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Acer 10.1" 16GB Iconia Tablet With Wi-Fi - Silver

Acer Iconia TAB A500 compared to the iPad is the selection of ports and slots.

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The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is the strongest competitor to the iPad 2 and a great example of an Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet. This is the 16GB model, and it's brilliantly priced.

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is one of the first Android Honeycomb equipped tablets to hit the Australian market and it's very reasonably priced at $579. Not only that, we think it's the best Android tablet yet.  Its powerful hardware is well matched to the new version of the Android OS designed by Google specifically for tablets, which is as polished as the iOS operating system seen in the much loved Apple iPad 2.


A fast NVIDIA Tegra 2 T250 (1GHz) processor along with 1GB of RAM power a very crisp 1,280x800 pixel resolution 10.1in capacitive screen. The key here is that the screen has a 16:10 aspect ratio, which means you can watch HD movies at full screen, without the black top and bottom bars you get on an iPad 2's 4:3 display. Right now the Acer Iconia Tab A500 can play back 720p HD, now but this will be upgraded via software to 1080p full HD soon. The stereo speakers are surprisingly good (sound is much better than on the iPad 2)  making this tablet a real entertainment powerhouse. This model has 16GB of flash drive storage, which can be supplemented using the Micro SD slot. 


What's really outstanding about the Acer Iconia TAB A500 compared to the iPad is the selection of ports and slots. There's a full-sized USB 2.0 port, a Micro USB 2.0 port and a Micro HDMI port for streaming video to TV. There's a 5MP back facing camera and a 2MP front facing camera, and there's 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth 2.1.


In all, the Acer Iconia A500 is the best-specced Android tablet yet, and even looks great, with a brushed aluminium case. But you pay a price for all the features: weight. It weighs 700 grams as against the iPad 2's 601 grams. While the difference is only 99 grams, the Acer feels noticeably heavier. It also bigger overall, measuring 13.3mm thick, 177mm deep and 260mm wide. Is it an issue? APC's reviewers gladly make the extra weight for features tradeoff.

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