Top positive review
1,096 people found this 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.