4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Clear Winner in the Current Tablet Market,
This review is from: Acer Iconia Tab A500-10S16u 10.1-Inch Tablet Computer (Aluminum Metallic) (Personal Computers)
I had been checking out all the tablets on the market and planning to save up for one when my husband surprised me with this one for Christmas. I had been looking at the smaller, cheaper options like the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet. When I opened the Iconia on Christmas morning, I didn't know much about it. I powered it up and immediately started playing with it. The screen is Corning Gorilla Glass- if you aren't familiar with it, you should be. I have it on my phone screen as well (the T-Mobile G2x- which otherwise sucks, by the way)... it is the same glass used on the Kindle Fire. It doesn't scratch easily at all. The process they use to make it stuffs large ions into the surface of the glass and then it is immersed in a salt water bath at about 752 degrees for an extended period of time. This makes the glass very hard and incredibly smooth. It doesn't really need a screen protector, but I use one anyway (force of habit, really.... I'm a little paranoid about scratches.) The screen is EXTREMELY responsive, and quite beautiful. One drawback with the screen is that pictures and video blown up to full size can tend to look a little pixelated, but in my opinion, not enough to be a bother. The camera is good, as is the camcorder. On the camcorder, however, the microphone makes the videos sound kind of funky. From reading earlier reviews, I understand that this has only been a problem since the OS upgrade to Android 3.2. Maybe further upgrades will bring the microphone quality back up. With 16GB of built in memory, it has plenty of memory for lots of apps- as well as an SD slot that allows you to put in a micro sdhc card up to 32 GB. It shares a shell with the Acer A501- so it appears to have a sim card slot but that is an illusion.... the slot is there, but is taped off. There is no radio hardware inside, so if you put a sim in, it will just fall inside the case and rattle around. This is no problem, however, because it has wifi and most phones can be used as mobile hotspots nowadays. The honeycomb OS works great, much less buggy than gingerbread or froyo.
The tablet as a whole is pretty awesome- it is fantastic for surfing the web, emailing, playing games, reading ebooks, and plenty of other things. The built in e-reading software, lumiread, was great until the last upgrade to 3.2 and now it force closes every time. I remedied this by installing aldiko premium from the android market for $2.99. It works great but unfortunately doesn't have the ability to tag ebooks for categorization. I am hoping that the next upgrade will fix lumiread, as it was pretty great.
All in all, I would highly recommend this tablet to anyone. Although the review might sound critical, it really isn't. I am really just trying to be objective and thorough. I know that any computer or electronic device will have drawbacks, but you really couldn't ask for a better piece of equipment. I have had the opportunity to use several other tablets, and in my opinion this is by far the best. I know that Apple loyalists will stand by the iPad, but if you would rather have expandable memory and a more flexible OS with unlimited possibility, this is the tablet for you.