The Acer Iconia A500, the Wi-Fi-only version of the Iconia A501, has had full release details disclosed in an announcement by Acer. This Honeycomb tablet features some impressive specs and essentially rivals the Motorola Xoom, but will be available with a less imposing price tag.
The Iconia A500 is set to launch at Best Buy in stores and online on April 24, and will feature an MSRP of $450. It will be available for preorder on April 14. Marketed largely as a gaming tablet, the Iconia still features the peripheral capabilities found in many modern slates, with its front- and rear-facing cameras, the ability to record 1080p video, Flash support, and the customization friendly Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS.
The Iconia A500 is coming on the heels of the Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom release, and it’s interesting to see how the first ever Honeycomb tablet stacks up against the less expensive competitor.
|Specs||Acer Iconia A500||Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi|
|Screen Size||10.1 inches||10.1 inches|
|Resolution||1280 x 800||1280 x 800|
|Operating System||Android 3.0 Honeycomb||Android 3.0 Honeycomb|
|Processor||1GHz Dual-Core NVIDIA Tegra 250||1GHz Dual-Core NVIDIA Tegra T20|
|RAM||1GB DDR2||1GB DDR2|
|Graphichs||NVIDIA GeForce||ULP GeForce|
|WiFi||802.11 b/g/n||802.11 b/g/n|
2.1 + EDR
|2.1 + EDR + HID|
|Ports||MicroSD card reader, USB 2.0, HDMI, 3.5 mm headset||MicroSD, USB, HDMI, 3.5 mm headset|
|Front-Facing Camera||2.0 megapixel webcam||2.0 megapixel webcam|
|Rear-Facing Camera||5 megapixel, HD (1080p)||HD (720p)|
|Weight||1.7 lbs||1.5 lbs|
|Dimensions||10.2 in (h) x 7.0 in (w) x .52 in (d)||
9.8 in (h) x 6.6 in (w) x .51 in (d)
This table shows that the two are comparable in most every category except internal memory, which is largely offset by the Iconia A500’s microSD card reader, which can support cards up to 32 GB. The Xoom has a card slot, though the Xoom does not yet support it as of April 2011. An update should bring the functionality on board. Acer has also said that it plans a 32 GB model for release sometime in the near future.
While the Iconia isn’t breaking new ground, and is obviously following in the Xoom’s Honeycomb footsteps, it’s a viable way to obtain Google’s tablet OS at 75% of the cost of what’s currently available. For the time being, the Iconia A500 is exclusive to Best Buy, with its A501 4G counterpart set to launch from AT&T sometime this quarter.