The Acer Iconia Tab has a stylish exterior, but the Android tablet also has a removable back cover, replaceable battery, and 3G-ready internal design.
The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is one of several 10-inch Android tablets priced below the Apple iPad. It has a dual-core NVidia Tegra 2 1GHz processor, 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM, a 10.1-inch touchscreen display (1280x800), a 2 MP front camera, and 5 MP rear camera. It comes with Android 3 Honeycomb installed.
As of this writing, the A500 is available in 16GB ($449.99) and 32GB ($499.99) versions. The current models only support Wi-Fi connectivity. There is speculation that Acer will release a 3G version on AT&T (the A501) in mid-2011. As with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, there already a spot on the A500's motherboard for a 3G card.
Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Acer Iconia Tab (A500)
Cracking Open observations
- Easy-open case: There are no external case screws on the Iconia Tab, but the back cover was surprisingly easy to remove. Using a thin metal or plastic blade, I was able to quickly pop off the cover.
- Standard screws: Inside the Iconia Tab, Acer used standard Phillips screws to hold the internal hardware in place. I was able to remove all the internal screws using a Phillips #0 bit.
- Battery can be replaced: The Iconia Tab's 3260 mAh Li-ion battery is easy to remove and replace.
- Display is stuck to the front panel: The front panel (digitizer) and LCD screen are held together with strong adhesive. Separating the two components could result in damage to either or both.
- 3G-ready motherboard and case: Acer left open spots on the motherboard and inside the case for a separate 3G card and antenna. The internal mounting plate even has screw holes for the card.
- Organized internal hardware layout: Compared to the Asus Eee Pad Transformer's cluttered interior, the Iconia Tab has a more organized internal design. Provided you could get replacement parts, this tablet shouldn't be too difficult to repair.
Our Acer Iconia Tab A500 test unit had the following hardware components:
- 3260 mAh, 24Wh Li-Polymer battery (BAT100)
- GoerTek microphones (x2)
- Atmel mXT1386 touchscreen controller
- Atmel mXT154 touchcreen controllers (x3)
- AU Optronics B101EW05 10.1" LED-backlit WXGA display (1280x800)
- 2 MP front-facing and 5MP rear-facing cameras
- Compal WLAN antenna (DC33000UK20)
- 1.0 GHz dual-core NVidia Tegra 2 application processor (12B2B305 1108A3)
- 1GB Elpida B8132B2PB-6D-F LPDDR2 SDRAM
- Texas Instruments LVDS83B power controller
- Wolfson WM8903 Ultra low power audio CODEC
- Invensense MPU-3050 Triple Axis Gyroscope with Embedded Digital Motion Processor
- Broadcom BCM4751 Integrated Monolithic GPS Receiver
- Intersil ISL6251 Low Cost Multi-Chemistry Battery Charger Controller
- Texas Instruments 51125 Dual-Synchronous, Step-Down Controller (power management chip)
- AzureWave AW-NH611 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth, FM Combo Module IC
- 16GB SanDisk SDIN4C2-16G NAND Flash
- ENE Technology KB930QF A1 (clock generator?)
- Texas Instruments TPS65862 power-management IC
- Winbond 25X10BVN1C 1M-bit Serial Flash Memory
Update 12/19/2011: This post originally appeared in our TR Dojo blog.