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:
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!
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.
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
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.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer with Keyboard Dock
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.
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.
Side profile of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer with Keyboard Dock
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!
What makes the perfect tablet to you?
Acer Iconia A500 Vs. Asus Eee Pad Transformer - Who Wins?
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I’ll put my money on transaformer. Great spaecs and has quality at very raesonable price.
By teh way,does this both powered by pure untainted honeycomb or is this also bundled by proprietary touch i like sammy’s touchwiz ui on their tabs?
This article seems a little sided. The article really should just say
Asus A500 + Keyboard = Perfect.
It seems like because asus has a keyboard it beats the Acer. But the Keyboard adds more cost (is that even factored in?)
The Storage and Camera section says
“The Acer Iconia A500 tablet does contain twice the onboard storage, with 32GB versus the Transformers’ 16GB.”
This is false. The Pre-order version of the Acer (on Bestbuy’s website) is for the 16gb version.
Also both the Acer and the Asus have a microSD port up to 32gb. This is a wash. The only thing you should have compared is the Camera. Which is just the front facing one.
If you are Comparing the Asus with the Keyboard, then you need to add the cost to the over all comparsion.
I do agree that the Asus is looking like a better deal (even with out the keyboard).
Totally one sided or out of date, if you actually do some fact checking for yourself now you will find that just like the transformer acer do an optional keyboard dock accessory…so ummm……..what are you judging the winner on now?
I agree with Max. This post is a little sided!
A Critical point that was left out of the post: the Acer A500 has a Full-Size Host USB 2.0 Port!
Per the A500′s Manual, “USB devices are supported, such as a keyboard or USB storage device, through the Host USB port. …You can access media files (photos, music and video) on USB storage devices with your tablet’s multimedia apps.”
With that being said:
1. Without spending $150, you can plug in any regular (aka, cheap) keyboard in to the Acer A500. Yes, you won’t have the additional battery life, but if I’m someplace were I’m going to be doing enough typing to warrant an ext. keyboard, there’s most likely a place I can plug in power too.
2. Since USB storage devices are supported, seems to me you’ll be able to have access to a LOT more storage than just 80GB!
Just my two cents…
your 2nd point made me buy ICONIA…exactly! 80 GB is nothing compared to my external 2TB harddrive
You didn’t mentioned if the Asus is equipped with full USB port or just mini USB.
This review is LAME.
Acer Aconia beats the ASUS simply by having a full sized functioning USB port. True it costs $50/- (right now), but for that an extra port + a better front camera is not too terribly bad imo.
How many of you planning to buy the ASUS are going to carry their keyboards around? Or if you are out & about and a file needs to be shared via USB (the most common pervasive medium currently), will your answer be to email it (hopefully not a large file!!!) or ftp or dropbox it?
The USB comes into play if you have a PPT file, for example, and need to get it printed @ Kinko’s; or attach a full sized KB; or DL files from an external drive.
ASUS all the way for me.
P.S: I have a XOOM currently & that is going back to Costco next weekend.
Do you mean acer all the way?
I think the keyboard base is a great idea. When put together it doesn’t look much different than a netbook, and adds extra battery life. Sure you can use a usb or bluetooth keyboard, but I haven’t seen one yet that looks like it is a easy fit or a fold and go type of affair. I hope to try out a transformer soon.
This review is so one sided why did you drop the rating on the cameras, when you stated the Transformer was weak? I would put my money on Acer all the way.. Asus has a bad reputation; I’ve owned their Eee PC’s and all they do is flood the market with sub-par none upgradeable devices, with very limited support. I picked up the A500 because I know i will be-able to do more.. If you want a throw away, tablet get the Transformer!!.. and the price is way more with the keyboard don’t let the 399.99 fool ya!!..
Processing Unit: Acer and Asus have the same – Tie
Acer – not IPS with 250K colors
Asus – has IPS screen with better viewing angle – WINNER (+2)
Acer – building 16Gig, external 32 Gig memory card, unlimited via USB – WINNER (+3)
Asus – building 16Gig, external 32 Gig memory card
Acer – 5MP back, 2MP front – WINNER (+1)
Asus – 5MP back, 1.2MP front
Acer – one game
Asus – Cloud computing ( 1 year free), Polaris Office – WINNER (+1)
Acer – 1.7 lb
Asus – 1.5 lb – WINNER (+1)
Acer – 260 x 177 x 13.3 mm
Asus – 271 x 176 x 12.9 mm – WINNER (+1)
Acer – 8 hours
Asus – 9 hours – WINNER (+1)
For everyday use the most important are: battery life, weight, size, screen, front camera differences
Here what we have for everyday winner:
Acer – 1
Asus – 5 – WINNER
For those who care about storage Acer has better external options, but in that case who needs a Tablet. Just use a PC.
But if you think more about it….
Size and Weight not differ much, let’s tie it
Screen – yes, it is a big difference, but I cannot say for sure, because I have not tried Asus yet. I saw Acer and I have no complains about the screen. So let’s say it is not a factor here.
Asus does not have ANY USB port unless you dock it. So portability is zero!!! If I want to copy files from my camera while on a go, no chance to do it with Asus. With acer you can connect USB sticks, or external HDs!!! (FAT32 format) Big plus here.
Asus – no USB, only bluetooth for keyboard or mouse(?)
Acer – 2 USBs, connect Keyboards, mouse, USB sticks, external HDs. May be more, like fingerprint reader? – WINNER (+3)
So what we have
Acer – 3
Asus – 0
Yeah, the multiple USB ports and HDMI port were hook, line and sinker for me. Very easy to transfer notes, recordings, pics, etc. I don’t think people give this factor enough credit. Think about it — you can rip DVDs and transfer for them to your device! They will definitely play if you download the right video app (Rock Player works great for me) I’ve already done so.
After weeks of waiting, I finally got my Eee Pad. After one week of having it, I accidentally brushed up against a door while holding it damaging the power button. Wasn’t even a head on collision; more like a casual bump. It won’t turn on any more. I don’t know about the Acer, but the build quality of the Eee Pad is definitely sub-par. Yea, it has an IPS display made out of Gorilla Glass. But that doesn’t mean squat if the rest of it is made out of cray paper. And this thing is supposed to double as a netbook? Damn thing can’t even take a casual bump.
People considering an Eee Pad need to reconsider if durability is a requirement. If you’re going to be using this thing around the house exclusively and are willing to treat it like a new born, premature, baby all the time then you might be ok.
Acer Iconia A500 has 16GB on board, not 32GB. fix the article please!
I like to rectify that the Acer a500 has a build in flash memory of 32gb and the micro-SD slot supports up to 64gb.
Wondering about the micro-sd slot supports up to 64gb, have you ever try to use a 64gb micro-sd to your acer tablet a500, does it really support the 64gb micro-sd?
Interesting points from a number of people but so many of you are misinformed. Acer Iconia A500 has 32GB built in memory. The mSD card supports up to 32GB according to the user manual and not 64GB. It might support up to 64GB but I’m just saying as it is in the user booklet.
There are alot of hoo haa going on about the Asus’s IPS display panel with 170+ degree angle view compared to Acer’s LCD display with only 252K colours. The truth is that who in the world will use the tablet and will be looking at it at that extreme angle? Who I ask? But since we believe to each its own, Acer’s LCD has view angle of up to 160 degree, which is close enough with the Asus’s IPS panel. There were some debate on the 16m vs 252K colour issue also. The fact is straight forward, the more the colour the better the pics. But honestly, if you have tried the Acer Iconia and Asus Transformer for yourself you would notice very little difference. Both have awesome display. On paper Asus Transformer is better but to the naked eye it is about the same.
Let talk about the keyboard dock now. Acer do offer a dock for Iconia A500 also and if you can’t get your hands on one of those you can always use any usb/bluetooth keyboard. This whole argument about keyboard is ridiculous because it kinda defeats the purpose of the touchscreen no? Some people argue the extra battery life but again to carry both of them will drain your battery. There are always always an option to carry external charged batteries which infact are lighter than the dock. Again to each its own.
Lets talk about the software. Altough both are using Android Honeycomb 3.01 but I kid you not when I say that the honeycomb experience is way better on the Acer Iconia than on the Transformer. The honeycomb integration is much better on the Iconia. Asus has so many problems, there were issues with the camera, the dock and also the some other ones I can’t remember. Acer has its own share of problems I suppose but I haven’t heard much except the compass calibration.
Gorilla glass. I’m telling you, this one is a huge selling point. Asus Transformer comes with the famous Gorilla glass and it has been marketing the tablet on this also. The Acer Iconia on the other hand is not promoted to have one. But the Acer Iconia A500 is shown to have the Gorilla glass on the coning’s website. I think it does, why they are not promoting this, I have absolutely no idea but again, this is not confirmed. I’m just telling you as how I see it.
The size and weight champion is Asus Transformer, hands down. I mean the difference is huge, its 0.2lbs in weight and 1-2 mm in dimension. Hahaha, yes I’m being sarcastic. But to those who says that ‘hey, difference in weight no matter how much is still a difference’. Well to those people I don’t have a comeback for you but then again I can only imagine that these are the people who do not take the dock as a plus point for the asus.
Lastly, the price. Everyone keeps screaming its 399 vs 449 and they also mention on the argument that the dock is a super plus point. Do not be fooled. That price is without dock and it is for 16GB version only. With the dock it will cost more than Iconia.
Lastly lets talk about the current market stock. Acer Iconia A500 are available worldwide whereas Asus Transformer are nowhere to be seen except on youtube reviews.
For me both tablets are good. Neither one should be trashed. The only reason I sided more to the Acer Iconia A500 was that the article above seems very untrue and one sided. It seemed like the writer was bashing the Acer tab purposely. Dude are getting paid to do that? Hahaha, just kidding. Anyways, if you are looking to buy a tab and do not know which one to get, I’m telling you that they both are awesome and you can’t go wrong with either. Have fun playing with your tab.
i had the iconia for a few weeks and then sold it to buy the transformer. The transformers display is way better than the iconia tab. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about.
I have both of the tabs and some china ones that you might not even heard of. What the guy was saying is on the dot and i can back this up with my own experience in using and owning both. He also mentioned that in the end it is a personal choice. Just because you sold your Iconia Tab and bought a Transformer does not mean and has no proof of one being better than the other. It only shows your preference. Please do read the whole article and know that he said it over and over that it is not an attack to either tablet. Have a nice day.
I was out looking at both these tabs today….side by side.
Some things I noticed:
The Asus IPS panel DOES look better. Resolution is identical (1280×800) on both tabs. The rest of the story is purely subjective.
The Asus doesn’t have a flash for the rear-facing camera. This was of no concern to me, as I would never use the cam, anyway.
Screen scrolling on the Asus was a bit jittery, compared to the buttery smooth animation on the Acer.
The Asus has no USB ports. The Acer has two; one full size and one micro.
Honeycomb integration on the Acer seemed more polished and complete, than the Asus….but…..
Here’s one that could be a complete deal-killer: The Acer doesn’t rotate the screen, when changing orientation. I looked and looked for an on/off or preference setting…it’s just not there. Landscape is it. WHAT were they thinking?!
Bottom line: If the price point were the same, I may have just taken the Acer home, despite the lack of screen rotation. All in all, it just felt more complete, polished and ready for prime-time.
The screen does rotate, you looked in the wrong place to unlock the rotation capability. Acer chose to use a physical, slide button to lock orientation rather than burying the option three or four levels deep in their menus. So instead of going through ‘Settings, Display, Orientation, Rotation Lock’ and then choosing On or Off, all you have to do is flip the switch to lock or unlock the rotation capability – much quicker that way (and another plus for the Acer).
Bit confused Rob_S, I’ve just been looking at the Acer A500 as I’m considering buying one. The screen rotated on the model I tried – UK version 32Gb
The screen does rotate. There’s an orientation lock switch at the top of the device that was probably flipped on, so that’s why you probably were unable to flip it.
I actually have a Acer A500 and I’m pretty happy with it. The graphics from HD games look stunning on the display so I cant complain. The USB ports are a huge plus for me. Not only for external storage and keyboards but if you also have a Acer Laptop like I do, they have a program to sync your laptop to your tablet. The power button on the A500 is flush mounted on the side. Easy to push but hard to bump it into something and break it. Something I dont think I’ve seen mentioned is the sound on the A500. It’s using a form of Dolby surround and puts out some pretty amazing sound for 2 tiny speakers. My A500 Came with 3 HD games and a few Acer apps installed but honestly, I didnt buy it for what’s installed. That’s what the Android market is for.
THE ACER SCREEN DOES ROTATE!
There’s a switch by the volume switch to lock and unlock rotation. The difference in battery lift is negliable. Without comparison I was inpressed with how long the battery would last. There’s a power managment tool in settings that will help you tweak the tablet to increase battery life. It shows what percentage of power is being used for everything, screen, wifi, sound, etc.
Your review is missing some important information.
1. The Acer Iconia has a full USB port that now works with external hard drives, external mouse and external keyboard.
2. The Acer Iconia has a microHDMI out which allows for multimedia play on larger screens.
3. The Acer Iconia also comes equipped with Gorilla Glass for that scratch resistance you like so much on the Transformer.
4. The Acer Iconia was produced in sufficient quantities on launch day to actual have stock on hand for sale.
I wanted so much to like the Transformer. It’s a cool concept. But Asus dropped the ball on the manufacturing process.
can do this????????anyone have iconia do this:
connect a usb gsm modem to acer iconia and invent a acer iconia 3g :D????
The 3G version(acer iconia a501) is coming out next month. The 3G usb modem can be used with iconia a500. Follow the instruction in the link below. I myself haven’t tried it but a lot of people have successfully used this method to make 3G work on their iconia a500. All the best.
I own the A500 and I love it.
A500 has its own keyboard now.
Sure it doesn’t dock with the tablet but I have a stand for it.
Check out the keyboard reviews here: http://everydayreviews.net/index.php?topic=100.0
I don’t know if that will change your view or not but I def think A500 wins
I bought the Asus primarily because of the better display, the first one i bought had some light bleeding and dead pixel, returned it with a new one. But the second one has worst light bleeding on it and you can literally twist the tablet and more backlight bleeds out. The only good with the tablet is the better display and its thinner but the buillt is sub-par, with the plastic backing, the tablet can be twisted with no effort. Returned it as well and replaced it with ACER. now I’m loving it, i would have replaced it with the Galaxy Tab since they have the same IPS display but it’s not out yet and my 30 day runs out in a week.
So first of all, I’m typing this using my Acer Iconia with a USB keyboard I had laying around… it works flawlessly. I have personally never seen or touched an Asus Eee Pad, but I absolutely love my Iconia a500… it feels sturdy, classy, like it was built well, and having that USB port really seals the deal for me, especially being a retro game nut and chomping at the bit for Honeycomb 3.1 so I can play emulators with a controller. If you want a tablet that has everything you need, this is the one… all of the others have ups and downs by comparison, but this one seems like it really represents the standard, nothing more and nothing less… and that’s why I love it.
not being computer literate I assume both can use an air stick for wi-fi coverage
thanks b hollinworth ps I dont know what a URL is
I don’t think the keyboard should weigh into this so much, I want to know how these two compare as pure and simple tablets. Unfortunately this article doesn’t help me decide.
The Lack of connectivity on the ASUS was the deal breaker for me. Further to that if I wanted a device with a physical keyboard I’d spend a few hundred dollars less and buy a Netbook.
ACER Wins for me though I’m sure the ASUS rocks too.
The Asus needs the dock for USB. Acer all the way.
If you use the extra keyboard to compare at $150 more. Iconia WINs the price point.
Also storage is better on the ACER.
16gb internal + 32gb Micro SD + 32gb Nano USB card reader extra cost of $5 for a total of 80gb
Also 80gb by the Asus but w/ a $150 keyboard.
This is not a fair comparsion, if you factor in a keyboard, you must use it along w/ the rest of the comparsion. Don’t compare storage w/ the keyboard and when you compare size and weight remove it in the comparsion.
The only thing the ASUS has over the ACER is Gorilla Glass. ( only helps if you let your kids use a key as a stylus pen otherwise everybody buys a case anyway.)
Both screens look great, but IPS is a plus if you have a family watching a movie all together on a 10″ screen on family night. IPS is great for sharing my password to a guy next to me in a coffee shop.
Hardware the ACER is better why you say, well a better camera w/ flash which should be inncluded in the hardware comparsion and not storage/camera. DOH..
The ACER also has a screen tilt lock that the ASUS don’t have.
So in the end for example adding useless features onto something doesn’t make it better.
One more thing the ACER has a slightly bettter battery life.
So learn to see the big picture before writing a review.
Acer Iconia is now cheaper than the Asus. You can get an Acer for the same price, $399.99. Some stores were also giving $50-$100 discounts as well.
asus is the best
Huh, It’s a bit of a standoff now. I would not really count the Asus dock in, as it only transforms eeepad into super expensive netbook that does not run Windows.
I did not see either of the screens, but it seems that IPS on Asus has a bit of an edge. Iconia on the other hand, has much better ports, and USB host and microUSB are really nice addition. It’s a shame it does not charge over microUSB though…
I guess I am going for Iconia, only because of the USB and microUSB. For 399$ it’s probably a best buy now.
I wanted to buy the ASUS Transformer… but the Acer won out. I’ve had it for a few weeks now and have enjoyed it every minute. It is running Android 3.1 and is smooth and stable. It has never forced closed anything yet. It runs fast. I am 100% happy with my choice.
I use the Motorola blue-tooth keyboard when I am near a desk. The on screen keyboard with haptic (vibrate) touch is a plus when out and about. The Asus transformer does not have haptic feedback.
Bleak, Arbylee, Techsupport…..the Acer is JUNK compared to the Asus and will be slow in getting OS updates. The quality of the Asus is FAR BETTER than the Acer…which feels cheap. I dont like junk….but you can do what you want……
Read a ton of info on both tablets before deciding which one to buy. Both seem to have overall equal performance. It came down to this. The Acer had usb connection and other connections built into it which makes it a tiny bit wider than the asus. With the asus you need to spend $150 to get the keyboard doc (which basically turns it into a netbook) to get these. If the “cool” factor of having a thinner unit and a cooler keyboard doc is more important…go with the asus. If you want a more practical and less cool “all in one” functional unit not needing a keyboard doc…get the acer. I used both extensively and loved the performance on both.
I ended up getting the acer.
You did mention the full USB slot that the Acer has. I don’t think the Asus has that.
Does anyone know if Asus has DLNA?
This article is very much biased, focusing on only the strengths of the Asus. It does not focus on the strengths of the Acer or the weaknesses of either device.
Points to note:
There is no comparison of the actual screens between the two devices
There is no actual side to side comparison at all
There is no actual comparison of the performance between the two devices (it is stated this is because the processors are the same, but both Acer and Asus modified the OS to get it on their device).
The Acer has a built in full USB port. I think the Asus has a USB port or two on the keyboard, but this requires the keyboard to be carried around for USB support, which would completely negate the Asus’ slightly smaller form factor for portability. The keyboard is really pretty cool, but when attached to the tablet gives it the form factor of a laptop, not a tablet.
The Acer isn’t all perfect, for example many A500s have had a microphone issue. (Acer is particularly good about getting it fixed, but it is annoying).
I own two Android tablets, one is the Acer A500. I have played on an Asus Transformer a little, and think it is also a great device. I would really like to see a fair and unbiased comparison , and I just feel like this is more of a one-sided rant on how the Asus is superior than anything else. The fact that someone got paid to write this and call it a comparison is a bit sad.
Important to me was to keep it portable so NO dock or keyboard requirement to have a full USB port. The BT Keyboard by Logitech I got for my PS3 with the built in mousepad that worked day 1 on the Acer, it also works with my Mac.
Winner for me Acer.
Let me add that since the ota 3.2 update the Acer A500 supports the NTFS file system as well as fat32. Not only is the NTFS more reliable but it also utilizes storage much better. I am able to use my existing 750gb portable drive that connects to my laptop with the built in eSata port I can useThe USB port to connect to the Acer which is great.
One more cool thing is if i do not want to use my existing HDMI cable I can use the included app Clearfi to play video to my 56″ HDTV through my connected PS3 With no skips at all. Acer really just gets better with time for me
Este é um teste totalmente pendente para o lado do Asus. Como comparar armazenamento? Basta colocarmos ligado no USB do Acer a500 um hd externo de 1TB. Melhor colocar uma propaganda.
This is a test completely drop to the side of Asus. How to compare storage? Just put on the USB Acer one a500 1TB external hd. Better put an advertisement.
Needs to be updated. Why promote the asus so much? XD I mean jeez, you didn’t even mention that the dock is 150$ more. Plus the acer had led flash and costs less… You guys are so bias. The asus creaks when you hold it, good build quality? Please.
I have the Acer A500 and have used a hub with a keyboard, mouse, and storage. I have also used a wireless keyboard and mouse with usb receiver ($15). This alone is a plus over buying many of the other tablets.
i was torn between these two tabs before, but finally chose the acer iconia for the following reasons (in no particular order):
1. led flash for back camera / better resolution front camera
2. built-in usb ports for expansion (biggest factor!)
3. no need for the separate keyboard dock for the keyboard & storage
4. price (acer is way cheaper than the asus at the time i bought it)
5. both has gorilla glass although the acer is bit heftier / heavier, but i can live with that
6. both units are far better than apple’s ipad 2