ACER ICONIA TAB A501
WHAT WE LIKED: It is powerful, well-built, edgy and attractive. The proprietary Acer UI squatting atop the Android is eminently usable and a nice breath of fresh air in the crowded Android space. Talk about ports and the Iconia is only one in this round-up that offers a whole bouquet: Forget the micro-usb and the micro HDMI for streaming video to TV, the slick little stalwart even has a full- sized USB 2.0 port for you to plug-in your regular USB devices without a second thought. The speakers are reasonably well placed at the bottom and capable of delivering adequate sound for the home ambience. We also like the fact that the tablet proffers a dedicated screen-rotation lock. WHAT WE DIDN’T: This one has heft alright. While it looks good, the broader bezel on two sides just add to the bulk. The primary camera on the Iconia is a letdown in comparison to what it’s prime rivals are capable of. Other than the fact it offers slightly poorer contrast ratios (more noticeable in brighter lighting conditions), the Iconia also has somewhat narrower viewing angles, especially when compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab. So display performance could have been better. Battery life too is lower that the competition. VERDICT: Hmmmm... we have a bit of a mixed bag here. On the one hand, the wide-screen 16:10 (that’s right, not 16:9) aspect ratio of the screen, the crisp image quality and the graphics prowess of the Iconica will gratify the video buff. On the other, the Iconia’s very average visual output may cause finicky fuss-pots to frown. Of course, mere mortals may not even notice the difference. More so if you are not going to hold it against it price-wise—the Iconia has shaved a couple of grands off the price tag making it a mite more attractive. If you’re in the running for a big screen tab but need to penny-pinch, you may want to pick this one up.
SPECS: 10.1-inch 800x1280 LCD capacitive touchscreen; Dual-core 1GHZ ARM Cortex-a9 processor; 1GB DDR2 RAM; Android 3.1; OSULP Geforce GPU; 16/32GB memory, microsd slot; 5MP main camera, 2MP front camera, Wifi, Bluetooth; GPS; 730gm weight.