Acer Iconia Tab A500 Review: Not Good Enough to Compete with iPad
The quest for a good Android alternative to the iPad led me to the Acer Iconia Tab A500. The comparable size and lower price tag of $449 made this a compelling option. I really wanted to like it, but despite some compelling traits I cannot recommend it because of frustrating weaknesses.
Since Apple is so far ahead of the competition, many of us believe that tablet makers can’t compete unless their product is either much cheaper or far better. The A500 is only $50 less, but is it far better? Sadly, no. It is a painful combination of the cool and not so cool.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Quick Specs
The large 16:9 form-factor 10.1″ display with a resolution of 1280×800 means this tablet has the potential to be a good multimedia tool. The NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor means it should have enough power to run whatever you want on a modern tablet.
1GB of system memory and 16GB of flash storage gives the Android system ample space. The micro-SD card slot can handle up to 32GB of additional storage for things like pictures, video and music files. The USB port makes adding a hard drive possible.
You can hook the tablet up to an external display or HDTV via an HDMI mini port. The Dolby Audio means you don’t have to compromise sound quality while watching a movie or playing songs.
The tablet is 10.2 inches wide, 7 inches along the short end and only a half an inch thick. At 1.7 lbs it is only slightly heavier than the iPad, although it feels chunkier.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Build and Design
The Acer Iconia Tab A500 looks different than the other 10-inch Android tablets, which look like clones of the iPad. Acer goes a slightly different direction with a wider bezel along the shorter edges of the tablet. I like this because you are going to be holding it landscape mode most of the time and there is a little more room for your fingers.
At the front two strips of dark gray housing run along the longer sides. They are rounded and go around to the back, which has a brushed aluminum look. The two shorter edges, flat on the sides, feel very smooth and comfortable as you hold it.
The A500 feels like a solid device, but you will notice that when you pinch it at the edges and corners it creaks a little. Build quality is not bad but not as solid as the iPad. Like a lot of Acer products it is mid-level quality.
The door for the micro-SD card feels flimsy. When I open it I am always concerned that I will break it off. Inside the housing there are two slots, one for the card and another would house a wireless broadband card if this were the 3G version of this tablet. The second slot is covered by a thin piece of plastic. This is the same case Acer uses for their 3G version. There is no hardware inside the second slot to accept a 3G card add-on, so don’t get excited about hacking it for a cheap upgrade.
The reset button on the side with the USB ports is extremely tiny. A pen or thick paper clip do not fit. I have a very tiny jewelers screwdriver that just barely fits. Fortunately I have never needed it. When Honeycomb freezes, holding down the power button for a few seconds has always turned it off.
The micro-USB port should be able to charge the device, and there are thousands of micro-USB charging cables available that hook up to AC, cigarette lighters or just plug into computers. Unfortunately, with Honeycomb 3.0, it doesn’t work. Acer promises the next update will correct this. Unfortunately I could not test out the new July 5th update: it will not install on my device.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Ports and Buttons
Along the left of two shorter sides there are the following:
- Power button
- Head phone jack
- Mini-HDMI port
The other shorter side has:
- AC adapter port
- Micro-USB for connecting to a Windows PC (Mac users rae left out due to lack of drivers from Acer) and for charging but only after Honeycomb 3.1 is released
- Full-sized USB for connecting accessories which. One of those compelling features when compared to the iPad
- Reset hole which shuts down the device – it is way too small and I had a hard time finding anything small enough to fit but strong enough to push the button iside
The bottom has a docking station port. The dock offers a couple of angles for typing, a remote control and speaker jack.
The volume rocker on the other side is next to the orientation lock. The OS is smart enough to flip the up/down controls when you flip the device so that volume up is always on top.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Display
The display is great under normal light. I enjoyed the pre-installed game Need for Speed: Shift because the graphics look nice and the wide 16:9 aspect ratio makes the driving sim fun since the tablet is wider. It is also great for watching 720p HD video. However, in bright light I could not see no matter how bright I set the screen.
In low light the display doesn’t dim enough, making the screen too bright and slightly annoying if you are reading next to a light sleeper.
A glitch causes the display to turn on randomly whenever the device accesses Wi-Fi. This is supposedly going to be fixed in the update to Honeycomb 3.1, which was released July 5th. I could not install it for some reason. More on that later.
When rotating the device the display occasionally won’t rotate like it is supposed to do. The only way to switch orientation is to lock and then unlock the orientation switch. When that doesn’t work, about half the time you have to power off the tablet.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Touchscreen and Inking
Most of the time the touchscreen works great. When you tap something the tablet responds immediately. Honeycomb is a little unstable and sometimes freezes up and apps crash. But this is an OS problem more than a hardware issue.
At present there are few apps that handle inking well. On the iPad there are so many it is hard to choose. I found an Android app called TabNotes which does a decent job of inking. Here is a sample of my poor chicken scratch in the app. You will notice that my finger produces much smoother writing samples (above the blue line) than the stylus (below blue line).
Sadly, inking is not as smooth on the A500 as it is on the iPad. I gave up inking entirely while using the A500. From my experience on the iPad I know it could be the apps I tried, but since there are so few it is impossible to judge.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Processor and Performance
The NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor is plenty fast enough to handle almost anything I threw at the device. I played some video-rich games like Need for Speed, watched some 720p HD video samples, and opened a bunch of apps all at once. The performance didn’t suffer most of the time. Honeycomb often randomly freezes and apps crash because the operating system is buggy and unstable. I blame the instability on the OS and not the hardware because it seems to be a problem with other Android 3.0 tablets.
From the various forums and reviews I’ve read around the Internet, those who have 3.1 already say that it is a little more stable and runs smoother. So it is reasonable to blame Honeycomb instead of the Acer for the occasional performance issue.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Audio and Speakers
Audio through the headphone jack or on a TV when connected via HDMI sounds great. The Dolby sound shines. However, the speakers on the back also face backwards. A really foolish decision by Acer, as it muffles the sound.
Serious audiophiles are never going to be excited about the sound in a tablet. When hooked up to a good set of external speakers, the A500 sounds better than average. But when you use the built-in speakers: lower than average.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Battery Life
Acer promises eight hours of battery life. I kept the A500 going as long as I could, and it died after seven hours of video, Internet usage and gaming. It is disappointing compared to the gold standard of the iPad’s ten hour battery life.
Acer kept the telephone tasks in Android running instead of finding a way to turn them off. The tablet has no telephony built-in at all, so this is likely eating some of the battery life. One app called Acer Iconia Battery Saver fixes this by turning off those OS tasks, saving a little bit of battery life. The app only works on rooted devices, however. While it is very easy to root, average users will probably not choose to do this.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Cameras
Like the rest of the A500 I both really like and am really disappointed with the cameras on the tablet. What I like is the camera app built into the software which has a lot of features like the following:
- Auto flash
- Auto white balancing
- Color effects like…
- Black and White
- Environment settings like…
- Night portrait
- Many more
In my tests of the camera I enjoyed shooting with the tablet. A large screen for composing shots is cool. You see so much more. Taking a shot is easy as the shutter release button is right where your thumb should be on the side of the screen instead of in the middle bottom of the screen like the iPad 2.
The disappointment comes when you see the pictures. The images are soft and often have a strange purple hue. I would not rely on the camera for much more than a simple shot that I didn’t care much about. I use my tablet camera more as a scanner than a photography tool anyway. In that role it works great. I shoot images of paper handouts and save them in Evernote.
The front-facing camera is okay for video chatting and little more. The rear camera disappoints, despite being a 5MP camera.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Software
Besides the great camera software, the A500 comes with some other useful apps. There are four icons labeled eReading, Games, Multimedia, and Social. Each behaves like folders. But they are more than just folders.
Open the app and you see a shelf at the bottom with icons for the apps at the top. Add your own apps by tapping the plus icon in the upper right. The left and right arrows in the lower left and right corners skip to the other categories.
The preinstalled apps you will find:
- Google Talk
- SocialJogger offers Facebook and Twitter feeds
- LumiRead – an eBook reader like iBooks, but not as slick
- Google Books – front end for Google Books service
- PhotoBrowser HD – a photo viewer that looks like a scrapbook with animated page turns
- MusicA – a music app
- AUPEO – Internet readio app
- Need for Speed Shift – a fun racing game
- Let’s Golf – a pretty good golf sim game
- Hero of Sparta – a low quality ancient Greece themed role playing game with poor graphics
Of the installed software, the only ones really worth using regularly are the Need for Speed and Let’s Golf games. If you are a YouTube fan that app is good, too. The others are crapware with far superior alternatives in the Android Market.
I liked the Acer organizer apps and used them to put all of my various apps in folders quickly. I do wish you could add other categories, like one for Work, or Travel.
Problems with Android Honeycomb OS
The biggest problem with the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is something that Acer has little control over: the Android Honeycomb operating system and ecosystem. I like Android as a mobile platform. My HTC Thunderbolt has me seriously thinking of ditching the iPhone altogether, despite its problems, when one of my three AT&T iPhone contracts is up next month. So I’m not just an Android hater or Apple fanboy.
Despite an update from Acer which is supposed to deliver Honeycomb 3.1 to the Iconia Tab A500, it is still not ready for most users. First, the update is a problem. Many users report that they are only getting a minor update and not 3.1. Others got 3.1 while others, including me, can’t tell which update they received because it won’t install. I wiped the tablet and restored it to factory spec, but it still fails.
Eight months after the first Android tablet was released we still only have 108 tablet-specific apps in the Android Market. I hope this changes soon, but there are too few really good apps for this thing. It addition to instability, Honeycomb is just not good enough to compete with iOS on the iPad 2.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 Value
At $449 the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is one of the least expensive 10-inch Honeycomb tablets available. There very low-quality tablets for less, but this is the first serious competitor to the iPad 2 on price. The hardware of the A500 is not the main problem.
The A500 was a frustrating combination of disappointment and excitement. I really like the hardware, form factor, the display in normal lighting and the performance. The A500 is more versatile than the iPad with the ability to add USB accessories, a hard drive or an SD card for extra storage.
Unfortunately, the A500 is an Android 3.0 tablet. I wanted to like the A500 and I wanted to recommend it. I just cannot do so at this time because of the issues with Honeycomb mentioned above.
Acer Iconia Tab A500 First Impression Video
Below is the first impressions video that I made after using the A500 for about a week. Keep in mind that some of my opinions are altered after longer use and they are reflected in this written review.
- Display looks good in normal light
- Wide screen format and resolution great for watching 720p HD movies
- NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-core Processor gives good performance
- Micro-SD card slot for expanding storage
- Has ports for adding USB accessories like a keyboard
- Expandable storage through Micro-SD slot
- Solid build and somewhat unique design
- Wider bezel along shorter edge makes holding in landscape mode more comfortable
- Has HDMI output
- Need for Speed and Golf game are fun and look great
- Camera app is great despite poor quality lens
- Too few Honeycomb tablet apps
- Battery life shorter than the iPad
- Honeycomb OS is buggy and unstable
- Housing for SD card feels flimsy
- Power charger bulky and not USB based
- Can’t use USB port for charging yet
- Display not bright enough in direct light
- Dimming doesn’t go dark enough for very dark settings
- Screen turns on randomly when Wi-Fi is accessed
- Rotating sometimes freezes screen requiring reboot
- Inking not smooth with stylus
- Speakers on back sound muffled
- Camera has poor color
- Camera produces soft images
- Category apps won’t let me produce my own categories
- Included software is mediocre with exception of games and camera app
- Reset hole way too small
07/07/2011 at 2:44 pm
I find it interesting how this same author who reported that the 141 update was the “3.1” update now has reviewed the A500 without even being able to get 3.1 onto his A500. Question is did he leave all the original apps on his tablet? From reading on the net, which the author doesn’t appear to do, this looks to be an important key to successfully getting the update to install. If he could get his update to install he might have a different view on the OS but in agreement with another author, why is we are having to pay almost $500 to be beta testers? But again, some of his compaints/cons are fixed by the update. If only Google could have such control as Jobs does with Apple and Apple does with it’s hardware/software… But then we would only have one tablet, with minimal specs (such as less than a megapixel camera… wonderful tricks Apple does to get crappy hardware to work so wonderfully!). I am very much looking forward to apps which really take advantage of these tablets… and the screens.
BTW Video displays great… too bad it doesn’t play the audio! ;) Still BETA testing I guess.
01/05/2012 at 9:03 pm
Any Idiot can pick up and iPad and use it. I love the Acer because I actually read through the settings and tweak to my liking. An iPad is just an iPad like it or not. Move around some icons to personalize it… what a joke.
If you know what you are doing I recommend the Acer
If you are computer illiterate, the iPad.
07/07/2011 at 7:23 pm
When I compare the Iconia to the iPad, I would not say that the Iconia camera’s image quality is bad. Obviously neither tablets are dedicated digital cameras, but I assume you’ve seen the image quality of a photo taken with the iPad 2. It’s quality is generally referred to as: CRAP.
07/08/2011 at 2:50 am
I have the A500 and got a notice on the device yesterday that there was an update which it called 4.010.08. it downloaded and installed in about 10 minutes and said it was successful. when I checked the settings my A500 was running 3.1.
There must be some hardware problems out there because my A500 displays no problem with the network or screen flashing mentioned in the review. I have the original iPad and got this A500 the day it was first available. I find that I hardly ever use the iPad anymore as the Acer A500 is so much better -and more reliable. If Time Warner cable comes out with an Android version of their cable TV app that I still run on my iPad that device will only be a backup or for use as a controller for my Sonos system. The A500 wwalks circles around the iPad and if anyone can’t figure that out nothing I can say will matter. Cameras galore and Flash video are two major items and the fact that you have a USB port to add or remove content via a USB disk stick is great. I browse my network at home and never need to sync with a PC. No more iTunes BS and informative icons on the home page instead of pretty pictures I have icons showing the schedule and score of baseball games, the Dow Jones Averages, news headlines, some real-time commodities prices and I don’t have to click or anything – the weather, temperature all displayed in real time on the home screen. I didn’t have any issues with Honeycomb 3.0 and I haven’t found anything new in 3.1 that I am using. It just works. I must have gotten the golden ticket A500 because it is just about perfect.
07/08/2011 at 3:33 am
Make the most of your Iconia Tab tablet by joining the https://IconiaTabForums.com
07/08/2011 at 5:22 am
I bought the acerbic iconia tablet June 10, 2011. The software has lots of glitches. It freezes up about 1-2 times a day and I have to hold power button until it shuts down. Multiple programs close while in use “force close.” Yesterday July 6th, it prompted for the honeycomb 3.1 update. After intallation, the wi-fi never worked again rendering my tablet useless. It will scan and find my network but says “obtaining IP address…” and never connects. It failed at my home, office and friend’s house. Acer tech support said it’s a known issue with the update and there is NO fix except resetting the system back to factory settings which erases all apps and memory. This is extremely disappointing. I asked tech support, why would they continue to push this problematic update to users if they know it will create problems?? They said that since the honeycomb software is a google product, it’s up to google to recall it . The tech added, until google recalls it, acer is obligated to offer it to the users. My iconia tablet is less than 30 days old, useless without internet access and before that problem it was unreliable. Fortunate for me, I can still return it to the manufacturer.
To all iconia owners – DO NO INSTALL 3.1 update! Beware!
07/08/2011 at 11:37 am
Sorry to hear that you are having such problems with your A500. Contrary to your experience,mine has been splendid, including the update which went smoothly and runs fine on my A500.
I’m curious if you have added an SD card to yours. I have a 16GB Class 10 Wintec in mine. Several years ago I got involved in the Buy One – Give One project and got one of the XO machines. That proved problematic until we discovered that some external USB sticks didn’t work properly with it. I had several Kingston 2 GB sticks I was using to add function and upgrade the OS. These were formatted properly and worked fine on my PC. They seemed fine on the XO but weren’t read correctly for a reason I still can’t explain.
Before you give up on what I find to be a great tablet you might try resetting after removing any SD card, if you have one – otherwise, never mind.
07/22/2011 at 10:29 pm
I bought my iconia on July 18 and as soon as I started it, it gave me the update for HC 3.1 . Everything worked fine for 2 more days and then I had the problem you mentioned. When I contacted the tech support, he suggested me the hard reset using the paper clip on the hole below the USB port. I had to do reset twice to make the wifi working again, but the good thing with reset hole is you’re not losing any data. Hope this helps…
07/08/2011 at 4:24 pm
I bought my Acer 500 last week and still have not received the update. still wondering if i have to do something special or just wait
07/08/2011 at 5:11 pm
I’d say this is a pretty reasonable review, even though I’m thoroughly happy with my purchase and would choose this tablet over the iPad 2 any day. I think the main reason why there’s so few apps for android tablets is because Android is a bit more difficult to develop for than the iOS. However, I’m finding more and more of the apps I have on my tablet are getting updates which allow them to work better in Android tablets. I personally would rather wait the 3 extra months for more Android tablet apps than sell the A500 and get an iPad 2. The two things I’m really disappointed about with this tablet, are its poor microphone quality, and the lack of Skype video support, even though this tablet has a decent enough front-facing camera. All in all, this was a pretty fair review, but I wouldn’t necessarily not recommend this tablet to anyone, because many of its shortcomings can still be fixed with software updates.
07/08/2011 at 6:06 pm
I had some freezes with 3.0 on my tab, but it’s been great since I’ve updated to 3.1. I suggest the reviewer find a way to upgrade and re-review.
Sweet James Jones
07/09/2011 at 2:31 pm
The 3.1 update was a phased roll out by serial number. My dad got his two days before me. A little patience might’ve served you well. You had to update to 3.0.1 before 3.1. That delayed 3.1 for some.
For my function, this tablet is much better than iPad2, and I beleive everyone else but hardcore gamers will as well. Here’s why:
1 . Flash makes up for iPads biggest reason for apps. The reason why you need a Hulu app is because you can’t watch online. Instead of using Hul on Android, you can just go to ABC.com, etc. Many of the Apple apps simply do the same thing. They make up for deficiencies that iPad get a free pass on. Instead of Hulu, just use Crackle and Google Movies. Its the same thing. Change your UA and browse the web like it was meant to be browsed. Used Dolphin browser and its even better.
2. A USB and SD card. Are you kidding me that iPad 2 doesn’t have this? I plug my camera in and it works. I plug my flash drive and it works. I have additional storage via micro SD. This saves so much time and effort that Its unimaginable.
3. No more iTunes. Just drag and drop.
4. Aside from some iPhone only games, there is no tablet app I could NOT find that I needed. Remote desktop, weather, e-mail, additional browsers, Docs to Go are all there. A lot of the app store is duplicates. Quantity doesn’t mean quality.
5. An HDMI that doesn’t require extra hardware.
There is a learning curve associated with Honeycomb, but this tablet, used well, blows away the iPad 2 in the way I use it.
07/16/2011 at 3:10 am
I had to return my A500 to the store after the 3.1 upgrade as it made opening the four ‘menu icons’ (for want of a better word) impossible. It was a shame as I really liked the unit but I need something stable and the A500 wasn’t this!
The nice folk at Best Buy fixed me up with a monster of a Windows laptop, but I’ll keep my eye on Android and will no doubt take it up again if and when it becomes reliable.
07/16/2011 at 7:45 am
You can dim the screen to however dark you want it if you turn off “automatic brightness” in the screen settings. The fact that the author couldn’t discover this for themselves makes me wonder just how much time they actually spent using the device. Maybe they’re just not very savvy with tech stuff.
07/17/2011 at 8:36 am
Acer is superb over Ipad,i hate Apple icons, on A500 you have beautiful widgets on screen witch drain alot of battery but they are so useful and beautiful, and it’s is the main problem with battery diferents with Ipad. 10 hours of battery on Ipad? Iconia will get 10 hours to if you put only icons on desktop.I have Ipad2 on my store and it never stayd alive for 10 hours. Acer A500 is highly recommended and its only bad side is android witch will be fixed in time, after all it’s still new os and it will only get better in time.Mine Acer still didn’t get update to 3.1 but I can’t wait to see is it going to be better. Sorry to my bad Eng. Greating from Croatia.
08/18/2011 at 11:56 pm
i have had my iconia for about 1.5 weeks . my biggest complaint is the screen quality. I am a photographer, to me the skin tones look washed out i am seeing dithering in pictures that dont have it on my ipad or my laptop.
09/20/2011 at 5:02 am
I’ve been using the A500 for about 4 months now and just love it. I haven’t experienced any of the problems discussed and currently am running Android 3.2 on the 32GB version. Personally, I would never own an Ipad (or anything Apple for that matter).
I bought my first home computer in 1985, an Atari 520ST which was running the same processor and memory as a “fat mac” at the time. The macintosh was more than twice the price of the Atari and I was so offended by Apple’s pricing at the time that I swore NEVER to buy Apple. To this day, I’ve never owned an Apple device and don’t feel as I’ve missed out on anything. Most people that I know that have bought Apple laptops in the past few years have abandoned them in the end to go back to Windows or Linux. Of course, most of them like me, are tech guru’s and not your average consumer which is what Apple really targets.
10/07/2011 at 12:35 pm
Oct. 6, 2011 After about a week of using my new Acer Iconia A500 the unit developed an issue where the battery would not charge. This was an intermitent trouble whereby at times the unit would charge the battery for a few seconds or maybe a couple of minutes before stopping the recharging process. I used multiple power adapters with the same results from each. I performed a factory reset and a hard reset on the unit but, the resets did not correct the issue.
I contacted Acer Support and sent the unit in for repair. I received the A500 back from the repair facility 8 days later still with the battery charging issue. They returned it to me without repairing or correcting the issue.
I contacted Acer Support this morning and again returned the A500 for repair.
After searching some of the Acer A500 forums, I found that other users were experiencing the same issues with their A500 tablets. If the power adapter is connected the battery status indicator indicates ‘Discharging’ but, the battery percentage stays the same. When the power adapter is removed, the battery percentage indicator begins to decline. When the power adapter is connected, the A500 battery does not charge.
Based on my experiences with this product and the Acer Repair Service, I would not purchase an Acer Iconia A500 again and I would not reccomend this product.
10/24/2011 at 10:02 am
Hi guys im geting a acer tablet a500 in a few days I need to no is it good
10/25/2011 at 10:34 am
Hi drewskrew, I think it really depends on what you are looking for. Are you a gamer , if so it has wonderful graphics and a much faster processer and memory than the I pad. It has docs to go for your documents as well. Android has a huge market and you can pretty much find anything you are looking for, from books, movies, apps, and games. It is constantly being upgraded and improved, so the tablet will continue to get better all the time. I have had mine for over two months and I love it, I use it for everything. This article, was very uninformed and a lot of these problems that the author had were easily fixed. Hands down if you read the specs of the Acer iconia compared to the Ipad, Acer will win every time. The I pads price doesn’t really support itself at all, its just a name.
10/28/2011 at 6:05 pm
I just got this today and I cant even get it to power on…is there supposed to be a indicator light showing that its charging? I havent seen anything in the instructions and its been charing for over 8 hours now! If it doesnt work in the morning I am returning it.
11/05/2011 at 5:46 pm
Power button glows amber.
10/30/2011 at 5:17 pm
I just bought the Acer 500 iconia tab and find it great man I love this tab
11/01/2011 at 7:22 am
I have a acer 500 and my cousin has thi iPad and I can do so many things on my acer then hem on he’s iPad … I love my acer tablet…. 5*****
11/30/2011 at 11:07 am
11/05/2011 at 5:45 pm
Terrible review. Learn how to manually update android devices before giving it a bad review.
12/08/2011 at 7:46 pm
I agree. My iconia is the bomb. Better than my wife’s ipad2.
11/14/2011 at 2:25 am
Oh, so what are the USB and SD card slots like on the Ipad huh?
11/30/2011 at 11:06 am
12/28/2011 at 3:06 pm
if one cant update his android Manually (pretty easy task for most) he is hardy in the position to review some thing he is not qualified to talk about doesn’t give confidence in his opinion and frankly that’s all it is opinion “bad review”
12/31/2011 at 7:30 am
This is a TERRIBLE review. Obviously pro apple.
I’ve used both the IPAD and the Iconia. The Iconia is far superior.
01/01/2012 at 7:05 pm
iconia a500 is way better and 5 mp camera compared to 1.7 terrible. actually LEARN and USE the a500 before you write the review this article proves you didnt play with it enough i disagree with this person and hate apple and love android
01/08/2012 at 11:53 pm
I have an Acer A500 running Honeycomb. The cons listed here are not accurate. Flimsy build? No. Buggy? No.This is really a great tablet. For a better review I suggest amazon, cnet and phonearena.
02/11/2012 at 6:57 pm
I bought a acer iconia a500 $348 at walmart, after the second day of use the screen freezed in the lock screen and nothing would help, hard reset, shutting if off, nothing worked! the battery didnt want to charge either, I think i had battery problems! Lucky if was before the 15 days and went to the store for an exchange. I decided to give acer a second chance, but any freezing and its going right back, and hello to Apple Ipad! -_-
02/26/2012 at 11:58 pm
I have an Acer iconica a500 and it works great, it never freezes and i can also say that those cons are not acurate, my tablet has non of those problems, i am running the honeycolishios rom
03/12/2012 at 2:02 pm
I had to send mine in to the tech service in Texas less than 2 months after purchase. Same issues as above….. would not connect to wifi but recognized signals.
Just a piece of junky metal if you can not connect.
When it was returned 2 weeks later, it would connect, but still had a very,very weak receiver signal.
My Acer laptop and iPod touch has no problem with wifi signal in same spot.
The Acer iconia A500 has a weak signal, drops the signal frequently…. very frustrating.
I would not buy it again….oops wait, I did not buy this one. I got it with reward points and I still am dissatisfied.
03/12/2012 at 1:15 pm
Mine works great. One thing I really like is how I can attach the tablet to my keyboard amplifier, and the music I play from it does sound good. By itself, the speakers are okay, but the sound is a little tinny. The fact that I can attach it to the amp is great. (Of course, not all of you are musicians with amplifiers). Before I discovered I could do this, I was looking for extra speakers. They do exist. I was constantly changing the wallpapers, but eventually got sick of them, and photographed white paper up close, and made the plain white my wallpaper! It looks great!
03/12/2012 at 1:21 pm
PS. Unfortunately, there was a time where the internet shut down and I had to format the whole thing. I was happy I could put all my pictures and videos on my WINDOWS desktop with the USB cord, something the Ipad does not have for a reason I never understood. Did Jobs forget that computers were supposed to be able to transfer information with disks, and now flashdrives?
03/12/2012 at 10:24 pm
I have mine for about two months, so far so good. I like it for the sd card slot, and the usb port. I know it’s thicker but it’s not bad at all.
03/19/2012 at 7:47 pm
I think his mind was already made up that it was just a cheap iPad copy. This review sounds just like a recent trashing of ICS, even though the version reviewed was a hacked prerelease prototype. Apple fanboys.
My A500 is very sturdy, having been dropped a number of time with no damage. Try that with an iPad or it’s Android copies. Virtually all the ‘bugs’ have been with Android, or poorly written 3rd party apps. Not Acers fault. I had the WiFi issue after the update, but it was fixed promptly.
The A500 was NOT $50 less, because the iPad for $500 doesn’t have the memory, USB, HDMI, HD screen, or SD slot. Now the A500 sells for $350 while the iPad is the same price as before. To get an iPad with almost as much memory, video out, usb, etc, you have to spend an extra $250 for a larger memory, and all the dangly adapters. You also had to pay more to get GPS with the iPad.
He was also wrong about the update adding USB charging. I don’t know why everyone hates the A500 for having a seperate power jack. Yes, the charger cord is too short, but I like not having to wait all night for the USB 5 volts to recharge the tablet. 12volts gets it done very quickly.
I love that it doesn’t look like any other tablet, too, and that it’s metal, not metal looking plastic, Samsung. Thon and light is not better. Those feel like they will blow away.
Love my A500.