Acer Iconia A500
Overshadowed to the point of anonymity by the competition from Asus, Samsung and Motorola, the Iconia A500 is still a decent machine that has benefited from Acer’s prompt roll-out of the Honeycomb 3.2 update. Physically, it’s perhaps a tad nondescript but the black and slate-grey livery gives it a smart and understated look - which is how I like my tech.
Inside you will find the customary 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 chip with 1GB of Ram; and Skype-friendly 2Mp front and 5Mp rear cameras. There’s nothing out of the ordinary about the 10.1in, 1280 x 800 LCD screen, but it’s a decent panel with robust viewing angles. It's also a darn site better than the screen on the smaller, 7in Iconia A100.
The slab-sides - the device is a fairly chunky 13.3mm thick - may not be the last word in style but they do allow for easy access to the USB, mini HDMI, 3.5mm audio and micro USB ports. For £299 with 16GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity, the A500 is now very solid value. But battery life could be better and, at 765g, it could be lighter too.
More Info Acer
Asus Eee Pad Slider
Asus has wrung the maximum mileage from its 10in Android tablet by launching it in two distinct forms built from essentially the same parts. The Transformer, which I’ll come to in a moment, has certainly proved to be a hit, but it's the Slider that offers the more radical interpretation of what a tablet can be and offers a more interesting alternative to the iPad.
Where the Slider leaves the page is with the addition of a built-in keyboard-cum-stand, a design that should attract users who want the convenience of a proper keyboard to get some serious typing done without having to buy or carry additional accessories. The chiclet keyboard is the full Qwerty banana too, not some cut-down excuse.
The sliding mechanism isn't the easiest to use until you get the hang of it. While playing with one at a trade fair earlier in the year, I had to ask the attending flack how to open it. Then after a few moments I closed it and... had to ask him again. Only after slowly part opening and part closing it a few times did the coin drop. Sadly, the recently announced UK price of £430 was higher than I was hoping for.
More Info Asus
Next page: Asus Eee Pad Transformer
Re: Written by an iPad owner I think..
The writer does not own an iPad, and as much as you might achingly hope that Android has a higher market share than it does, all market data - vendor shipments and sell-through - suggests it does not.
Sorry to puncture your wee bubble, 'Barry'
"An iPad is an iPad is an iPad"
And yet your poor friend's iPad 1 can still use all the same software as an iPad 2 (except FaceTime), is still getting all software updates on day of release (if you're happy to trust Apple's QA), and is still one of the best tablets around even at 18 months old.
How many Android tablets are going to get Android 4 - without having to hack them? Which, remember, is kit that's mostly less than 6 months old. HTC are still selling their Flyer with 2.3, which was out of date when they launched the product! They've not even upgraded it to Android 3 yet...
Equally we can contrast my HTC Wildfire with an iPhone 3GS. Both phones are about the same age (admittedly the Wildfire was never top of the range). The iPhone 3GS is still getting updates and still on sale. HTC were still selling the Wildfire up to a couple of months ago, so they've no excuse for saying it's 'out of support'. The Wildfire got an update from 2.1 to 2.2 (about 6 months late), and that's it. The 3GS has been updated from iOS3, to iOS4 and now iOS5.
And it's not as if I'm cherry picking. Android kit getting timely updates is very unusual. Even Google only seem to update their reference phones once, then dump them.
This is the reason my next tablet will probably be Apple - well that and the Android tablet makers' obsession with widescreen. It's also why I recommend iPhone/iPad to non-geeks.
It's a shame, I was looking forward to going Android. But my experience with the phone OS has been poor, and their first attempt at tablets has been a mess. My only hope to avoid the clutches of Apple seems to be Microsoft. Windows Phone is looking interesting, and Windows 8 on tablets could be quite nice too.
I bought a tablet for my wife for her birthday back in August. Toddled along to try them out, liked the iPad, also liked the Eee Pad Transformer - very little to separate them, a fractionally better touchscreen on the Apple, much better expansion options on the Asus. I decided that for me, I would buy the Asus, but would get the wife an iPad as it was a Cortina. HOWEVER, they were out of stock - so Asus won out. And she's been very happy with it; she likes a lot about it, including the keyboard if she wants to do anything serious. The quality of the whole package is great, and she also likes not having to fork out for apps that are chargeable on our son's iPod Touch, so I've got plenty of brownie points. Remember that however popular the Cortina was, it wasn't actually a very good car... ;)
If by "hackers" you mean "anyone who wants to transfer photos from their real camera to their tablet and anybody who wants to expand storage capacity without having to replace their device", then you are absolutely correct. But as you don't, you're not.
Not having a pop Mr Vomit but why do some people wail and gnash their teeth when Apple bring out an updated/new product? No one has a go at Ford for changing the shape of the Fiesta or when they add more features with a facelift. I don't moan about Sony bringinging out new TVs since I bought mine three years ago.
It seems to me to be a ludicrous complaint made by the more irrational end of the Apple hating spectrum. But then the whole 'my phone/tablet/PC/whatever is better than yours' argument is childish beyond belief anyway.
I should add that apart from a work issued 3GS I own no Apple products. Or ones of an Android flavour for that matter.