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Acer Iconia Tab A500 review

Seth Barton
18 May 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
436
inc VAT

A decent tablet, but its weight and average display mean there are better options available at this price.

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Specifications

10.1 in 1,280x800 display, 765g, 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 250, 1.00GB RAM, 32GB disk, Android 3.0

Updated 24/05 with battery life scores

Acer's Iconia Tab A500 was just one among many contenders to Apple's tablet crown at Mobile World Congress back in January. Some, such as the much-hyped Motorola Xoom, failed to impress, and even the excellent Asus Eee pad Transformer couldn't manage to topple the mighty Apple iPad 2. So does the A500 stand a chance?

The first thing you'll probably notice is the price. We have to say we're surprised that a company like Acer, which is best known for its competitively priced laptops, has chosen to go head-to-head with Apple on pricing. If you shop about, you can pick up the A500 for £436, compared to £479 for an equivalent 32GB iPad. It's not a big saving, especially when you consider that an Acer laptop often costs a fraction of the price of a MacBook.

Acer Iconia Tab A500

That said, Acer hasn't cut many corners when it comes to the A500's design. OK, so its chassis isn't aluminium, but it still feels very sturdy and looks rather smart. The silver-grey back, numerous handy ports and obvious camera and speaker placement give it a more functional-looking design than the minimalist iPad 2.

Its high-tech appearance chimes well with the Android operating system's own sci-fi stylings. Acer has, wisely, done very little to the standard Honeycomb 3.0 installation. The background honeycomb comes in green by default to match Acer's logo, and there's a smattering of extra shortcuts on the main page, which link to additional home pages of apps labelled GameZone, Multimedia, Social and eReading. All the shortcuts can be deleted in the usual way and the additional pages of shortcuts seem unnecessary.

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