Acer Iconia Tab A500 Vs Toshiba Thrive Tablet Comparison

Iconia Tab from Acer, the A500 is one of the most famous tablets in the world right now along with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 . Toshiba, has also come up with their own tablet, the Toshiba Thrive.

We have already compared Acer Iconia Tab A500 tablet with quite a few other tablets like the Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10.1 . You may want to check out these comparisons,  Acer Iconia Tab A500 Vs Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Acer Iconia Tab A500 Vs Lenovo Ideapad K1 Tablet and Acer Iconia Tab A500 Vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Tablet before making your tablet purchase as the Acer A500, makes quite a good competitor with all other leading Android 3.0 Honeycomb Tablets.

In this article we will compare the Acer Iconia Tab A500 and the Toshiba Thrive tablet, looking at all the features and technical specifications in detail:

Acer Iconia Tab

Form Factor:

Both the Iconia tab and the Toshiba Thrive have a ten inch display and have dimensions of 260 x 177 x 13.3 mm and 272 x 175 x 15 mm respectively.
The Toshiba Thrive weighs a little more than the Iconia tab at 771 g while the Acer A500 tab on the oter hands weighs in at 730 g. Both these devices have a massive 10.1 inch screens, hence size wise there isnt much of a difference between the two except the bezel and overall thickness on the sides.

Winner: Toshiba Thrive

Display:

Coming to the display, the Iconia tab has a 10.1 inch touchscreen supporting upto 256k colours, while the Toshiba Thrive has a similar 10.1 inch screen with having a pixel density of approximately 149ppi. The displays of these devices are also scratch resistant, thanks to Gorilla Glass on it.

Coming to the resolution and display type, both the tablets have a maximum resolution of 1280×800 on their screen.

Winner: Acer Iconia Tab A500

Camera:

Both these tablets come with cameras and the Iconia Tab has a 5 mega pixel camera at the back with a single LED flash and can shoot photos upto a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. On the other hand, the Thrive also has the same 5 MP camera unit with the same resolution as that of the Iconia tab, 2592×1944 pixels. Both the tablets have auto focus and the Iconia tab also has geo-tagging and a single LED flash.

Both these devices have a front facing camera for video calling using Honeycomb apps like Skype. Both the cameras are of a 2 MP resolution.

Looking at the video recording capabilites, the Iconia tab comes with 720p HD recording capabilities at 29 frames per second while the Toshiba Thrive records HD video at 30fps.

Winner : Toshiba Thrive

Operating System and User Interface:

Both the Iconia and the Thrive tablet run on the latest Honeycomb 3.1 operating system. The Acer Iconia Tab A500 has the update to HoneyComb 3.2 already while the Thrive is still on Android 3.1. There are a list of nice features like resizeable widgets, a new host mode, and Google’s new Movies app on HoneyComb 3.1.

There are only a small number of apps especially customized for tablets in the android market, hence the apps created for phones might look slightly distorted and elongated, thanks to the resolution issues.

Although they run honeycomb 3.1 there is a slight change in the user interface ( UI ) on the Iconia Tab A500 and the Thrive. Both the devices do not run the stock honeycomb UI but have applied some changes and small tweaks to it. The Iconia runs Acer’s UI while the Thrive runs on Toshiba’s own UI, which actually is more or less similar to stock HoneyComb itself.

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.

Winner: Acer Iconia Tab A500

Connectivity:

The Iconia Tab A500 supports 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 3G model of this tablet is not widely available throughout the world and is available in certain countries only. The Toshiba Thrive does not have a 3G version at all, which means that connectivity is limited on the move, unless you tether internet from a MiFi device or your Android smartphone using portable hotspot.

Both these devices have similar wifi bands, they both support a single band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n.

Both have bluetooth connectivity with bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP, EDR. They also come with micro USB v2.0 connectivity. Further, the Iconia also supports an USB 2.0 port and can act as an USB host.
They also come with HDMI v1.3 which lets you connect to devices with a much larger screen size where you can enjoy your HD movies or play your favourite games.

A-GPS is present on both the devices, with which you can use Geolocation based services or Maps on Honeycomb for navigation and finding places near you.

Winner: Acer Iconia A500

Memory:

The Acer Iconia comes with either 16/32 GB of internal memory while the Toshiba Thrive comes with 8/16/32 GB of internal memory. Both have micro SD card slots which support a maximum of 32 GB of storage.

Winner : Toshiba Thrive

Processor and Battery:

The Acer Iconia A500 has a Dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA’s Tegra2 Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor with 1 GB RAM while the has a Toshiba Thrive has a similar 1 GHz Dual-core NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 processor with 1GB of DDR2 RAM.
Though both the processors might look similar the Iconia tab comes with a Tegra 2 T20 chipset with ULP GeForce™ GPU for quick Web browsing and HD Gaming. The Thrive also comes with a similar chip set from GeForce™.
The Iconia A500 comes with 2 Li-po 3260 mAh battery in series while the Thrive Tablet from Toshiba comes with a 2,030 mAh battery which gives approximately 6.5 hrs of battery life. The Iconia also give about 10 hrs of battery life with its powerful batteries.
Winner: Acer Iconia Tab A500

Conclusion:

As we have seen, both these HoneyComb slates have almost the same specifications. The Acer Iconia A500 has some nice features like a better user interface, tweaked from Acer over the Toshiba Thrive. However, Toshiba Thrive is better in dimensions as it fits more comfortably in the hand. We would recommend you put in some extra money and go for the Acer Iconia Tab, over the Toshiba Thrive. However, if you are a person who travels a lot and want a portable tablet in your bag, you can go for the Toshiba Thrive.

About Krishna Murari