Iconia Tab A500

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


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


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


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


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


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.



  1. Elysia

    January 20, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Well the awesome thing about tablets is that they have loads of apps. There are apps that allow you to store documents on a site. Such as \Drop box\ also google has their own thing too called googledocs. With that you save documents on this app and you can go to a desktop or laptop and access those documents using a username and password. Also email works on everything that has internet/wifi…so no problem. The extra memory would be a problem with ipad since you get what you buy when it comes to memory . So literally the only thing that wont work for you with ipad is the fact that you can’t add memory. So , on the other hand, if you get another tablet…which will probably use the Android software not the Apple software…goes with out saying 😛 . So with Android software…you are able to customize it wayyyy more than the ipad. The Android you can add memory to a certain point . They ( Ipad and Android tablets) do EXACTLY the same thing with help from buying apps from the app store (could also be free may not have to\buy\ certain apps) . So really it just depends if you are the type of person to want to customize and add your own \Flare\ to the device…being a lawyer im going to assume you are super busy dont have time for that…Soooo i would say go with the ipad. 🙂

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  4. Joe

    November 8, 2011 at 6:44 am

    What is the difference between these two tablets
    I noticed the one is a lot more then the other.

    Acer Iconia Tab A500-10S16u XE.H60PN.002 Tablet

    Acer Iconia Tab A500-10S16c XE.H60PN.003 Tablet

  5. trp

    November 1, 2011 at 4:28 am

    Counselor, Flamand answered your query. Any of the above referenced tablets will meet the requirements of your first set of criteria. That being said, if you are in need of a USB port (and your second post does not demonstrate that need although you do request the port) then iPads will be a non factor. Note that with cloud technology, remote servers and wireless transfers (bluetooth, wifi etc) your stated need for the USB is moot. This aside, if USB is dispositive of your choices, then you do not require three reasons why you should choose an alterantive product as the USB should in and of itself suffice.

    I am an attorney and I own the iPad 1 and the Galaxy Tab. The Tab is a Honeycomb tablet similar in function to the Tranformer. I find the editing and calendar feature far simpler on the Honeycomb tablet and as Flamand stated, I find the iPad simpler to use out the box.

  6. Eduardo R. Ceniza

    October 22, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Will someone please care to give me at least three good reasons why I should buy either a Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet or an Asus Transformer instead of an IPad 2? I am a lawyer and find the portability of tablets or slates very useful for my work, specially for email and for storing important documents that I need to read and/or edit while travelling. I don’t the devise for listening to music or playing games or watching videos. I need the tablet for my work. thank you.

    • Eric Flamand

      October 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      It’s not that much about what you need it for, it’s more about who you are. Both OS will allow you to play or work well. In an Apple environment, you’re force to do thing the way it was intended to by Apple, you can’t try different options cause choices are already made and inaccessible, but their choices are good for most people, so it’s real simple and it works. With Android, everything is “open”, you have options to put thing the way you want, including ways that may not work that well… So if you are a geek and like to choose, control, experiment, customize and are willing to invest some time in the process, you’re an Android guy. If you want a tool that works right out of the box with minimal efforts, you’ll be happy with an iPad. Both path are good, just meant for different people…

      • Eduardo R. Ceniza

        October 29, 2011 at 11:16 am

        Thank you, Mr. Flamand, for taking time out to answer my query, althoug your answer does not help me at all. You said it all dependeds on I am: i.e., if I were a geek I should opt for an Android devise; if not, I should opt for an iPad. Well, in choosing a devise, what is important to me is not who I am but what I need. I need a table because of its great portability and I need it, as I have said in my query, for email on the go and to storing documents which I can work on while traveling and sending them out by email to whoever I am dealing with. My frustration with iPad is (i) it does not have a USB port which is very important for, among other things, transfering documents and using extra memory. I was hoping somebody who is has technical knowledge of these devises will be able to give me tips on which to choose between an iPad 2 or the Asus Transformer or the Lenovo tablet. Thank you,. Mr. Flamand.

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