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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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on November 24, 2011
I wanted an Andriod tablet but couldn't justify getting one, until a recent flight home. I travel frequently and like to watch videos on my laptop to pass the time. That's fine in the airport, and if I can get an exit row seat. On this trip home I wasn't so lucky; trying to watch videos on the plane was cumbersome. I finally talked myself into getting a tablet and picked the A500.

I don't care for Apple products because they are too restrictive. This has nothing to do with the current iOS; their products have always been that way because that's part of their marketing strategy. Apple's products force you to use Apple services, like iTunes.

I had been comparing the different Andriod tablets out of curiosity, and this one was the best in my opinion. There are a number with 10.1" screens that are almost identical in performance and core features, but the Acer Iconia tablets stands out. I like that is has a micro-HDMI port, a micro-SD slot, a micro-USB slave port, and a full sized USB host port for connecting external devices. I bought the 16GB tablet and installed a 32GB micro-SD in it, and copied media directly onto it from my laptop. I bought a Verbatim 16GB USB flash drive for it that is so small I can leave it plugged in. I tried plugging in a 120GB hard drive and it read that, too!

My strategy is to put media onto the micro-SD card that I want to keep on the tablet (like pictures), and use my 16GB USB flash drive for media that I will delete after enjoying (podcasts & videos).

I got a nice wallet for it, and also some screen protectors. I highly recommend the wallet, but not the screen protector. The A500's glass screen is so easy to clean with the included microfiber cloth. Not so now with the screen protector installed.
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on June 3, 2011
This tablet is awsome!!! Lets start with the good:
Excellent graphics.
Screen is responsive and accurate.
Tegra processor is very fast.
Full size USB.
Android (customize it the way you want)
Micro SD up to 32gb.
Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS.
Acer has placed their own widgets that link to screens that are catagorized, ie...social, multimedia. You can't delete them but you can remove them from the home screen and replace them with whatever apps you want. Overall the Acer interface is okay. The included Acer Clear.fi works as advertised. It recognized my 4tb home NAS after a few minutes and was able to browse, download and stream with minimal issues(more on that in the bad section).
Now for the bad:
Android Honeycomb, only in the sense that it is new and still has some bugs. I am sure it will get better as time goes by. Most of the issues with this tab seem to be software driven, such as apps force closing. To be honest if you are running an app designed for a four inch phone with different hardware you should expect some issues.
I have not had any of the issues reported in other posts such as the screen turning on and off on its own.
Be aware there is absolutely no users guide for this tab. The supplied guide from Acer is pathetic. If you have never used the Android system you may be lost at first.
Native suport for video files is poor so you will need to download a third party app for most formats. Arc media or Moboplayer would have you covered for just about all the formats. This may change with the upcoming software update in June.

Overall this is a great tab. I tried the Zoom and I can't see why anyone would spend more for what I consider a lesser tab. The Asus Transformer is the only other tab close but you have to fork out another $150 to get a USB port. As for the keyboard my bluetooth one works great, and you can pick one up for much less than $150.
I won't compare this to the Ipad as this tab is based on the open source platform, not a closed system. If you like to customize things your way, and you are not afraid to experiment, this tab is for you. If you want slick packaging, and limited functionality without paying extra, get an Ipad.
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on November 25, 2014
3 years and still going strong. This tablet still holds its own with anything current. I have a number of apps that I use on this tablet on a daily basis. I am a Microsoft guy... I don't really love Android like many folks do, but the sheer power and excellent screen on this thing keeps me coming back. I use it for reading ebooks, browsing the web, and even outdoors as a screen for a TPod fish finder that uses direct wifi (the TPod acts as the wifi hub) to send signals from the fish finder to the tablet so I can use the tablet as the fish finder screen (no Internet or cell connection required). It is plenty bright enough, and the battery lasts for 4 hours with the screen on it's brightest setting constantly while I am fishing in a boat. Amazing.

When just using it normally (occasional email checking or ebook reading) the battery will last for more than a week, easily.

I know this thing is old, but if you are looking at a new Acer tablet or an old used A500, I can recommend it highly.
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on December 18, 2012
This tablet is one of the best kept secrets of its time, and even now. It has a FULL SIZED usb port which means you can plug your flash drives, or an external hard drive to it. I am an IT professional and I needed a tablet. My choices at the time were Android or iPad and I chose the Acer A500. With a 32GB microSD card inserted, you can carry around a library of more than 1000 books, or a small array of HD movies, or a few thousand songs. The screen resolution is great, and if you root the tablet you can do even more. I am running Ice Cream Sandwich on mine, and I get about 5 hours of use out of it. I would get a new one or a refurb which is certified. For a while, this was the device which I used to feed my HDTV a picture (with the mini HDMI port from the A500). You can pair a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to it and use it as a computer.

WARNING: Do NOT buy the "dock" for this unit. It is utterly useless, does not pass many of the functions of the tablet through it and does not even charge the thing. USELESS. But the tablet blows away many of the newest tablets available today. Well worth this price.
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on May 17, 2011
Yes...I actually own this tablet and my opinion will be as a user. First a few disclaimers:

1. In my opinion, the "perfect tablet" does not exist. All devices in this form factor fall short in more than one area.
2. The only other "tablets" I own is the Archos 101 and the Velocity Micro Cruz (actually an e-Reader with some tablet features). I do not own anything Apple...but my wife does.

The good:

The tablet is fast and responsive. Of all the tablets I played with, this is as responsive as all the others in this class

Boot process is very good. My Archos 101 took a long time to boot and this is much, much faster.

Wireless is very good. Available networks are quickly recognized and easy to connect to despite what some of the other reviews have stated.

MicroSD works out of the box. Popped in a 32GB card and data was immediately available with no issues at all.

USB works out of the box as well, but...it has many limitations. (I'll talk about this later).

Android 3.0 is a marked improvement over 2.2. Even as good as this OS is, I believe it will get better as more attention is paid to stabilizing it.

Price. Because you can add an SD card you can increase the amount of storage from the base model of 16GB. With the 32GB card I added, I now have 48GB for less than I would have paid for the 32GB non-upgradeable device. $449 is a very reasonable price.

The not so good...

Pre-loaded software. This was something I didn't expect. There are a few programs on the machine that you can't uninstall unless you root the machine. DocsToGo can only be upgraded using the site tied to the pre-loaded install which means you can't upgrade it to the full version unless you use their upgrade site. Also, some of the other software programs that run flawless on 2.2 will have issues on 3.0 (Astro SMB is one of them).

Weight. Yes...this tablet is heavy compared to the other tablets on the market in this class. When you first pick it up it's not that bad but after a while you will notice the difference. I spent $11.00 (US) to purchase a stand that's portable and folds down small enough to take it with me in my tablet sleeve.

Charge cord. I had no idea how short the cord was going to be until I unpacked my tablet. I did spend $1.00 (US) on an extension cord to help me overcome the short cord but I should not have had to. I wasn't looking for a 5 foot cord but 14 inches???

USB is not fully functional. Although you can add a wireless keyboard and mouse through the USB, you still do not have all the functionality you would get on a netbook or higher. Supposedly, the Android 3.1 upgrade will provide you with more functionality but still not 100%.

Despite my dislikes, overall this is a very good and I'm happy I bought it. It will be interesting to see what the 3.1 upgrade will do and I'm seeing more options available for the tablet being offered.
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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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on December 23, 2012
I have been a proud owner of this tablet since August 2011. What could be a technological dinosaur in these days of planned obsolesce, continues to be more relevant than anything it precedes. Like most of us, I am always looking at the newest gadgets, ready and willing to upgrade my perfectly good stuff for something slightly better. But this tablet has managed to survive several rounds of the proverbial next-best-thing, and for good reason.

For starters, you probably have noticed that most brands have quietly reduced the expansion options on their gadgets to be able to sell the "larger capacity" models for more. This baby can match the capacity of the best of the rest with an inexpensive SD card. Add the full size USB, and it can match any computer capacity as well. Not only does it have a full array of connection options, but a robust processor to boot, even if not a quad core. For my use, the newer processor is not enough to replace this workhorse. I am a custom ROM enthusiast, so mine has enjoyed every iteration of Android, even that latest Jelly Bean. There has never been any issue with my tablet. NONE. I use it for games, surfing the web, read news and blogs, stream videos, listen to music, read and write emails, shopping, etc.

Bottom line, this one is still the best tablet I have found.
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on May 19, 2011
I have to agree with all of the other five star reviewers here with this tablet is awesome. I have been using it for about five days and I am extremely impressed with it. Now it is true that honeycomb is not completely finished but it is very close and honeycomb 3.1 is due this june. Now on to the device, the full USB port is very handy especially when charging a cell phone, it even will charge when the tablet is asleep meaning you can get a full charge off the phone without drawing much off the battery. The GPS is very accurate and so is the screen, also to note people who complained about the screen not being IPS I'd say it doesn't matter because its bright and has an excellent viewing angle. As I am writing this review from my iconia I can say the on screen keyboard is great. While the screen is almost useless in the sunlight I doubt you'll find another tablet that does better. I don't know what else to add but I hope this helps someone decide to buy this wonderful device.

Update: This tablet has been updated to Ice Cream Sandwich(4.0) It still performs great and I still use it daily. I have dropped it twice now and it hit hard to the corner on cement and it has not dented or cracked.
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on November 29, 2014
This product is a refurbished one that I purchased. Overall, it works alright and the battery lasts long. I gave it two stars bevause this tablet goes through glitches every day, several times a day. I have never dropped it or left it in the cold, and I have not downloaded any unsafe programs. After a few minutes of using Facebook, the videos on my timeline will flicker and the screen will freeze. I euther have to stop the application or turn off the tablet and turn it back on. The same thing happens when I visit other sites such as Pinterest or 9Gag, where a multitude of pictures and/or gifs are. My impression of refurbished products is that they are fixed to work 'like new' before being sold again. Apparently this is not the case. I also don't like the length of the battery charger cord or that the tip of the charger cord does not fit all the way inside the product- the tip broke in half within my first three weeks of having the tablet and I had to purchase a new one. I would not recommend this product.
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