Android Honeycomb Tablet Price Plunge! Acer Iconia A500 Vs. Asus Eee Pad Transformer

April 10, 2011
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The Android Honeycomb defeatists have already declared the Xoom a flop. While this might be true in financial circles, where savvy investors are looking for the companies that offer the best combination of high margins, and willing hordes of zombie like consumers foaming at the mouth for the latest product they release, Android users a bit too smart for this nonsense. Thankfully, a company called Asus has truly stepped up to the plate and created something magical. Read below for our detailed review and comparison on why we think the Asus Eee Pad Transformer is a particularly innovative and compelling product.

Reading the comments everyday like I do, I think it’s safe to say that intelligent, price conscious shoppers are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the following:

  • Prices of Honeycomb tablets to go down, maybe to as low as $350
  • The number of apps for Honeycomb to grow and become available
  • For the development community to kick into high gear and start producing some seriously innovative stuff
  • For the majority of major companies to actually release their wares

So, What Makes the Perfect Honeycomb Tablet?

In all likelihood, people just want a good quality tablet that has great performance, a nice screen that is viewable under most circumstances, good build quality, excellent battery life, and basic, to-be-expected functionality, out of the box. Yes, this includes Flash and SD card functionality as well.

Right now, it’s looking like a repeat of the Netbook wars of 2009/2010. Currently, we have two companies, both from Taiwan, with substantial experience in playing the low margins game. Acer and Asus have debuted their respective offerings, and both are coming Stateside shortly.

Acer Iconia A500 Vs. Asus Eee Pad Transformer

While similarly positioned in terms of specs, there are a few differences that should not go unheeded. We’ve heard reports that both tablets are coming off the same manufacturing lines, most likely assembled by the same sets of hands. Nevertheless, lets see how they stack up!

Hardware/Performance:

Both tablets have the NVidia Tegra 2 system on a chip powering them, which is clocked at 1GHz with 1GB RAM. The Nvidia Tegra 2 Soc performs really well on Android 3.0 Honeycomb, so we should consider them very similar performance wise.

Winner: Tie

Storage/Cameras:

The Acer Iconia A500 tablet contains  the same onboard storage, as the Transformers’ 16GB. Further to this, it also has a better quality front facing camera, and supposedly, a better warranty. Another important thing to know about the Transformer is that it has a microSD slot, as well as an additional full SD Card slot on the Keyboard dock, so theoretically, you could get 32GB+32GB+16GB for a total of 80GB of storage.

Winner: Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Acer Iconia A500 Hands On

Form Factor/Functionality:

The Acer Iconia A500 is thicker & heavier, but just slightly. Further to this it is missing the wonderful keyboard dock addition that the Transformer has, which makes it virtually the same as all other tablets currently on the market, or set to be released shortly.

Strangely, it looks like Acer has dropped the ball on this one. A product sibling of the Iconia A500 is the Iconia W500, which is essentially the Windows Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde version of the A500. This particular model, while aesthetically identical, does come with a keyboard accessory very similar to that of the Eee Pad Transformer’s, but Acer has unfortunately decided that it was not ‘a good fit’ for the A500.

Winner: Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Asus Eee Pad Transformer with Keyboard Dock

Build Quality:

While we haven’t had a chance to compare two production models side by side, we did get a chance to feel them before. The Acer Iconia A500, while a good quality unit, had some flex to it which caused us some concern. Plus, we know that the Asus Eee Pad Transformer has a display with the brilliant IPS technology, that has a great viewing angle, and works well under sunlight. Additionally, the Asus Eee Pad’s display comes with Gorilla Glass, which we know from experience is incredible at resisting scratches.

Winner: Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Price Difference:

Here we are talking about the difference of approximately $50, with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer set to be released for the price of $399.99, while the Acer Iconia A500 is being released at $449.99. We know these days, every bit counts.

Winner: Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Side profile of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer with Keyboard Dock

Conclusion:

It’s no secret we’re big fans of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. With it’s innovative form factor, great battery life, 2 SD Card slots, excellent IPS display, and Keyboard dock, we’re going to give it a big thumbs up!

Winner: Asus Eee Pad Transformer

What makes the perfect tablet to you?

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