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Acer's Iconia Tab A500 is considered an underdog in the Android tablet fight. We go over why it still a worthy contender and explain how to get USB support without rooting. Also, we get to take Honeycomb 3.1 for a test drive on this mobile device.
There's no doubt that tablets are changing the landscape of mobile computing. According to Gartner, this was the first year that there was a decline in the number of PCs sold, and tablets are partially to blame. We still have folks debating whether tablets are just the latest in a long line of technology-oriented fads. But personally, I don't think they're going to disappear anytime soon.
Many people shopping for a netbook or notebook really only need to check email or visit Web sites on the go. If the mobile device for which you're shopping is only meant to get you from one desktop PC to the next, while maintaining some semblance of connectivity, tablets do, in fact, make a lot of sense. Your priority isn't content creation. It's content consumption. The goal is to stay connected without the hassle of lugging around a netbook that you need to open up on your lap or boot up to a desktop operating system.
Really though, the challenge is finding the best tablet for what you want to do. Right now, the battle is between Apple and everyone else. If you want an Apple product, the choice is simple: buy an iPad 2 (check out Apple's iPad 2 Review: Tom's Goes Down The Tablet Rabbit Hole).
If you're not an Apple fan, the choice gets a little more complicated because there are several Android-based tablets. Each one is a little different; the experience is a little more like shopping for a notebook. Even though all Android tablets share similar hardware, depending on the model you choose, display quality, performance, and connectivity features vary. We took a thorough look at Motorola's offering (Motorola Xoom: The First Android 3.1 [Honeycomb] Tablet). Now let's move on to Acer's Iconia Tab A500.