Acer Iconia Tab A500

6.0
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Reviewed by sooper_verge12 (Previously owned)

In between owning a Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, I owned the Acer Iconia Tab. I should probably qualify that as "briefly" owned because I could not get rid of it fast enough. From the pictures, you would think that the design would be great. Brushed aluminum casing, brilliant display, ports, etc. However, the devil is in the details. The tablet is bracketed by plastic end pieces, which means the junction between the glass and plastic and the glass and metal are met with gaps. Those gaps are lint magnets. The junction between the plastic and the metal were also not perfect, resulting in sharp metal edges that, if caught right, could lead to a nasty scratch. It never seemed that the plastic pieces were assembled with care, as they creaked and squeaked under the weight of holding the tablet. From a design perspective, it was clearly a "you get what you paid for," as the Iconia Tab was the cheapest supported Android tablet on the market at $399.

I said that the display was brilliant, but in every day use, it was completely inaccurate. True, it was bright and the colors were saturated, but off-angle viewing was poor and the colors tended towards the yellow. The one thing it had going for it was that it was very responsive, more so than the Xoom's display. Cameras were nothing to write home about and the speakers were also curiously rear-facing and not overly loud. The Iconia entered the market sporting the Tegra 2 chip as well, but the system was overwhelmed (or should I say, underwhelmed) by the OS. It didn't help that the Iconia was last to get the update to 3.1 that brought some much needed performance boosts. Battery life on the Iconia was poor, barely getting through a day before having to put it on the charger.

At the end of the day, the poor build quality, the lack of video codecs, and lagging updates were too much for me to keep the device. Even at $399, it never felt like it was deserved of that price tag. I hung to it for about a month before I returned it. I had to convince myself to hang on to it for a month just to give it a fighting chance, but it never redeemed itself. This is a poor, poor device.

The Breakdown

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  • 5
  • 6
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  • 8
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  • 10
  • Design 5
  • Display 7
  • Camera(s) 6
  • Speakers 6
  • Performance 6
  • Software 7
  • Battery life 5
  • Ecosystem 8
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