In the computing world, Acer is known for its good value-for-money laptops. This is what I had in my mind when I first got hold of this Android-based tablet from the Taiwanese manufacturer. The Iconia Tab A500 is a proud member of the elite 10 screen tablets club in India. It also holds the edge of being the first Honeycomb tablet currently available in our country.
Since we’re talking about tablets, a comparison with the iPad 2 is inevitable. So, is it better than the latter? Well, there is no obvious answer. It s all about choices; we’ll talk about that later. However, one thing is for sure – the A500 is not here to create a problem of plenty for the Android; it’s an alternative to Apple s offering.
Unboxing, Design, And Specs
The retail bundle contains a charger and a USB cord. That s it, no extra accessories. The first thing you ll notice after unboxing is a 10.1 screen. The bezel is relatively large, which is good because it prevents unintentional clicks, while giving you a better grip on the device. The gadget looks and feels bulky, weighing in at 730 grammes and having a thickness of 1.3 centimetres. On the bright side, it does have a rugged feel to it.
The entire back is made up of aluminium sporting a brushed-metal finish, which looks stunning and provides additional sturdiness. However, the bezels are all plastic, and the device has a few visible seams where the aluminium and plastic meet.
The power switch is on the left side of the tablet, along with a 3.5 mm jack and a Micro-HDMI port. Acer should have included a Micro-HDMI adaptor in the retail package, but sadly did not. The right side has a power adapter and a normal USB port that can take a pen drive or even a keyboard. A Micro-USB port is present to turn the device into a slave when connected to a PC. Also present is the reset , which can only be triggered by using a pin.
On the top, a volume rocker adapts itself to the gadget’s orientation. Another thoughtful addition is an auto-rotate switch, which saves the trouble of hunting for that setting in the menu. There is also a plastic flap, under which is a MicroSD slot. At the bottom is a useless charging dock, which doubles up as an eyesore. Finally, a 5 megapixel snapper with an LED flash and a nicely designed pair of speaker grilles round out the back.
Under the hood is a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and 1 GB of DDR3 RAM. I ve already mentioned the HDMI port, and other features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, GPS, and a digital compass.
The A500 s LED backlit TFT screen can display up to 1280×800 pixels. The screen is reasonably bright and reproduces colours quite nicely. This makes it ideal for watching movies. Additionally, the device offers an extensive viewing angle. However, the screen is extremely reflective, and even in normal lighting conditions, manages to reflect your face. Needless to say, it almost turns into a mirror in broad daylight, making it useless outdoors. Moreover, the display glass is a fingerprint magnet and gets smudged very easily. I also noticed a large number of dots uniformly placed across the display, forming a grid pattern. I guess these are touch receptors, but Acer should have hidden them well.
The screen is slightly bigger than that of the iPad 2, but in all fairness, the latter is way thinner.
Filed under: Mobiles |