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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2011
These types of devices are three things: the hardware, the software, and how they are put together.

First, the hardware is the reason I bought this. I bought it in Target and they had iPads, the Xoom, and the Acer Iconia Tab A500.

I chose an Android device after owning a variety of devices (including the iPad) for the freedom it offers. iOS does not allow me to do the things I want to do.

I chose the Iconia A500 over the Xoom because of the price but also the hardware. It has:

* USB
* mini HDMI
* MicroSD
* Hardware screen locking switch
* The speakers

Also, it is built to be used from any orientation, so there are no controls on the front of the device.

Its size and weight are acceptable for my purposes. Previously, I had owned a smaller lighter device (the Coby Kyros 7024) but that was for a different way of using it.

Now, the software is good. Interfaces are all learned, so it is no problem to learn how software works. Tablet software (even on the iPad) is rather unintuitive, but once one learns it, it is easy.

Acer installs a bunch of apps on this which are duplicating the functions (poorly) of the Android apps which are also installed.

I installed the Amazon Appstore, Flash, the Kindle App, the Audible app, and Opera Mini (among others).

I can watch Amazon Video on Demand streaming through the Browser with Flash. Unlike other tablets I've used, the speakers are good and one can use them to watch videos (or listen to music) without losing quality because of poor audio hardware.

I see no flaws, although it is imperfect, it is less imperfect than what I noticed in its competitors, and it is a good price.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2011
I purchased the Acer Iconia a500 about a month ago, and I have been really pleased with it. Honeycomb 3.0 is a nice step up from 2.2, and earlier versions of Android. It is super fast with the 1 Ghz dual core processer, and the screen is rather impressive with vivid bright colors and high resolution. Web surfing is fluid and quite enjoyable, although some websites like hulu.com will not allow users to play videos, since they don't support Android devices as of yet.

One of the things I like best about this tablet, and to me this is what pushes it ahead of the Asus Transformer is the full size USB port that allows you to add a flash drive or external hard drive to your tablet.

I love the silver metallic finish with the aluminum back, as this gives it a sleek sophisticated look that sets it apart from other android devices. It is definitely a well thought out design, and it is well made to boot.

I highly recommend this android tablet to anyone looking for a solid well-built tablet. You will not be disappointed. This is a great value!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2011
I bought the Iconia A500 from Best Buy a few weeks ago. I had originally gone in to pick up a XOOM but after seeing the price tag on the A500 with nearly identical features I decided to go with Acer. I really do love this tablet but after two weeks (coincidentally the amount of time Best Buy allows for tablet returns)I started having trouble with some widgets disappearing and acting kind of odd. I thought a reboot would fix the problem but the tablet failed to load past the ANDROID screen. I contacted Acer technical support and was floored at how incompetent they were. They would copy and paste from the user manual (which is not included and must be downloaded) giving me solutions that require the tablet to actually boot. They eventually deemed it a hardware problem, though it was not, and told me to FedEx it to them. I spent an entire Saturday afternoon scouring some forums at XDA developers and Phandroid.com trying to find a solution and learned that this is actually kind of a common problem with this tablet. Eventually some nice soul gave me a solution to restore to factory default. This erased all my data but it was better than sending it to Acer and probably waiting for 2 weeks to get it back.

This is an excellent tablet. I'd even go as far as saying it is the best current Honeycomb tablet. However, keep in mind that Acer customer support is horrible and if you have problems you might be on your own.

Oh! In case you have the same problem as me, here is the solution: Plug in a USB keyboard and while holding down the volume up button (closest to the power button), turn on the tablet. When the message appears that says "clearing cache" appears, release the volume button and press the home key on the keyboard. A menu will appear that will allow you to reset to factory defaults. I don't know why the Acer people didn't tell me to do this.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2011
After using the A500 for more than 6 months in parallel with a Kindle Fire, an original iPad and then the new iPad, I am more and more disappointed:

- The A500 has not received any meaningful updates. Honeycomb is just a mess of a UI. In the mean time, the iPads have received numerous updates and their multitasking is now much better than the A500.
- The iPads added some great multi-touch gestures. In the meantime Acer has done nothing.
- The A500 locks up more and more - sometimes every day.
- Why is a 6 month old A500s battery life only 1 1/2 days in occasional use, and the 2 year old iPad lasts a whole week under the same use??!
- I thought people would develop tablet apps for Android tablets - no such luck. The app selection is pathetic. Meanwhile the New iPad I just got has seen more updates for its retina resolution than the total number of useful Android tablet apps I can find. Very frustrating.
- The widescreen form factor is great for video, but is very awkward in portrait mode, and is not a very good Kindle reader.
- The screen quality is just plain poor, not just compared to the New iPad, but even compared to my $200 Kindle Fire.
- Response is very sluggish; even compared to the Kindle Fire
- I have tried all the keyboards, but every one is terribly laggy. The keyboards are typically 1 or 2 words behind my typing, and I am a slow 2-finger typist. The A500 is unusable for anything that requires typing.

I would not buy this tablet again even if it was $100
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2012
I purchased this unit about 10 months ago and gave it to my parents. They are not tech-savvy by any means but I figured this tablet was easy enough to use. A month ago, I upgraded the unit to ICS from Acer's website (which by the way is not a simple process). After a month in, the tablet completely locked up and froze at the "Acer" boot screen. I followed all the online instructions of trying to give it a hard reset to no avail. Now I'm in the process of rooting the tablet (which voids my warranty) in order to get it functional again.

Terrible, terrible product. Stay away and invest in a Kindle Fire for the money.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2011
I bought the Acer A500 from Amazon two months ago and couldn't be more pleased with the purchase. I was a happy Kindle owner before, but felt as many people have that it is yet one more single-purpose device that takes up space. On my work trips I'm often in the plane for 3+ hours and like to mix up reading with watching video, which the Kindle was not able to offer me.

I was looking at the tablet options at the time and to say that there were slim pickings is an understatement. What also was disconcerting is the trend of tablets to not offer external drives for additional memory. With only 16GB and 32GB options I was not happy with any onboard memory limits of any tablet. Books may not take up much memory, but video files do and I don't always have access to a wifi hotspot to stream content. I also was unwilling to pay additional funds for a 3G or 4G monthly limited data plans on top of my cell phone and home internet monthly charges.

I was holding out for the new Samsung Galaxy Tab until I discovered it wouldn't have any capacity for additional memory. Therefore, I was left with the Motorola Xoom, Asus Transformer and the Acer A500. The Xoom didn't have a functioning microSD card at the time I was looking (and was expensive) so it left the Asus and Acer. The only reason I chose the Acer is that I liked the brushed metal back; otherwise, they appear to be very similar.

It appeared to me that the biggest problem professional reviewer at sites like CNET had against the A500 is its bulk and weight. Maybe I'm stronger than the average person using a tablet, but I routinely hold it one handed for extended periods of time and don't feel that it's burdensome. Sure the Kindle's weight can't be beat by any tablet, but it also can't play video or easily surf the internet.

Performance is smooth, fast, and responsive. The web browser is great and I have no trouble accessing any sites. I've downloaded Moboplayer and use Lumniread to access my content. Oh and Google Music's cloud service is phenomenal. I can go out to my back yard and stream all of my music easily from the tablet. I picked up two 16GB microSD cards and have ample room for videos I carry around with me. The only downside is accessing the microSD cards is not intuitive and you have to hunt and peck to find the right directory.

Since then I have two friends that also have bought the same tablet and they love it. Great price for a lot of value.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2011
I have had the iPad 1 & 2, Galaxy Tablet, & Xoom. Returned them all. Not that they weren't good products, but weren't fulfilling my needs for business. The Iconia for me has the best bang for the buck. MicroSD works out of the box unlike the Xoom. USB drives connect direct and work flawlessly. Don't have to use iTunes. Really am enjoying this purchase. Will I send it back for the ASUS? Don't think so, like the direct USB connection.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2011
I'm writing this on my Iconia.

The Acer Iconia exceeded my expectations. I have never owned a device by Acer before and was concerned that the build quality would not be as nice as the Xoom. However, after demoing the device in Best Buy, I was impressed. The Iconia has a metalic back that makes me feel I'm holding something solid. It is a little on the heavy side for one hand use, but I find that I prefer to hold it in two hands anyway.

After having thoroughly explored it and its features, I only have one major complaint: the volume control button(s) are too stiff to adjust while holding the device with just one hand. My only other complaint is hopefully temporary: no Netflix access at this time.

The Iconia has excellent stereo speakers. They won't beat stand alone speakers, but they'll definetly come in first against most net books and other tablets.

All that said, this is a tablet and is best used for media consumption. I can type on it and do other tasks that I can do on a conventional PC, but the Iconia, like all tablets, is best when used for watching videos, surfing the web, listening to music, and playing games. If you're expecting a replacement for a desktop, you'll be disappointed no matter who makes the tablet. But if you understand what a tablet is best used for, I don't think you can do much better right now than the Iconia.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2013
This was a very nice tablet for 13 months. Did everything I wanted, received update to ICS, I was a happy camper. Then yesterday, it wouldn't boot--got stuck on the Acer logo screen. I figured a soft reset would take care of it. Nope, nor would a hard (factory default/wipe) reset. So I started looking around on the forums and was shocked to find that LOTS of people are reporting exactly the same problem (and coincidentally, during the last couple months), and no solution. It sounds like it's a hardware problem (apparently the NAND memory), and Acer charges $199 to fix (and a few people have reported that the problem returned after the repair). For that money, and with this track record and poor customer service, I'll find another option.

This tablet is bone-stock, lightly used, and very well cared for (still looks like new due using a very nice case). Dying after 13 months is totally unacceptable, especially since my case is clearly not the exception.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2011
Unlike many people that jumped on the band wagon to buy an Ipad, which to me was nothing more than a glorified Iphone. I decided to wait it out, for the newer honeycomb tablets to come out. OK, so first we had a couple of them like the galaxy & Xoom which looked promising but not just there yet. Now Acer came out with the Iconia, which I was surprised. I never thought it would be Acer that would come up with something, that could give the Ipad some honest competition. I did some research into the specs & what other people were saying about it. I also went to Best Buy & played around with it several times before making the purchase. I broke down and bought one and man I am loving this thing. I even went & got a second one for my daughter. Now you can't get the stupid thing out of my hands. LOL My only complaint is the power cord is pretty short.
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