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Thread: Acer Iconia A500 Vs the Asus Transformer comparison

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    Acer Iconia A500 Vs the Asus Transformer comparison

    Acer Iconia A500 Versus the Asus Transformer

    There are a lot of things to consider when doing a head-to-head matchup. Thereís features, performance, extra enhancements, software, build quality, and of course, the all important price. Thereís also intangibles, such as a companyís overall reputation in customer service and their ability to support a product. All of these factors should be considered before plunking down your hard earned cash for an Android Tablet, and right now, it looks like the main contenders are the Acer Iconia and Asus Transformer, both in the sub iPad 2 price range, and both are chock full of that Honeycomb goodness. So which one of these comes out as the overall best value, the most bang for your buck, the most reliable overall? Is the high-demand, hot hot Asus transformer worth the hype? Or does the Acer Iconia A500 have what it takes? Letís find out!
    With nearly identical hardware specifications, theyíre both quite similar. They both have dual cameras, a 1280◊800 screen, nearly identical size and weight, 16GB of internal storage, 1 GB of memory, the Tegra 2 chipset, stereo speakers, GPS, e-compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, and Android Honeycomb operating system. This is pretty much where the similarity ends, because these are very much distinctive in their own way, and weíll break these differences down in several categories.


    Hardware:


    Build quality is good, although the plastic backing cheapens it somewhat. Also, there seems to be some rather noticeably sharp edges on the plastic bezel where it meets the back panel. Other than that, the unit feels solid and is comfortable to hold. But the defining feature of the $399 Transformer is the separate keyboard docking station, something the Acer model currently lacks. With the keyboard dock, you add 8 hours of battery life, an Android optimized keyboard with trackpad, two USB ports, an SD card slot, and of course, the ability to ďcloseĒ it into an easily carried Android netbook. The downside is these features come with a price: $150 to be exact. As some users are discovering, the lack of a USB port on the tablet itself limits its usability as a stand alone device. This is somewhat mitigated by the inclusion of a micro SDHC slot and HDMI port. What complicates things is the fact that the keyboard docks are seemingly nowhere to be found, although this should be addressed soon as supply increases. Nonetheless, that brings the total cost up to $550. One glaring issue even with the keyboard dock is that the USB ports are not fully implemented yet, and will not recognize many devices.
    The $449 Acer Iconia A500, on the other hand, brings a host of useful features including a full size USB 2.0 port, HDMI, Micro SDHC slot, micro USB port, and a proprietary docking port on the bottom for future expansion. Plug in a USB keyboard, thumbdrive, or even an external hard drive and they all work without any issues. The build quality is also top notch, with a brushed aluminum enclosure that fits quite comfortably in your hands. The one shortcoming is the flimsy plastic hatch that houses the micro card slot.
    The Winner: This is a really tough call, but I have to give a slight edge to the Acer Iconia Tablet. Even though itís $50 more than the Asus tablet, the build quality and USB 2.0 port really set it apart as things currently stand in the marketplace. If the Asus Keyboard were available, and the USB ports were working, things might be different.


    Sound:


    While both the Acer and Asus have excellent sound, the Asus crackles at itís loudest setting, but just barely. Turning it down one notch solves the issue. The Acer can go full on without any distortion or crackling, and the Dolby Mobile sound gives excellent reproduction and a fuller sound. This is evident when playing the same song on both units, where the Asus has a tendency to be on the treble side, while with the Acer you can actually feel the bass notes while holding it.
    Winner: Acer Iconia A500


    Screen:


    While both screens stand on their own, the Asus IPS display shows greater fine detail and deeper blacks with a 171 degree viewing angle. Itís simply the best screen currently being used on tablets. Thatís not to say that the Acerís screen is bad, itís actually very, very good with a 160 degree viewing angle. Itís only in a side by side comparison that you notice the differences, and even then, they arenít glaring.
    Winner: Asus Transformer
    Asus Transformer on the Left, Acer A500 on the Right

    Viewing Angle: Acer on the Left, Asus on the Right


    Performance:


    This would pretty much be a tie because of the similar hardware specifications, but it seems that Asus has handled things in a slightly different manner, probably in their customization of Honeycomb 3.0. Of all the tablets tested, the Asusí Camera functions are the only ones that exhibit issues, some of them quite bad, like choppy recording and blurry screen when moving the tablet about, making it difficult to see what youíre filming. Thereís also a lot more bugs that result in forced closes and lockups. One app that I test on all tablets is FPSe, the Playstation 1 emulator, because it really stresses all aspects of a system. While the Acer, like the Xoom and G-Slate, runs FPSe just fine, it simply will not run on the Asus tablet (UPDATE: Todayís FPSe update solved the issue with the Asus tablet, and it now runs fine). Even Polaris Office, included on the Asus, has some issues that cause it to crash unexpectedly. I suspect that there are other apps which wonít run properly on the Asus that will work just fine on other Honeycomb tablets. Hopefully, when Asus figures out itís update issues (units being bricked), consequent firmware and software updates will solve these issues and bring stability to the Transformer.
    The Acer, on the other hand, has worked flawlessly with only 1 forced close when I had about 10 tabs open in the browser. Other than that, itís been stable as a rock and everything Iíve tried on it works just fine, including Asusí own My Water Live Wallpaper and My Weather Widget.
    Winner: Hands down the Acer Iconia A500, but this could change with updates.


    Extras:


    Both the Acer and Asus offer their own version of cloud networking and sharing, but the Asusí version seems to work better overall as far as ease of use and operation. The Acer includes a couple of nifty features such as Haptic feedback and little extras like a song recognition app and a non-standard multimedia player, while the Asus offers the Polaris Office Suite and Remote Desktop app that will work on both Macs and PCs.
    Winner: Asus Transformer


    Customer Service and Company Strengths:


    Asus has a pretty impressive record of customer service and satisfaction, and the company has been making just about every type of computer product imaginable, including netbooks, laptops, and desktop PCs. The Asus name is fairly well known and has a worldwide presence with manufacturing facilities in Taiwan. Whatís troubling here is the number of bugs and problems associated with the Transformer, which suggests that Asus has some growing to do in order to adequately support their product. When they put out an update that breaks some of their own tablets, thatís a pretty serious ding.
    Acer, while being the lesser known of the two, has been somewhat identified with inferior products due to their affiliation with Packard Bell. They are also affiliated, however, with Gateway as well, and their Netbooks have actually sold more units than any other company. They also manufacture computer systems of all types and, while worldwide, they arenít in as many markets as Asus. They also have manufacturing facilities in Taiwan. Their customer service is good.
    Winner: A Toss Up


    THE VERDICT:


    The Transformer is a tablet that shows so much promise that I REALLY want to like it. It has a top-notch screen, adequate sound, and is equipped with some nice touches in added features. The downside at this point is that it just doesnít seem polished and fully ready for the market, due to its bugs and features that simply arenít working properly, the camera being the primary culprit. I try and use it, but become frustrated by the issues itís currently having.
    The Acer Iconia A500, however, seems quite polished and performs wonderfully in comparison. It has a very good screen, dynamite sound for a tablet, and everything works together quite harmoniously, including the full sized USB 2.0 port.
    At the current moment, the Acer Iconia A500 is a much better overall value in my opinion.




    source: Technidroid
    tarheel23 and zl05 like this.


    Acer Iconia A500 - Rooted

    Droid X - Rooted - Apex 1.4.1

    Asus Transformer - Stock

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    Awesome write up.

    Thanks for posting such an in depth comparison. I also had both tablets and agree with you 100%.

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    I have to agree with this as well, I have played with the ASUS tablet, but it just didn't have the same feel (both literally and software wise) as the Acer. *shrug* I really wanted to like the ASUS one...Cause i LOVE asus products.

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    I went to Best buy to get the Transformer but they didn't have any in stock to buy or play with. They did have the A500 so I played with that and a Xoom. Liked the price point of the Acer and I didn't want to wait until June or so for the Transformer. (I currently own an Asus g73 laptop so I wanted another Asus.)

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    Thanks for this great write-up! Although the Transformer still needs to hit stores over here, probably in a month, I really like the idea of a docking station and the advantages it brings along.

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    very good write up!!!! digging the acer over the asus just for price point and its easier to get my hands on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bignasty407 View Post
    very good write up!!!! digging the acer over the asus just for price point and its easier to get my hands on!
    LOL. Actually the Acer is $50 more than the Asus. But you are right. It is easier to get. And as you can see from the review the better choice anyway.


    Acer Iconia A500 - Rooted

    Droid X - Rooted - Apex 1.4.1

    Asus Transformer - Stock

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    well i look at it this way, its really not because id have to pay for shipping, and the keyboard dock, so overall its cheaper

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    Quote Originally Posted by bignasty407 View Post
    well i look at it this way, its really not because id have to pay for shipping, and the keyboard dock, so overall its cheaper
    True. I gotta feeling we may see a keyboard dock for the Acer sometime in the near future. They have one for the W500 which is the Windows version of the tablet. I think they are gonna see they are missing out on some of the Transformer market and get one out for the A500.


    Acer Iconia A500 - Rooted

    Droid X - Rooted - Apex 1.4.1

    Asus Transformer - Stock

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    i agree, i have a usb keyboard laying around i used for my ps2 back in the day. hoping it works, if not ill wait but i really dont mind the touch screen keyboard, i types a nice long paragraph in staples when iway playing with it. but this thumb keyboard... screen shots??


 
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