My wife and I enjoyed our 11th anniversary last weekend by viewing 17th century Japanese woodcut prints in an art museum at the University of Connecticut. What was great about these prints were the detail, the color, the description of the process, the presentation and how nice the college staff was when our car got locked up in a construction zone. My wife was truly amazed at my astute perception that these classic antique prints were the precursers to manga comic books and were produced for the same reason – to create an income for the artist and get him out of the rice paddies. If you look at the process (separate plates get produced by hand to print each color, and each color is added one at a time, and if you know how comic books used to be printed before digital presses you’ll see what I mean). And since pictures of big burly guys with swords and beautiful persons of the feminine persuasion are more fun to look at than someone growing rice, the artists are a lot better paid than field workers.
But I digress. My wife and I exchanged gifts – she received a beautiful book about Japanese wood block prints and she bought me an Acer Iconia Tab A500 Android tablet at Best Buy (it was on sale).
She also bought me some pants at another shop, but I digress…
I managed to get home (a six-hour drive) before opening the white Acer box and checking out the hardware. A difficult task, but worth it.
The Tab was half charged out of the box – enough for me to see the crystal clear display, change the wallpaper and register the device on our mifi. It is very intuitive to rearrange the icons, use the programs and add apps through the Android Marketplace. The touchscreen is sensitive, very responsive and it was fun to see what the icons did when you touch them. Booting time is very short by comparison to my netbook and the gadget is just fun to use.
- The Acer Iconia Tab A500-10S16u is a revolutionary new tablet with gleaming 10.1″ touch-screen
- NVIDIA Tegra 2, the first mobile dual-core CPU brings the fastest, most visually-rich tablet experience, extreme multitasking
- Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system, specifically optimized for tablets, combined with Acer UI
- 10.1″ HD multi-touch display features an astounding 1280 x 800 resolution, advanced flash support, displaying your HD content in crystal-clear form.
- Check updates from your Facebook and Twitter contacts in a single glance!
- Enjoy face-to-face video chats and more with the 5MP rear-facing and 2MP front-facing camera.
- It brings a whole new level of interactivity placing all resources at your fingertips.
In addition, you can add a micro sd card to beef up the memory, use the HDMI port to output directly to your HD TV and use the built-in USB port to easily access your files on thumb drive or use a USB keyboard. Of course I had to try out each of those features and found they worked as advertised, and in each case exceeded my expectations.
I’ve now shot video and still pictures, installed and used a free Office app, played several games (Need for Speed turns the Tab into a steering wheel… and I still crash) and have just scratched the surface of what this great boy’s toy will do.
Although great, the tablet won’t yet replace my Windows machines – after all, Android is a different OS and it takes a little getting used to when you’re at home with Microsoft. I typed half of this review on the Tab with a cheap USB keyboard and our out-in-the stix mifi internet. The typing was slow, but probably due to typing right into WordPress with a less-than optimal internet connection. Typing was a lot faster in on-board apps. Some of the flash or java functions don’t quite display or work like I’m used to so I know to use the PeeCee when working on those projects.
Nevertheless, my experience using the Tab to read email, catch up on news and a lot more over lunch was just great. I foresee a lot of quality time spent with this gizmo, which makes up for us not getting a newspaper or television at home.
And I can find out a lot more about Japanese woodblock prints and comic books from the comfort of my chair, without the driving all day.
And pants are optional.
- Acer Iconia Tab 4G A501 Up For Pre-Order At Amazon For $499.99 (techie-buzz.com)