD card slot for storing or transferring media (card not included). The 2.0MP webcam allows you to video chat with family and friends.

What's Included

The Iconia (A500) has a 10.1" diagonal display, 16GB of storage and runs on the nVidia Tegra 250 processor. It is powered by a Lithium Ion polymer battery (for long battery life), comes with an AC adapter/recharger, USB cable, dust bag, and owners manual.

Processor
The processor is highly functional and highly acclaimed nVidia Tegra 250; a dual core processor running at 1.0GHz clock speed. This is quite fast for a tablet computer.

Memory
The Iconia comes with 1GB of DDR2 Random Access Memory.

Screen
This is a WXGA high definition capacitive touch screen. The resolution is 1280 x 800 and it has a 16:10 aspect ratio. The Iconia will play back videos and movies at 720p high definition.

Storage
This tablet comes with sixteen (16GB) of storage space in flash memory.

Graphics
Naturally the nVidia processor is complemented by an nVidia graphics processing unit (GPU). The GeForce chip will drive images to the tablet screen (720p) or out to a High Definition television (1080p) via a microHDMI port.

Cameras
The front facing camera is a 2MegaPixel for video chat. The rear-facing a 5MegaPixel camera for high-definition 1080p video recording. Both cameras are auto-focus with the rear-facing augmented with a white LED for low light conditions.

External Storage
The Iconia also supports microSD cards for up to 32GB of storage.

Input/Output
The Iconia supports USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n wireless and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. The unit also has an accelerometer, compass, light sensor (ambient) and gryometer as well as a speaker, headphone jack and microphone.

Dimensions and Weight
The Iconia weighs one point seven (1.7lb) pounds and is half an inch thick. It is about four ounces heavier than the similarly equipped iPad 2.

see the table below for full specifications

Feature
Specification
Display
4:3 aspect 10.1" diagonal display
Graphics
1280 X 800 (XVGA)
Processor
nVidia Tegra 250
Storage
16GB Solid State Memory
Wireless
802.11(a,b,g,n) / Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Cellular
3G - To be Announced
OS
Android Honeycomb (3.0)
Battery
Lithium Ion Polymer (unknown Watthour)
Weight
1.7 pounds (771 grams)
Dimensions
10.2" X 7.0" X 0.5" (25.9 X 17.8 X 1.3 cm)
Sensors
Accelerometer
 
Digital Compass
 
Gryoscope
 
GPS (3G only)
Input/Output
Cellular (data only)
 
Docking Connector
 
3.5 mm headphone jack
 
built-in speaker (one)
 
microphone

Wrapping Up

Acer has a pretty good reputation for manufacturing clones of popular products and beating competitors on price. The Iconia is a good example of that. It matches the iPad & iPad2 in many features and surpasses it on some for fifty dollars less.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about this tablet offering, beside the blistering fast processor, is the adoption of Google's latest version of Android Honeycomb. With the wealth of applications available to Android, many of them free, this tablet stands a chance of being fair competition to Apple in the tablet market.

However, the price-point of $449.00 seems a bit week. I'd like to see a competing tablet offered for $100 less than Apple's nearly ubiquitous iPad2.

Additionally, the Iconia is supposed to support 3G, but a list of providers has not been given, nor is there a price given for this particular flavor of the Iconia. Also, there seems to be only the one 16GB model. I would like to see a 32GB and 64GB as well.

Not naming the potential wireless providers seems short-sighted and a bit deceptive. I certainly would not buy a tablet of phone without knowing which carrier I'll need to pay for services through.

Verdict
Without knowing more I'd wait and see who will provide what before saving $50.00.

Disclaimer

The author was not compensated in any way, either monetarily, with discounts, or freebies by any of the companies mentioned.

Though the author does make a small profit for the word count of this article none of that comes directly from the manufacturers mentioned. The author also stands to make a small profit from advertising attached to this article.

The author has no control over either the advertising or the contents of those ads.

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