Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is the most famous Android tablet in the world, thanks to extensive marketing from Samsung and Apple patent issues it has been held up in. However, Acer has a solid competitor in the same section, the Iconia Tab A500. Though both the tablets are similar in specifications, there are lots of smaller details where each tablet stands its way out and outperforms the other. The Acer, has quite a nice build quality overall while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has better software features and support, along with some useful UI improvements.
Read on to see a detailed comparison between the two tablets, as we compare the tablets side by side in each category:
The Iconia Tab is really thin and has dimensions of 260 x 177 x 13.3 mm while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is 256.7 x 175.3 x 8.6 mm, quite slim in our opinion and the Iconia weights 730 grams, while the Tab 10.1 is much lighter at just 560 grams. Though both devices have a 10 inch screen, the Iconia from Acer has a more longer bezel around it, as you can see in the picture above while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is uniform on all four sides.
Both the tablets are quite easy to hold, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is really handy as it weighs really less compared to other tablets at 10 inches in the market out there.
Looking at the screen, the Acer Iconia A500 has a 10.1 inch screen, which supports upto 256K colors while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a similar screen of 10.1 inches and supports 16M colors. The Acer Iconia has a proximity sensor and a couple of other sensors like gyroscope, but the Samsung tablet does not have a gyro sensor on the device but it does have an accelerometer which is used for Auto rotating as you turn the device.
The Iconia A500 from Acer has a TFT screen has a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels while the Tab 10.1 also has the same resolution on its screen. Also, both the tablets have a three-axis gyroscope sensor and support multi touch input on their screens.
Both the tablets come with cameras and the Iconia from Acer has a 5 megapixel camera with a single LED flash with a resolution of 3264×2448 pixels. On the other hand, the Galaxy Tab’s camera also has a smaller camera unit, with a 3.2MP camera and a maximum resolution of 2048×1536 pixels. There’s Geo Tagging on both the tablets, thanks to the A-GPS chip on it and Android HoneyComb.
Both the tablets come with auto focus and LED flash, pictures are a bit more vibrant on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 though, due to the color tone of the camera.
Coming to the video recording capabilities, the both the devices record HD video at 720p at 30 frames per second.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Acer Iconia A500 tab have a secondary front facing camera, a 2MP one and is used for video calling by various apps on the Android platform such as Skype, Fring etc.
Operating System and User Interface:
The Acer Iconia runs on the HoneyComb operating system, on 3.1 while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 got an update to the latest version of HoneyComb recently, 3.2 . Both the tablets have their own custom UI on top of HoneyComb android, and they come with a lot of tweaks and design changes for the end user from Acer and Samsung itself.
All apps that are available on the Android market for smartphones run well on the HoneyComb platform, though the resolution of the apps might be a small issue as they might seem extended on the larger display.
Note that there are quite a few apps only on the HoneyComb platform, unlike the Android Market on smartphones. Tablet specific apps are only about 200 in the Android Market and you can check out the Best Apps for Honeycomb Tablets and Best Games for HoneyComb Tablets also.
Both the tablets support GSM bands on 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and both support HSDPA on 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 on 3G and comes with a standard SIM Card slot, if you are going for the 3G Model. Note that the Acer Iconia Tab A500 has its 3G version available in very few regions in the world and it might not be available in your region.
Both the tablets have Wi-fi capablities on multiple bands, with 802.11b/g/n support on both of them. A-GPS support for locaion and navigation are also present and both devices have Bluetooth 2.1 and USB 2.0 connectivity.
There’s also a HDMI port both the tablets enabling you to connect the tablet to a wider screen and enjoy your HD movies and videos which you shot using the camera on full HD.
The Acer Iconia A500 comes with either 16/32 GB of internal storage, and has a microSD card slot for further expansion while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from Samsung comes with 16, 32 or 64 GB of memory but there’s no slot for further expansion on it.
Processor and Battery:
The Acer Iconia A500 has a Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor with 1 GB RAM while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a similar Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, with 1GB of DDR2 RAM.
The Acer A500 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 have a Tegra 2 T20 chipset with ULP GeForce™ GPU for quick Web browsing and HD Gaming.
Iconia has a comes with 2 3260 mAh battery in series while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 also has a 7000mAh battery and both of them can stand continuous browsing and media usage and last for over 10 hours very easily.
Both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Acer Iconia are middle budget HoneyComb based tablets with almost the same specifications on the technical side. Looking at the hardware, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 fares better, with better build quality and ergonomics all over. The Iconia A500 is easier to hold and use, and has a lot more bezel on the bottom. Though the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is priced slightly higher than the Iconia Tab A500, we would recommend to go for the Tab 10.1 as it has a better and more familiar TouchWiz User Interface and comes with a better build quality and camera.