Acer Iconia Tablet is a Hit! Bad News? May Suffer From Shortages


Android tablets are all the rage these days. Just scanning through the front page at Phandroid and you will see post, after post of the Asus Transformers selling out minutes after they’re available. They’ve been harder to snag than a 1996 Tickle Me Elmo!

But there’s always those who don’t feel like waiting around for their taste of Honeycomb and have moved onto Acer’s line of Iconia A500 tablets. According to Acer, you wouldn’t be alone. Acer is projecting that will have shipped nearly 1 million tablets during the spring which would make the Iconia tab the most successful Android tablet to date. As a refresher, Motorola only shipped 250,000 Xooms during their first quarter.

As a fair warning, Acer has also said that they’re finding it hard to keep up with demand so if you were on the fence about picking up one of these Iconia tablets, you might want to make a choice quick. Lest we have another Asus Transformer fiasco on our hands. Any Phandroids out there who are currently Iconia users? Have anything good or bad to say about the tablet?

[Via Digitimes]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. May suffer shortages ay??? PFFFFTTT! Didnt you post an article a while back about how Android tabs would fail or something?

    1. You have the memory of an elephant, Keller. 
      And I had no idea the Iconia was selling so well… Everytime I walk into Best Buy there are always some available. 

      Maybe it’s big in China? 

      1. lool, maybe so. I didn’t even know Best Buy sold this! 

      2. Yep. i just walked into best buy today. They had these things in high stock. I like it way more in person then from what I have seen online. Couldn’t find any transformers though :(

      3.  Both the iconia and the transformer are selling like hotcakes.  Whenever someone says android tablets are dying since they are all more expensive than the iPad, I facepalm.

        1.  What the hell are hotcakes and how good do they actually sell? Maybe Android tablets ARE selling like them, but also, maybe hotcakes dont sell very well…

          1.  Yeah, 1 million SOUNDS like a lot, but I don’t think you even want to know how many iPad 2’s were sold in their first quarter…. =/

            @4403667918b1d3f4ca8af69fea59ff3a:disqus @ericl5112:disqus @facebook-674364992:disqus 

  2.  I have thought about the Iconia but then I figured I would wait to see about the Galaxy Tab.

    1. Not a fan of the Galaxy Tab cuz of their Apple imitating. Don’t like the fact it has no sd slot, proprietary usb and… other things =p

      1.  I don’t like not having the sdcard but I found that I have only missed it one time on my Nexus S.  The proprietary USB is my biggest turn off.  However, I have one of the IO galaxy tabs and it is amazing.  It is head and shoulders above the Xoom and even give the price difference I would take it over the Transformer. I don’t care if they imitate apple.  They make good hardware.  I’d buy and iPad2 if it ran Android natively. 

        1. What are the qualities that would make you take it over the Transformer? I mean spec-wise the Transformer beats in almost every respect, especially the IPS screen. Is it just the thinner, lighter body that appeals? Or the overall package somehow? Just curious because my priorities are screen and connectivity/expandability.

          1. Can’t speak for Michael, but I also love my I/O tab. My wife has the xoom, and it is staggering how much lighter the tab is. It is also so much thinner… holding it is significantly easier. Overall, it’s just a really nice package. I personally don’t care about the SD slot missing. I never replaced the SD card in my phone once it was in, so it may as well be internal storage. I would have preferred a real USB slot though, especially with USB host support in android 3.1.

          2. Yeah, the USB thing is the deal breaker for me.
            I love my I/O tab too but that’s the thing that sucks the most =/

          3. I also share the same priorities. 

            Oh- and I’m not sure what screen the Samsung Tab is using, but it blows the Xoom and Iconia out of the water. I’m hoping the Transformer has the same screen……

      2. Apple imitating, when Samsung builds the guts for the IPhone and IPad, makes me think that Samsung isn’t worried.

  3. I tried out the Iconia at Future Shop. It felt very heavy next to the Xoom. I also found for some reason nothing would install from the Market. Still I’d consider the 7 inch version when it comes out.

  4.  Amazon still has them.  :)  449.99

  5. My wife has a500, I got it for her for mothersday. She loves it and loves that it’s not a pompus ipad…
    The USB works well, android market works well, amazon market works well. app is one of her favs. The screen is great, and front and rear camera are nice.

    1. “it’s not a pompus ipad…”

      Projecting much? 

  6. One week with the Iconia and my laptop is gathering dust.  No issues what so ever, if I could only keep my kids from stealing it while I’m cooking.

    1. How is the battery life? I wanted to buy it but some reviews said that it had the lowest battery life from all of the Honeycomb tablets. I think they said it would last 7 hours while watching HD video while others last 8.5 hours.

      1. If 7 hours is considered bad, I’m extremely happy. My laptop gets 2.5-3 and my Incredible gets 5-6 (4 if consuming media). 

        1. It is not really a bad thing but if the Transformer get 8 hours and cost $50 less that is the one I’ll wait for. My laptop gets 5  hours of continuous HD movie playback. My Nexus S last around 12 hours with my use habits, when it comes to consuming media I’m not 100% sure. 

          1. Oh I agree with you 100%. I want a Transformer. But seeing as I lack the money, all I can do is sit back and comment lol

        2. Plus I like that the laptop dock adds another 5 hours to the Transformer.

      2. I’m currently at 20 horus off charger with moderate usage.   I normally get about 10-12 hours with heavy usage.   I even use its USB port to charge my EVO when I’m on the go, which is perfect when I’m using it to tether.  

        One of the best tabs on the market, IMHO.  I was thinking about taking it back within my 14 day return period at Best Buy and holding out for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, but decided to keep it.   It has its quirks but they’re mostly Honeycomb bugs and not Acer bugs.   Acer has said they’re planning the 3.1 release in June so I’d recommend getting one while they’re in stock. :)

        **Edit – 20 hours with 40% battery left, sorry I didnt clarify. :)

  7.  I had the Acer but returned it when my Asus arrived. The Asus is the better tablet and I’m loving the keyboard attachment.

    1. Gaaaah! You’re so lucky. Been trying to snag a Transformer for weeks now =/ 

  8.  I remember walking into BB last week playing with it. Some guy asked me if he should get the iPad 2 or the Acer. I wanted to say acer but I told him I don’t like anything Apple so my recommendation would be biased. The Iconia is really nice though

  9. I picked up an Iconia a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t be happier. It is a little on the heavy/thick side when compared to an ipad 2 or the new galaxy tab, but not by an amount that makes any significant difference to daily use. It’s build quality is excellent, and having the full sized USB slot is actually really handy. Sounds like ACER will be stepping up to the plate in regards to updates too, with 3.1 coming early June.

  10.  The A500 has some issues, like in combination with certain WiFi-routers turning on the screen every once in a while. Then after a longer time of non-usage (a few hours) the screen doesn’t wake up and you need to reset. As a result of that the screen is sucking up a lot of power leading to having to charge it pretty soon. Most charge is wasted by the Telephony.apk, but I don’t even have a SIM-slot! Most users root their device and rename the Telephony.apk to get around that (but make sure to rename it back before updateing for risk of bricking the device). Apparently GPS takes forever to lock on to satellites, but I haven’t tried that yet. But hopefully Most if not all those issues get resolved with the 3.1 update that is announced to come end of June.

    1. I had all of the same issues you mentioned here, including the GPS issue.  It didn’t bother me too much, but the first time the screen didn’t flick on I was a little nervous.  The bugginess of Honeycomb, combined with the heaviness of the device, caused me to return it.  Picked up an iPad 2 as a temporary holdover for a truly great Android tablet.  Plus, I couldn’t see knocking a product until I’ve tried it out myself.  We’ll see, but really looking forward to having an Android tablet back in my hands! 

  11. I’m loving it, my net book is barely used now and im even typing this on my commute to work.

    Pros :
    USB host port for most (incl wireless) keyboards and more stuff soon
    SD slot
    Hdmi out if you can find an hdmi micro plug
    Good quality screen

    Cons :
    Charger is a horrible old school wall plug charger with a really short cable
    No USB charging

    1. I bought a 10 foot micro hdmi cable from amazon for very little money. It is pretty snazzy, and I can’t wait to hook up an xbox controller to play cordy on my bigscreen in HD :)

      1. Good for you
        But why tell us about… 

        1. His review mentioned micro hdmi and the apparent difficulty of finding a cable. I hope that was clear enough this time. If not, here is a more detailed explanation: this is a comment system with threading, meaning that people can reply to other people, much like you replied to me. This allows for comments on comments, and sometimes leads to responses and further information offered. In this particular instance, the original comment (commentong on the article, just so you don’t get confused) mentioned hdmi out as a pro, but did it in such a way as to insinuate (or imply) that finding a micro hdmi cable was perhaps hard to do. Since I had recently purchased one myself, I thought I would offer up information on where I bought it. I also decided to add to the conversation by offering a use case.

      2. That’s awesome! I’ve come to really enjoy gaming on a tablet. Hooking it up to a tv and physical controller would only add to the experience. =D 

      3. I bought a micro hdmi converter, and since I’m a game developer I took some internal projects for a spin on our work TV. Man, what an experience! Tablets and Google TV are definitely the next line if gaming devices.

  12.  Hi,
    I have tried the xoom and ipad2 and must admit I love the transformer. Main issue for me was ability to play the movies in my itunes library but the built in Asus app mynet streams them perfectly. Again the built in Splashtop software is great to remote into my main laptop, I use it for the sky player to watch tv, kids usually hog the main tv.
    Polaris software is also good for excel and word doc’s, at least all I need to do with them and the screen, go have a look and you will know what I mean, try at any angle.
    Anyone with an ipad, go buy this Splashtop app, I wasted the price of it on so called flash playing browsers which didn’t work out for me, Puffin was the best and it was free but no sound support yet. With Splashtop you can remote easily into another computer and play what you like and the sounds come through great on ipad.

  13. After about three weeks with my Iconia I can only say I LOVE IT! Of course it has some minor issues just like everything else and I expect them to be fixed with June update to 3.1.
    But overall this is one of the best things I’ve ever bought.

  14. Nice to see you have built a Tablet page to meet our needs:

    I guessed the URL, is it public anywhere? 

    1.  Will you add filtering to show just the honeycomb versions or anything?

      1. We’re going to be working a lot on our new tablets page. Don’t think it’s public yet… Funny how you stumbled onto it XD 

  15.  My history teacher keeps one of those Elmos in his room. He won’t let anyone touch it.

  16. Three weeks with my A500 and I love. No regret for not wanting to wait for the Transformer. I gave my wife my old velocity and now she is a tablet fan too and wants to upgrade.

  17.  I got the A500 3 days ago and couldn’t be happier. Its very stable – more so than my iPad, and the screen is better than I expected. I love the host USB mode – I can just plug in a memory stick and transfer files, or plug in a card reader and get pictures off my camera. It recognizes my NAS so I can play all the media on my network. I gave my iPad to the kids. In comparison the iPad really is just a big iPod touch with a bigger pile of icons.

  18. Ive got it and haven’t touched a real computer since. Battery life could be better. Maybe 7 hours?

  19. I really wanted the transformer, but the urge to taste honeycomb was too big…

    Anyway, i love the iconia, front gorilla glass, back aluminum, i dropped it on concrete and it just kept on going

    1. DROPPED IT!?!? :O 

      1. Yeah, an accident of course, it was on day one… Luckyly i had just bought a netbook soft case, the aluminum was deformed but with a small surgery i was able to make it look almost normal

  20. Its a brilliant device, easy to root and the battery life is incredible even when gaming. The problem I have is Acer has locked the boot loader and refuses (currently) to release the kernel source code so no customer kernels – ie overclocking etc – let alone a custom recovery at the time of this post. :'(

    1. Oooooooh… that’s interesting to know and definitely something to consider =O 

  21.  I’m >< this close to going out and grabbing one. I really want the Transformer and I know that overall I'll likely be happier with the IPS screen, but maybe I can pick one up from BestBuy to settle my Honeycomb craving and then return it if/when I find a Transformer to buy

    1. I gave up waiting for the Transformer and picked the A500 up last week. had a weekend sale and the 32GB unit was $449!  $50 less than BestBuy.  I also gave up waiting for the Galaxy Tab when I realized it didn’t have a hdmi port and no USB port.  What I gave up was the IPS screen on the Transformer but saved some dollars… Happy with A500 screen. Love the unit!

  22. I had it for three week and I love it.

  23. Mind has crash a couple. Of times, but I still love it. Battery life is awesome. The tag price with tax 499.89. Scared me n almost didn’t buy it.

  24.  i am typing on mine right now. picked it up yesterday at Target. all the best buys from Olympia to Seattle WA are sold out of them so they are certainly selling    im loving it so far  

  25. Wow, never even thought about it like that before. Wow.

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