Acer has tried to prove its presence in the mobile phone arena by releasing quite a few phones, although largely unsuccessfully. These phones, though are not well known and not widely used, are pretty good; the Liquid Metal is one example. Acer later moved on to the tablet PC zone where there was already a war going on between Apple, Samsung, Blackberry and the like, and released the Acer Iconia Tab. We got the Iconia Tab A501 in our hands and decided to put it against the God of all tablet PCs, the Apple iPad 2. The iPad 2 which we used was the Wi-Fi + 3G version.
Today, we will look at various aspects of the tablets and compare them based on design, operating systems, etc.
Though the two tablets are close to each other in terms of dimensions, with the Iconia measuring 260 x 177 x 13.3 mm lengthwise, breadthwise and in thickness and the iPad 2 scaling 241.2 mm in length, 185.7 mm in breadth and 8.8 mm in thickness, the Acer Iconia weighs considerably more than that of the iPad 2 at 730g as compared to the latter’s 607g. While the Iconia has a simple 10.1” LCD capacitive touchscreen, the iPad 2 has a really gorgeous 9.7” LED backlit IPS TFT one as its display!
For connection over 2G networks, the tablets have GSM quad bands of 850/900/1800/1900 and for the same over 3G, HSDPA bands of 900/2100 (in the Iconia) and 850/900/1900/2100 (in the iPad 2) are present which we hope are sufficient to provide really good communication aspects. GPRS, EDGE and WLAN are also present in the phones to provide easy access to internet. For facilitating faster data transfer, Bluetooth and microUSB slots have been provided in the tablets.
The Iconia Tab possesses a gray cell capability of 16/32GB which is almost equivalent to the iPad 2 only that the iPad 2 has an extension to 64GB as well. This has been compensated for in the Iconia by the presence of a 1GB RAM against the half powerful 512 MB that runs on the iPad 2. Additionally, the Iconia allows you to expand the memory slot to 32GB which Apple does not.
The iPad has a really pathetic camera. With a resolution of less than 1 MP (0.7MP), the cam of this tablet stands nowhere near the brilliant 5MP shooter of the Iconia Tab which also houses features such as autofocus, LED flash, etc. Video recording at 720p quality is enabled on both the phones. Secondary cameras of 2MP and VGA resolution quality are present in the Iconia and the iPad 2 respectively.
A dual core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor and ULP GeForce GPU coupled with the awesomeness of Android very well run the Iconia Tab A501 while in the case of the iPad 2, the Apple tablet is run by a 900 MHz dual-core CPU, a PowerVR GPU with iOS 5 as the operating platform. Though the speed of the processor of the iPad is lesser, iOS is known to manage multitasking and give excellent output when it comes to power management and processor optimization. So we should have no problems there!
The Iconia fails terribly here! With a really parsimonious and frugal 3260 mAh lithium polymer fuel, there is no chance it can even stand to compete against the almost twice powerful 6930 mAh battery of the iPad 2. We wonder why Acer has been so stupid enough to put such a simple battery for this otherwise wonderful device. The Iconia Tab costs about 490 Euros while the iPad 2 costs somewhere around 480 Euros.