This tablet is close to perfect, the right size, super fast, easy to use, and pure fun when playing games since the interface is absolutely seamless. The dual cameras and video recorder work well, good enough that I can leave my little pocket digital at home. The GPS function works great and is a real GPS, satellite system, not wifi driven. Great for bike riding when touring or looking up where you are when lost. The tablet readily recognizes my voice and takes voice commands for numerous apps. I really like this tablet. For the pessimist, there are three concerns;
1. Battery life. I get about 5 1/2 hours use running an app called Juice Defender and turning the GPS receiver off. However, once I get over the fun of playing with the tablet, the five and a half hours would be more than enough during a normal day and would certainly last long enough for me to read a book on a long flight.
2. Viewing on the screen. When viewed head on, the screen is bright and crisp. When viewed from bottom, and both sides, it stays that way for quite a few degrees. However, when viewed at an angle from the top, the screen changes to a shadow image, hard to see. As an example, two people playing backgammon across a dining table would have to slide the tablet back and forth rather than just leave it in the center of the table. One person could see the screen fairly well, the other would see what would appear to an unfinished hologram, unable to discern the board and tiles.
3. The operating system does not allow the apps to store their data on the external SD card. While the 2.3 Gingerbread operating system on older tablets allows for the data files to be routed to the external card, the Acer Iconia does not. However, in truth, this does not seem to be that much of a problem. I have the 8 gig tablet and have 119 apps installed. They take up a total of 850 megs of the 5.36 gigs of internal memory available. I also installed a 32 gig external card and have over 3,000 songs in mp3 format as well as almost 5,000 photos on the card as well as a few documents, my contact list and a few family videos. Even so, I still have 15 gigs, half the external card storage free.
Although the tablet and its operating system are new to the market (11/2011) a good number of accessories are already available including custom fitting folio cases and car chargers (the same charger works for the A500). While some Android apps have not yet been configured to operate on 3.2, most of the major ones now work including YouTube and Netflix.
The tablet has a decent volume for its size and allows a bluetooth linkup to headphones. Acer has promised further bluetooth links in the automatic software upgrading application.
Would I buy this tablet again, given what is available currently on the market? Definitely! Would I recommend one to my techie friends, you betcha!
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