Acer Iconia Tab A500
• Vibrant LCD screen
• Fast processor
• USB port
• Great for web browsing
• Android 4.0.3
• Bad camera
• Low battery life
• Heavy design
Acer has been rolling out a good line of powerful tablets and it’s a shame they haven’t had the acclaim some of the other brands have. The Tab A500 has recently been given its ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ update, giving you more optimised applications and better speeds.
The Iconia range have almost all seen the move to Android 4.0 recently – this 10.1-inch seen it as well, and it’s opened a new door for Acer tablet users, more optimised applications and all that Ice Cream Sandwich has to offer.
With 2012 brought in the IPS screens, and with it, we thought, the eternal demise of LCD displays. While LCD displays have become less common on smartphones and tablets, it isn’t like a switch over from 3G to 4G, in fact, on the Iconia we barely even notice the screen as the lower grade.
Colours are vibrant and pop out at you, text is crisp and while we do see some weird colours creeping in, we found that you can go from eye-burning bright to mean dark on this tablet without any horrific colour moments.
An aluminium backing seems one of the Android’s favourites, and we can see why, it’s sturdy, flexible and can survive a few clashes with the pavement, unlike the cheaper plastic option. Of course, we do find that cold; hard steel will keep your tablet more safe, but Android tablets haven’t went into this option yet, probably due to Apple’s very “copyright” status.
That being said, you would think there is more to this tablet than just aluminium, considering how heavy it feels, even though it is a large 10.1-inch tablet, we didn’t of expected it to be so hefty.
When Honeycomb was the desired operating system, the Iconia Tab was able to get that OS fitted in nicely to the tablet.
Now, we’ve moved on and we’re going to move on again in a few months, with the release of Jelly Bean.
Acer were able to snap the Ice Cream Sandwich quite close to when it was released, allowing users more optimised applications and all the goodies that Android 4.0.3 had to offer.
As more and more Android tablets are getting sold every day, the minds of developers are beginning to change, with many seeing the Android Market as the ideal place to sell their application.
But we’re still about a year and a bit away from developers really beginning to throw everything on the Android Market, with SDK coding becoming much easier to use and a more open program, we will start to see more applications arise.
Tegra 2 graphic processor was one of the best on the market, until the arrival of Apple’s new processor and NVIDIA’s new Tegra 2 successor, the Tegra 3. You will still get good speeds though, especially on games.
Flash support on the Acer Iconia web browser is much approved by most of us, given we can now watch all our favourite media without being asked and then barred from downloading Adobe Flash Player.
A very glossy screen can have fingerprint consequences – while, unless sticky, they may not make your screen ugly, they will show up, almost every time you touch your tablet.
The Iconia Tab A500 doesn’t support 4G connectivity, and only has 3G connections and Wi-Fi.
We found the 3G connections good and latency was good too, we didn’t find that we were buffering an awful not on the web browser.
Wi-Fi connectivity was easy enough to set up, we found no lag or glitches when using our Wi-Fi connections.
I have yet to find any Android tablet made in 2010 – 2012 that has anything above an “okay” camera – the Iconia, sadly, is not the tablet to break this.
A 5-megapixel rear camera seems good; until you find that the focus is tragic, only focusing on images very close to where you are taking. It’s also quite grainy and when in not bright areas, it’s quite awful.
The 2-megapixel front camera is good for video chats, although we didn’t see any point of taking pictures – when we did finally get round to it, we got exactly what we expected, a bad, grainy, noisy image.
720-video recording is also an area of the Iconia which seems to lack, if you can call the video recording “high quality”, we will be very surprised.
The battery life is another area was we ask the question “why not just do more?” – with only 7 hour’s battery life at the best of times, it’s far from being even an average battery life.
Add to that how much a bright screen, flash player and a big processor takes up, you’ll get less if you use your tablet a lot.
The Iconia Tab A500 is a pretty good tablet, it has a nice display and sturdy, if a bit chubby design – there is a good amount of applications because of the ICS update, but we find that a lacklustre camera and battery life ruin what could’ve been a great Android tablet.
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