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1,081 of 1,118 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2011
I'm typing this review on the A500 now. I was deciding between an Ipad2 (and had actually purchased one), an Asus Transformer, and the A500. I became frustrated with the limitations of the Ipad 2, and once it became clear that the Asus Tranformer wouldn't have adequate stock for weeks, I decided to give the A500 a try. No regrets, and I ended up returning the Ipad2.

Why this is better than an I pad 2 -
- Micro SD card slot gives this all the memory you practically need with just a 16 gb model. Cards are cheap - you can get a 32 gb card for $50. No card slot on the I pad 2.
- USB port makes file transferring easy. You can plug in external flash drives or a USB keyboard. Yes, it has a USB host port so it can externally power or charge devices through the port. No USB on the I pad 2 without buying a $30 adapter.
-HDMI port - easy projection to your HDTV. The A500 screen has about the same aspect ratio as most HDTVs, so you will be able to take full advantage of the area on your HDTV. With the Ipad2, you need a separate $39 adapter for this, plus the IPad 2 screen is a different aspect ratio than most HDTVs.
-Android Honeycomb is way better than Apple iOS. It's much more customizable and supports true multitasking. Yes, iOS has a simpler, dumber interface that your grandma can use, but for me it is too simple and limited. Plus, with Honeycomb you are not chained to using ITunes to manage your content. You can just plug it into the USB port of your PC and manage files like you would any external USB drive.
-If you use Google applications like Gmail, Picasa, Docs, Maps, Youtube, etc., the integration is excellent. You log in with your Gmail account and all your Google data is synched to the device within minutes.

Don't believe the reviews about lack on apps for Honeycomb or frequent crashes. I have had almost no issues in a week of use. Most of the apps for Android smartphones I tried work fine and there are over 65,000 of them now. The Android market is better than the Apple market because there are a lot more free apps.

Because of the USB port this is a better value than the Transformer too, which doesn't have USB port without the separate docking station.

This is a fast, powerful tablet, great screen, long battery life (I'm getting two days with normal use). A good value.

-----------------------------

UPDATE 10/20/11: Had the A500 tablet for 6 months. Netflix works on it now, and it got an update that enabled Skype and Google Video Chat as well. The OS updates to Android 3.1 and 3.2 made it run faster and smoother. However, after the Android 3.1 update the microphone sound got pretty muffled to the point that video chatting or using it as a camcorder became pretty poor. I would have to speak rather loudly or directly into the speaker for it to get picked up. I checked around online and this seems to be a problem that many people have experienced due to the OS update on their A500 tablets. There were rumors that the Android 3.2 update would fix the problem, but this didn't happen. I downgraded from 5 stars to 4 stars because of this.

Overall I am happy with the Android Honeycomb tablet experience and not regretting returning the IPad, but I wanted something that would work flawlessly for video chatting. So I purchased an Asus Transformer, updated it to Android 3.2, and tried out the microphone, and it worked fine. So I ended up selling my A500 and am using the Transformer now instead. Had the microphone worked flawlessly, the A500 is still the better tablet in my mind than the Transformer due to the full-sized USB port and the metal construction, but they are pretty close. If you don't plan to use the microphone I think the A500 is still the better deal. But Asus seems to do a better job of pushing out OS updates.

I recommend you'all take a serious look at the Honeycomb tablets. There are many available now, all pretty close in specs, for much better prices than IPads and they are more versatile. With the upcoming launch of Android 4.0, the operating systems for smartphones and tablets will be unified, which will make many more apps useable on the tablets. Just like Android smartphones eventually blew away the IPhone in market share, Android tablets will do the same to IPads someday, I am confident.
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272 of 281 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2011
So I've been on the sidelines agonizing about which Android tablet to buy.

Every blog and magazine is filled with lots of negatives about each tablet they review. After reading all of the negative vibe I was paranoid about buying an Android tablet so I decided to wait.

Then the unexpected happened. My wife bought me the Iconia for Father's Day and surprised me. I was stuck.

Reality has set in now and it's great.

I've never had Honeycomb crash on me. I surf the web, get my gmail, get my Outlook mail, IM, buy apps, play games, check the weather, read books and it's a blast.
The screen quality is great and I love the motion backgrounds. Wireless speed is fine, 32GB is plenty, and I'm glad to have the USB port for future options. Execution speed is fast and everything I care about runs without issues plus battery life is multiple days.

So after two months I'm scratching my head to find a negative... Power cord too short? Plug it in on the counter top. No auto on capability? Push the button. Fingerprints on the screen? Try washing your hands more often. Is the tablet too heavy for your puny forearms? Get off the couch and do some push ups dude! Not your favorite color? Buy a can of spray paint.

The real issue is that the negative vibe is keeping people on the sidelines like it was me. Come on in the water is fine.
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254 of 265 people found the following review helpful
UPDATE - 6/27/11 -
I did get a software update a while back for the A500, and it did fix the screen waking up, this made it so that the battery will now last for a couple of days of light use before it runs out, compared to being plugged in everyday like it was before when the screen would wake up for notifications.

I haven't really noticed any other large changes from the previous version. On the other hand, I did see that a leaked version of the 3.1 upgrade is out on the web today, so we should be getting that upgrade soon, and it sounds like a lot of enhancements are in that update.

One other thing of note, is that I picked up a wireless usb keyboard for use with the A500, and it worked fine for me, but my wife was trying to use it with blogger and she said she was having problems with it. Seems like it couldn't quite keep up with her typing. It doesn't seem to be the keyboard but the A500 that was the limiting factor, because I used the keyboard on a normal laptop, and didn't notice any lag.

I still really like using the A500 over having to use a normal laptop like I was before, it is just so much nicer that it is always on and I can just hit the power button and go! Still very happy with this purchase.

END UPDATE
**********************
I bought this the week it showed up in a brick and mortar store near me. I love having a tablet around, it is much quick to just pick it up and use it instead of having to wake up/start up my computer. I use this for most of my web browsing now when I am at home, and I also take the tablet to work and use it for music via bluetooth (works perfectly with my sony DR-BT50 headphones).

HDMI
I have also purchased an hdmi cable for the tablet and that works awesome. When you plug in the hdmi cable, it will automatically start mirroring the display, and the sound worked through the TV speakers as expected. I have noticed that since the resolution on the A500 is 1280x800 it cuts off part of the top and bottom when it is connected to my tv, which runs it at 720p (1280x720). This is a minor annoyance because I was able to share videos and other content quickly and easily with the tablet, where as with my laptop, it never seems to work as nice.

Sound & Display
The sound on the tablet is really good, I was kind of surprised, for such a small thing to have such good sound. I am not saying I would want to listen to my music over the speakers, my headphones are much better for that, but for sharing music or videos with people around it works pretty well. The display is fine, good, but not great. I think the colors and brightness are fine, but my phone seems better (Galaxy S phone). The viewing angle is good, and easily sharable with a person sitting next to you.

Apps & Software
I really like Honeycomb (Android 3), the G-mail client is much better. The browser is fine, but it is a little on the sluggish side. I planned on using this to replace a laptop for surfing the web while moving around the house, and it is good for that, but I can tell that the browser is just not as fast as the laptop on the same network, so I think it might be a little underpowered by comparison. Most sites load with the full site and not a mobile site (wired for some reason always gives me the mobile... grrrr), and that makes it a much better experience. The on-screen keyboard is ok, I am so used to using swype on my phone, that I miss it when using the A500, but I haven't tried to install it yet. As for the other apps in the android market, I have loaded a bunch of the non-tablet apps, and they seem to work fine for me. Most of them scale great (including angry birds, which is huge on a 10.1" screen). I have also picked up a few tablet only versions, and they worked just as well.

Hardware
Overall the tablet seems zippy, I haven't noticed any slowdowns when running regularly, though I did get choppy video when trying to use a 720p video on You Tube while connected to HDMI. I haven't tried that again, but I have a feeling it just was too much for the tablet. Anyway I love that it has the HDMI port, and the USB micro in for transferring data over, and a normal usb for a keyboard, or flash drives.

WIFI
The wifi works just ok, the signal strength doesn't seem as good as a normal laptop, but it is about the same or possibly a little better than my Galaxy S phone. I have also had times where sitting 10 feet from the router I kept loosing the signal, but after a reboot, it seemed to work fine. I have also wifi tethered the A500 to my phone, and that worked out great. Basically you just turn on wifi-tether on the phone, and the A500 saw it as an access point right away. The only bad part is that it does suck the phone's battery very quickly. I did this while out camping (sadly only getting E :( and not 3G), and it made the trip a lot nicer than trying to use my phone like I had in the past for e-mail and catching up in reader.

Now for the downers....
So I mentioned that there were a couple of problems, and they will probably all be fixed via software updates. First off I had a heck of a time using the market when I first purchased the A500. It would get stuck when it was suppose to download something. I finally did a wipe of the data (fresh install again), and I had the same problem. I realized that I had clicked on the update for google maps when it first loaded up, and after another wipe, I went to the market first, and had to accept the agreement, and then everything worked fine. So, click on the Market icon first and accept the terms.

*FIXED* -- Another thing that is annoying is that the screen keeps popping on when the tablet is not in use. I was reading on some of the forums, that if you turn off wifi, or put the tablet in airplane mode, that it would stop doing this. It seems to be that when it tries to do data updates in the background, it turns the screen on. This is a minor annoyance, but it keeps the screen waking up, and it sucks battery.

I have also had a one lockup that I had to hold down the power button till it turned off, and then turned it back on. And once where the browser wouldn't load anything after clicking on a link in the google reader app. I had to reboot the table to get this fixed.

Overall
I really like the tablet, and I think the issues I had above, will all be fixed by software updates as honeycomb becomes more mature. I had a G1 when it first came out, and it was pretty much a mess when at the beginning. As the software updates came along, it worked much better. Using the tablet as a replacement for a laptop, works pretty good for surfing the web, and watching videos and such, though it could use more power in the browser area. The battery life is better than my phone, but that just isn't saying much. I really like the options that it presented (like the USB and HDMI ports), and the screen resolution, which is why I purchased this over the Asus transformer (need the dock for a normal usb port), and it was much cheaper than the Xoom(Verizon or WIFI) or G-Slate (T-Mobile), or the iPad2. I also was more interested in an Android tablet over an iOS tablet, because I use a lot of Google services (GMail, Docs, Calendar, Reader, etc), and they work better on Android than they seem to on iOS, so it is much more convenient for me. I bet within 3-6 months I will have to upgrade this to a 5 star review, but with the software problems as they are now, I just can't do it, even though I wouldn't get rid of the A500.
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422 of 451 people found the following review helpful
Myself and a friend of mine bought a new Android tablet recently. I was lucky to grab the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101-A1 10.1-Inch Tablet Computer (Tablet Only) on launch date and he just got the Iconia. Both of us are on the market for at least one, possibly 2 more tablets (me with 2 high school kids and a third catching up fast) so we agreed to swap our new gadgets for a couple of days so we could each better decide what our second Android tablet was going to be.

Here's my 2-day evaluation of Iconia vs. Transformer with frequent references to the other better known tablet players such as the iPad and the Xoom. This is going to be a quick and incomplete comparison so do feel free to add your own categories as comments to this review.

- FREEDOM (even) - They are both non-iPad tablets that are technologically on par (and here and there superior) with the 'leader' AND reasonably priced AND, unlike the iPad, they don't force us, the paying customers, into some 'ecosystem' mandatory straightjacket. While not perfect, both the Transformer and Iconia offer a great deal when it comes to features and expandability. The Honeycomb is a reasonably open OS. You are free by default as you should be. There's no need to jailbreak because you're free. You can shop on more than one app store, do comparison shopping, download beta code and you can even run Flash.

But let me continue with my brief Transformer vs. Iconia comparison.

- PRICE (Transformer) - with everything else more or less equal, the Asus tablet beats the Iconia by $50. It can be argued that the Iconia has some advantages - I like its solid aluminum backside - but the Transformer has its own so, on a Dollar vs. Dollar competition, the Transformer wins. They each come with options and expansions but, unlike cars, you can get a lot off the base models.

- DISPLAY (even) - Both come with 10.1", 16x9 (wide screen). In my view, they both beat the iPad's 9.7" screen which is in a 4x3 format. Apples has a few more square inches but movies show much better on a 16x9 screen. The viewing angle is quite wide with few distortions and the colors are rich and bright when used in a room under natural or artificial light. Outside, the glare is significant.

- RESOLUTION (even) - 1280x800 on both the Transformer and the Iconia translate in 30% more pixels than iPad's and a few more pixels per square inch.

- INTERNAL MEMORY (even) - 1 GB is twice as much than iPad's (better multi-tasking) and on par with the more expensive Xoom.

- PROCESSOR (even) - 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 (2 x Cortex A9) is on par with Xoom, clock speed similar with iPad 2.

- STORAGE (even) - 16 GB, same as iPad 2 but Xoom comes with 32GB. Both are expandable through microSD.

- WEIGHT (even) - they are both slightly heavier than the iPad or the Xoom but only slightly.

- CAMERAS (Iconia) - they both come with 5MP rear camera for picture or video-taking but the Iconia has a 2MP front facing vs. the Transformer's 1.2MP. In addition, the Iconia has a flash which the Transformer lacks. Iconia's pictures appeared a little crisper to me.

- PHYSICAL BUILT (Iconia) - Transformer's plastic back is not a major concern to me but Iconia's solid aluminum armor makes it the clear winner in this category. The Iconia feels like a solid, well-designed product.

- MULTIMEDIA (Transformer) - I had problems with the Iconia accessing content from other media servers on the network while all was more or less flawless with the Transformer. It's a significant plus for the Transformer but my friend is telling me that the Iconia may get a soft upgrade soon that should take care of this. To be fair, I had to update the Transformer before I could use some of the cooler (MyCloud) features.

- EXTRA FEATURES (Transformer) - The Transformer comes with a well thought/designed dock/keyboard/expansion option that will effectively 'transform' it into an Android-running netbook. Do people who buy tablets actually want to transform them into netbooks? That's a good question. I'm not sure I do but at least one of my kids believes that he could use the physical keyboard. The Transformer's MyCloud makes it very easy to remotely control other computers and get access to digital content.

I didn't have sufficient time to extensively test battery life or downloaded apps but I can say that Kindle and Gmail work great on both tablets.

EVALUATION

Following the 2-day swap we both agree that The Transformer has the edge at this time and, unless something completely new and unexpected emerges in the next couple of months we are both likely to get a Transformer as our second tablet. However, there is the AVAILABILITY category where, at the time I'm writing this, the Iconia beats the Transformer hands down because you can actually buy one at the list price. This is going to change, for sure.

My friend likes the Iconia and so do I but we both like the Transformer more. Let me say this: I missed my Transformer over the weekend. We only wish we could get one or, in my case, a second one.

--
>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<
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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2011
This tablet, even though not perfect, is among the best if not the best for sale at the moment, including iPad.

The Apple iPad is still the reference to compare all Tabs with, having been the first successful tab to gain popularity.

--- Hasta la vista, iPad ---

I used to have an iPad, but I sold it. I'm not an Apple hater by any means, I own a MacBook Pro, and iPod Touch, Airport Express and my wife has an iPod.
I ripped my ~300 CD collection using Apple lossless on iTunes. I say this because I'm about to bash the iPad a little bit.

The iPad does what it's designed to do flawlessly (as most Apple products). The problem is , -what- it's designed to do.

The iPad, IMHO is not designed to be a standalone computer. As soon as you take it out of the box it prompts you to plug it to your PC.
You can't transfer music or movies without iTunes. You can't connect USB mass storage for that. The only source for Applications is the App store.
Most people defend this position by Apple by saying that it helps preserves the quality of the user experience, and while this is true, it's only part of the story.
It's also about controlling the revenue flow (just google i"in App purchases)
Then there is the Flash story. Just see part of the Web. Yes, Flash it might be outdated, slow, buggy, etc, but I think that taking the choice away from the consumer is not a good thing.
There is also lack of Java support. So while the iPad is a great device, i feel it's a little bit restrictive for me. It's probably the BEST choice for MANY people, might be for you, but not for me, so I sold it.

--- But I got hooked to a tablet computer ----

So i got hooked to using a tablet. Just touch the screen and immediately see the weather, e-mail or call my relatives using Skype. Control my music Library remotely. etc.
Battery life is long. Light and portable.

--- What are the alternatives? ----

Well, this is the hard part. After monitoring the offerings for a while, I found that there aren't many.

-Netbooks, are based on Windows and x86 architecture.
And while not a big fan of Windows, that's not a dealbreaker for me. However, most NBs are based on Intel Atom, which does not have an important feature for a multimedia device: H264/MPEG4 Hardware decoding.
So with such a weak CPU, high bitrate videos are not possible. There is the recently released AMD C-50 which does that, and there is the iconia w500, but I have my reservations (doesn't seem to be fanless design for example)

-Blackberry Playbook / HP Touchpad : I think it's late for a single vendor supported to come into play. App availability will be an issue.

--- Android Honeycomb with Tegra 2 ---

I started reading about Android Honeycomb devices a few months back. I don't even have an Android phone (I use a company owned Blackberry).
So I had to do a lot of reading and talking to people.
On paper, it looks great. So does the Tegra2 System on Chip.
Android is based on a linux/unix kernel with optimizations and add-ons by Google. Anyone who has used Linux can tell how lean the base OS is (so is iOS, BTW)
Tegra 2 puts power where it's needed, and keeps the power usage down. iPad and Tegra is the Revenge of the ARM processor. Reduced instruction set and simplicity for general purpose tasks, combined with dedicated HW for multimedia.
It just seems like the right combination. On paper, at least. So I decided to try, using the money OI got from my Ipad.

--- Why the Iconia A500? ---

Wanting a 10" screen there aren't many choices at the moment. But I even compared with some of the upcoming tablets specs.
The HW and SW is pretty much the same, so at the end the decission was based on minor details (never owned Acer before, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt, being most of the system off-the shelf stuff)

ASUS Transformer: If you are looking for tablets, you know about this one. ASUS teased us with a very few units, for whatever reason, and it sold out immediately. It seems to be back in stock through Amazon as I write this.
But this doesn't speak well of a HW vendor (hey, it's not the iPad sho sells by millions). Still, the price point is very attractive. So I was going to wait until I noticed a very important detail:
No USB port (that I could find on the specs/forum, so check by yourself). This is a mayor flay. So I keep looking.

Motorola Xoom. I almost got this one. But $600 is too much and I don't really need the extra 16G (not for an extra $150 compared to the Iconia).
I also don't like the fact that it has a non-LED-backlit screen. not for a HIGHER price. The power connector also looks flimsy, and it's on the bottom of the device (or top if you rotate)
It also has a straight connecto which puts more tension on the plug, so in the long term I see it breaking. (The Iconia has the connector on the side while in lanscape mode, and it's an L-shaped connector)

Samsung Galaxy 10.1: This one looks sexy, but it's also more expensive and also seems to lack USB port!

Toshiba Tablet: Seems promising but also a tad more expensive and seems thicker. But this one I also like. Plenty of connectivity options. My second choice.

So now to the point.

--- Iconia A500 Details---

The "Shell":

The case is well built. It really feels solid and looks nice. Power connector is on the side (while on lanscape mode) and it's L-shaped to be easy on the plug.
The screen is gorgeous, LED-backlit and with Gorilla Glass.

*Connectivity:

-Micro USB to connect to your PC

-Full size USB to connect to mass storage device (I need to fully test this though). Thanks. This should be the norm rather than the exception.

-MicroHDMI.

-MicroSD (32G): It would have been nicer a full size SD IMHO. Haven't used yet.

-Wifi + Bluetooth : I could connect my Apple Wireless Keybord with no issue. Wifi range is good (see "Software" for some issue I've seen). I get stable connection on the second floor with the D-Link router in the basement.

-Headphone plug and speakers. The sound is excellent for a tablet. Really good both from speakers and headphones.

-Docking connector: I really don't care about this at the current price of the docking station ($79). At least Acer doesn't force people to buy it to get USB.

- Rear Facing Camera. Very good for this type of device. I will not be shooting video of weddings with this thing. Just the ocassional snapshot.

- Front facing Camera: Here I have a complaint. Why on earth isn't this thing centered on the top of the screen, instead of on a side. You need to slightly tilt the tablet to center yourself on the screen while doing video chat.
The toshiba has the same annoyance. Pretty nonsense.

- aGPS: Not the best reception. I had some issues getting the location a couple of times. Or maybe software issue? Not sure.

*Software - The bad:

Well, here is where the trouble starts. Android is still buggy. A dealbreaker? That's a personal thing. Here some issues I've found.

-I got "no internet connection" error a few times, even with 3 of 4 bars of signal. I get the feeling that it's a SW thing, but I can't tell for sure as I haven't called Acer yet or rooted the thing to check myself.
But I have seen this issue reported with the Xoom as well, so I tend to believe it's SW.

-Youtube HD playback stutters a little bit. Not much, but if you're picky, or watching a full length movie, it will be annoying. I believe there is some application in the background messing up the CPU.
It's not the Wireless conenction because it does it even with the playback buffer with plenty of data. I tried to use the html5 version of YouTube ([...]) but I couldn't confirm it's really playing that version.

-The Iconia has trouble sleeping. It wakes up sporadically, the screen lights up for 3 to 5 seconds, goes back to sleep. Some daemon or service must be waking it up. Hope I can find which one.

-This is probaly not Acers/Google fault, but I use Skype, and I would like to have Video. I read it's coming. I hope Microsoft doesn't push it back.

I hope these issues get resolved but in any case, I doubt this will be my main device for movie watching.

*Software - The good:

- Honeycomb's interface is miles ahead of iOS. No more restrictions to tiny icons as if it were a phone. You have widgets you can customize.
You can just tab on any snapshot of your favorite sites to launch. Very customizable in general.

- Android market, or any application you wish to download from any source if you so decide to do. No more iOS protecting me from myself.
This comes at a price, off course. It's easier to get malware. But you have the choice to stick with the Android market and it should be pretty safe.

- Plenty of included utilities: media player, book reader, Documents to Go (haven't fully tested). I could convert some previously backed up DVDs to play on this device using Handbrake (Free)
I still need to tweak the settings more, but this is enough to entertain my toddler for a few hours.

- Freedom to tinker with your folders while connected to your computer.

- Google navigation: Thanks to integrated GPS, you can download and get directions from Google that work even after you lose your connection. You can even lose your way a little bit and it will get you back.
These are spoken turn by turn. I hope someone makes a car holder for this thing. The big map is gorgeous.

- My rating: Four starts

I have to acknowledge that after a couple of days of use I considered returning this device due to some of the annoyances I described above.
But this thing grew up on me, and I decided to keep it. The above issues seem SW (or bloatware) related, as I have seen them reported on the Xoom as well. I hope they get fixed.
I take one star because of the things mentioned above and because I think Youtube HD should work flawlessly, as it's a Google site, running on Google's browser on Google's operating system on Google blessed hardware.

Overall, a nicely priced, well-built, maybe the best tablet option out there IMHO, that suffers from some software issues that will be hopefully resolved over time.

I will update this review after a month or so if time allows.

UPDATE: Someone pointed out screen is not IPS. I thought it was. I corrected that. Viewing angle is pretty good though.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2011
This tablet is great!

I have been playing with it all day and have been downloading apps and customizing the menus, etc. The more I customize it, the more I love it!

I researched it extensively before purchase and was almost going to get either an Ipad or Xoom because of some teething issues with the Acer. Well, I bit the bullet, and I have NONE of the issues (bad GPS, etc.)

THE PRICE CANNOT BE BEAT!

1. Speakers are exceptional. Treble to 6, bass to 5, and keep Dolby enabled and EQ on Auto and it sounds GREAT!

2. GPS is fine. But I didn't buy this for a GPS, but yeah, it works.

3. No need for screen protector!!! Gorilla glass all the way WILL NOT scratch!

4. USB!!!! This is huge. Xoom and Ipad doesn't have this.

5. Honeycomb is great, runs great. I had difficulty with downloading from the marketplace. Make sure you are logged into Google Talk if you are having issues.

6. Got the Acer portfolio case. It's OK. Feels a little cheap, but fits it well and allows access to all ports EXCEPT microSD.

7. 16GB is fine for me so far. Again, it can accept a microSD for more storage.

8. This thing is FAST! Runs very smooth, great graphics.

9. I have downloaded the following FREE apps: Flash (a must-have), Brilliant Quotes, Bible, Dictionary, GasBuddy, Skype, and US News. Pandora does NOT work yet (which I was looking forward to :( ) edit- Pandora works after an update

My first tablet and I'm hooked!!!!!

Edit- Android 3.1 update said to be coming in June for A500
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2011
I have owned this for 2 months now and purchased it about 2 weeks before the Toshiba Thrive came out so I was fully ready to return it after all I heard about the Thrive.
The fact that I still own the Icona A500 tells the tale.
I have had no crashes.
I find the multiple I/O connections very useful.
I placed 4 movies (dvds I converted to H264)on an 8gb micro SD before a 5 1/2hr auto trip. The movies looked great. Since I was driving the kids watched 2 movies and played video games on the A500 the rest of the trip and I found plenty of battery left when we arrived. That was at a 50-60% screen setting.
Since then I've used desktop controller software to stream Netflicks to the tablet from my laptop, I use GPS & navigation software from Google it looks very good on this screen along with spreadsheet & word document programs (while Excel spreadsheets on Android are not as full featured, they suffice for day to day tasks. Sheets created on a regular computer are easily readable). I use many other Android programs daily such as readers and such and while some of the developers are still working on their code the A500 does fine.
The Thrive boasts a full size SD and replaceable battery, however after trying it for a day I found the higher price of the Thrive for a 32gb, which is what my A500 is, was not worth it.
The Thrives extra battery is pretty well $100 by the time you pay sales tax. Since that was a major selling point for me,the fact that I would be spending around $700 by the time I got extra battery was a downer. The display is not any better then the A500.Come on, you can get a pretty good, small, full on lap top for $700. And to date the A500 has not failed in coming through a days work without battery to spare for me.Although I would not fault the Thrive for its thickness, it's comfortable in your hand, by the time you get a cover of some kind on it didn't fit well in the brief case space I have for a tablet.
I tried the ASUS. I found it to be very nice and thin. The display was fine. But its lack of I/O ports had it off of my list of choices very quickly.
The Xoom wow, all I can say is Motorola should have been little easier on all the hype or spent more time on R&D before they put out a tablet in that price range.It was not long in my possession. It's pretty, but for the money the A500 put it to shame.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the thinnest tab I tried. It's display is remarkable there's no question in my mind it has the best display,but, once again it's expensive and, like the IPad it's created to compete against, it has no I/O options other than its own special plug. That is just plain a killer problem for me.
I wanted a tablet for help with my calendar, a convenient way to read email, download a forgotten document,show customers pictures & PDF files of products and reading Microsoft Office files. Along with that I use it to take pictures to show customers products from a stores, record work to done or even documents. Normally I would have to get my camera out but the 5mp camera on the back really does great.I can pop a flash drive for quick access to files. Add to that, when I get stuck waiting for someone or want to relax for awhile (tune out at lunch) I can read a book on it or watch a movie.
All that taken into account it does everything I need.I feel it is absolutely the best choice for my money.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2011
BACKGROUND:
I've tried the iPad 1 and iPad 2 Tablets from Apple, the Xoom Android Honeycomb tablet from Motorola, and this Acer Android Honeycomb tablet is the first tablet I have actually bought.

COMPARISONS WITH OTHER TABLETS:
I found the Acer Android tablet generally working flawlessly. I believe this tablet is the best tablet for its value. The iPad 1's touch keyboard didn't run too well, while the iPad 2 had a much improved keyboard, and generally ran pretty well. The Xoom seemed a bit buggy for some reason when I tried it, and also was quite a bit more expensive than the iPad 1/2 or Acer Android tablet. I also considered getting the Asus Transformer Android Honeycomb tablet as well, but it didn't have a USB port. In addition, it was difficult to get the iPad 2 or the Asus Transformer, which were out of stock in many places, so that's also why I went ahead with the Acer Android tablet, as I don't like to wait to buy items.

PROS:
* Touch screen works quite well (you may need to lightly hold briefly for a few seconds when you touch something, but I find that to be quite fun)
* Nice interface
* Good screen resolution
* Good tablet shape and design, easy to carry
* It even came with something extra, a nice cloth to clean the tablet of the surface from your fingerprints.

CONS:
* I didn't set up WiFi immediately, and it took me a few minutes to find where to edit the settings (by touching on the time near the bottom right)
* Some apps don't work on it, but that's likely will improve over time as more apps become compatible with Android tablets
* On/off button a bit slow when turning on

RECOMMENDATION:
I would highly recommend this Acer Honeycomb tablet.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2011
The only tablets I had seen before the Acer Iconia Tab were the iPad and iPad2, and frankly I use an iPhone, so the big iPod really didn't blow me away. The Acer Iconia Tablet is really what I envisioned a tablet should be! Great performance, personalization, and expandability. I can easily hook it up to my computer via USB and it acts like any other drive on my computer. Not to mention the other ports like micro HDMI and a micro SD card slot that make using it with any other PC devices I have very simple.

I also love the widgets. It's not just an app minefield like the iPad, you can really make it your own tablet and bring forward the widgets that make the most sense for you. I could tell you more, but there are so many different options it would be hard to describe. Making this tablet your own is more than just rearranging your apps.

Very snappy touch responsiveness, so no disappointments there.

As far as design goes, the brushed aluminum look is very slick. Feels very sturdy and is well built. Cameras are as expected and speakers are nice too.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2011
Fantastic tablet. Exceeds all my expectations. Several of my friends have iPads, and they've tried to tell me its just an iPad wannabe. Apple didn't invent the tablet (although they're suing Samsung as if they did). Its a tablet with much more functionality than the iPad. The fact that it has USB support, mini-USB, Flash, SD Card , and HDMI port sets it on a league of it own. Yes, its a little heavier, but it has a full HD screen and all those ports, its a worthy sacrifice. I give Apple credit for their IOS interface, its clean and consistent, more dummy proof than the Android OS. The freedom to choose how you access programs in Android is a nice feature, specially for techies who like to customize their desktops. One way I sum it up is, iPads are for non-techies. I'd want my mom to have an iPad. I'm doing things with my Android that the iPad could probably do, but Apple doesn't allow it. I'm not tied to iTunes, or any desktop application for that matter. Android="your way", Apple="their way" .
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