Take a look at what we've got here! It's a brand-spanking-new Acer ICONIA TAB A500 in all its metal glory! If you'll remember a few weeks ago, we got to see this tablets very close relative the Acer Picasso tablet - look familiar? Back there it was a full-on physical experience since the software wasn't looking too hot - now we've got the full real deal and it's ready to roll. Android 3.0 Honeycomb on a 10.1" Acer tablet with HDMI, a microSD card slot that's active, and dual-wielding cameras.
This is a tablet that's going to go in direct competition with the Motorola XOOM. It's going to be a form factor fight as these tablets are strikingly similar in all of their most important parts. Both have an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor at 1GHz on their hands, both have the same size screen, and even the same resolution camera on both the front AND the back. Oh wait, there's a difference - XOOM comes with 32GB built-in memory and a microSD card slot expandable to 32GB while the A500 comes with 16GB built in and a card slot expandable to 64GB.
Then of course there's the official dock and accessories situation - we won't go too far into this, but lets just say that there's some doozies coming your way from Acer soon including a simple docking station, protective case that folds up all nice and pretty, and a wireless bluetooth keyboard (see image of accessories photographed by SlashGear in the gallery below.) Of course there's the form factor too. This device is one big slab of aluminum, and it feels smooth and sassy to the touch.
This tablet is thin - 13.3mm thin to be exact, and it's made out of mostly aluminum on the outside. It's nice to hold, weighs in at 1.69 pounds, looks really excellent from the outside, and has the ability impress without having been turned on. That said, if one were to decide whether this device were aimed more at the everyday entertainment user, the student, or the business person - I'd go with the two latter choices. This tablet does not scream fun and games, instead sending off a professional air that says "look, there may be no keyboard on this thing, but I swear, I'm doing work."
We'll only go into this briefly since this is business better left to the full review, but check it out: You've got 10-point touch on the display and a 6-axis motion control gyro-meter control in here coupled with the most excellent dual-core processor we know of - NVIDIA's Tegra 2 at 1GHz. This means that even though you may look like you're all about business, you'll be able to play some insanely entertaining games while you're at it. This device also comes stocked with Acer clear.fi - this is basically a wireless home network that lets you access your media on multiple devices as long as they're in range, inside the same network. This project was introduced first back in May 2010 at ACER's Beijing Conference - exciting!
So get pumped up - another heavy hitter for your tablet collection! We'll be testing this slate out over the next few days and'll be back to you as soon as we can! (Video coming shortly)
Unboxing and hardware walkthrough
Acer ICONIA Tab A500 Unboxing and hardware demo in 3D!