When Acer announced a $449 price tag for the Iconia Tab A500 tablet, I knew I wanted to take a look at the device. After all, most other Honeycomb tablets are priced higher and have mobile broadband connectivity, which brings a monthly data bill that not everyone wants. The A500 is Wi-Fi only, so there is no monthly bill, nor is there a carrier contract. The downside is that you’ll need to be near a wireless network when using the device, but with the growing number of smartphones that can act as 3G hotspots, I think this problem is diminishing over time.
The A500 just arrived a few hours ago, so I haven’t configured or used it yet, but here’s a first look video of it right out of the box. You can see that it’s a reasonably thin device, even when compared to the iPad 2, and has numerous ports: HDMI out, micro USB and even a full-sized USB port; rare for a tablet. The micro SD card slot does work and if you watch the video, you’ll see my secret storage spot for carrying memory expansion cards. All in all, I have favorable first impressions of the A500 tablet, but my full review will follow to share thoughts on long-term use.