For all of Honeycomb's promise, it's having a hard time taking off for a simple reason: every credible hardware running it is more expensive than the iPad 2. Not the Acer Iconia Tab A500, though.
Retailing for only $450, it's the first well-equipped Android 3.0 slate to come in at such a competitive price point. With specs that are, pretty much, in line with what both Samsung and Motorola offer, it may well set the standard for future tablet pricing (unless, you find a more expensive machine with near-equal specs a smarter buy).
At 0.52 inches thin and 1.69 pounds, the Acer Iconia Tab A500's aluminum frame is slightly bulkier than the iPad 2. Given how small and light that sounds like already, we doubt it will be much a problem -- in fact, some might find the more solid feel a lot less scary to play with than Apple's mobile ace. Much of that bulkiness may be blamed on the dual 3260 mAh battery modules, though, which can power the tablet for up to 10 hours of WiFi browsing and 8 hours of casual gaming.
Details of the tablet include a 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen (1280 x 800 resolution and an 80-degree viewing angle), two cameras (2.0 megapixel in front and 5.0 megapixel in the rear), onboard GPS, six-axis gyro-sensor, WiFi, 16GB of storage, an HDMI port and microSD card expansion. Core hardware consists of a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra CPU, GeForce graphics and 1GB of RAM -- a combination Acer claims is good enough to handle 1080p video for output to an external TV.
The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is now available for pre-order from Best Buy.