Sunday, 26 June 2011

Acer Iconia A500 Tab - first impressions

For the uninitiated this is a tablet style PC with a touch screen running Android Honeycomb operating system. The same form factor as an iPod.
I only picked this up a day ago so this is not a review just my thoughts. I wanted the tab for blogging while traveling so what is important to me is how easy it is to add pictures and text to my blog. Access to email also important well Facebook also.
When I opened the box I was a bit disappointed to find only the US power adapters. The power supply is one of those with provision for multiple snap on pins to cater for different countries. However Acer sells an international pack as an accessory. Upon reflection that is probably fair.
Initial setup very straight forward. I initially had concerns about WiFi connectivity but that turned out to be my tight security not any problems with the Tab. With only a little personal configuration I was up and running.
I connected to my laptop via the supplied USB cable and my personal contacts were automatically downloaded from Outlook. Well some did, I am still a bit confused. Typing an email address  and autofill will suggest names from my address book, but I can't find where it has saved them. Not in Contacts. More learning to do.

The Tab stored my gmail account details and I quickly had access to all that I do via Google. Picasa, blogger, gmail, google docs etcetera. A quick trip to Market and I had downloaded and installed K9 Mail, my preferred email client and Jota Text editor which I am using to type this out. So far it is all so easy.
The onsceen keyboard works well. I am almost typing at normal speed. Mistakes are made but some of them are my poor spelling or missing the correct key. Major complaint at the moment. I am making lots of typing errors and want to go back to correct them. I have not worked out how to precisely place the cursor, I need arrow keys. (and then he works out that you just need to tap near the edit point and you can get a slider control that puts the cursor exactly where you want it. sigh).
I am sitting on my balcony, the Tab display is like a mirror, you could shave in the reflection, the keyboard and text contents can be hard to see.
Things that I have discovered that were hard to work out online.
The Acer slip cover is flimsy and props the Tab too upright to type on. I have rested it on something else.The cover does not provide much protection to the LCD display. Scratches yes, impact no.

The USB port works well and I can access images on it from a thumb drive (I don't care about video and music).
You need to take the Tab out of the slip cover to insert a microUSB card. Also I could not see the contents until I had turned the Tab off and back on. This is important to me as I wish to move photos from my camera onto the Tab. Can I move photos across? Let me check. So far not looking good. Uploads to Picasa seem to be not working. Plan B. email. I will check later.
Later: Uploads to Picasa are so easy from the Gallery when you work out how. Part of the Learning curve.
First impressions. I like it

The Bludger

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