Acer Iconia Tab A500 Review

Sean Hollister at Engadget:

And thanks to the fairly stellar viewing angles of Acer’s 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 TFT LCD display, sharing such multimedia might actually make sense. It’s no IPS screen, to be sure, and we won’t make any excuses for the incredible amount of glare and raw fingerprint grease attracted to its mirror-like finish, but for a plain-jane LCD panel, it’s surprisingly good. Text is crisp, colors pop, whites get blindingly bright and blacks fairly dim, and those features only wash out marginally when viewed at oblique angles. Acer’s capacitive digitizer is also blissfully responsive — Honeycomb struggles to keep up — and tracks ten full points of contact simultaneously (we checked) for whatever multi-finger gestures app developers might eventually roll out. Weaknesses include pixels visible with the naked eye and the near-uncertainty of being able to see anything on the screen outdoors, but we’ve seen plenty of sub-$1,000 laptops that wish they had the screen Acer brings to the table here.

The 10.1-inch TFT LCD used in the Acer Iconia Tab A500 Honeycomb tablet seems to have a relatively good display. The 1280×800 pixel format in a 10.1-inch display results in a resolution of 149 ppi, which isn’t in Retina Display territory unless you hold it 23 inches from you. At normal viewing distances of around 18 inches you’ll be able to distinguish individual pixels given you have 20/20 vision. To be fair the iPad 2 is even further from giving you the Retina Experience with a resolution of only 132 ppi.

The one point I can’t quite understand is how a digitizer can be responsive while the OS isn’t. Don’t the two go hand in hand?

K.T. Bradford at Laptop:

The A500’s 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 WXGA screen has an aspect ratio of 16:10 and good color depth. Brightness and clarity matched that of the Motorola Xoom, but the 8.9-inch T-Mobile G-Slate’s display seemed a bit crisper when we compared the two side by side, and the iPad 2’s display was far brighter. In some cases, too, the A500’s screen was a little washed out. Among 10-inch Android tablets, some may prefer the IPS panel on the Eee Pad Transformer which promises wider viewing angles.

The 10.1-inch LCD is a 6-bit panel good for 256,000 color combinations. I wouldn’t consider that good at all. What is good is an 8-bit LCD with millions of colors, something you find in the iPads.

The T-Mobile G-Slate has an 8.9-inch LCD with a 1280×768 pixel format good for a resolution of 168 ppi, which is probably why it looked crispier than the Motorola Xoom (10.1-inch, 1280×800, 149 ppi). And why would anyone not prefer an IPS LCD?