Motorola Xoom vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v vs Acer Iconia A500: Android tablet showdown

Are you in the market for an Android tablet? Which is the better pick out of Motorola's Xoom, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Acer's Iconia A500?
Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' is Google's tablet operating system

Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' is Google's tablet operating system

Apple's iPad 2 may be the dominant player in the tablet market, but the coming months will see the release of a plethora of Android tablets equipped with Google's latest 'Honeycomb' operating system. Three of the first are the Motorola Xoom, which will launch exclusively through Telstra in May, the Vodafone-exclusive Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v, which hits the shelves on May 4, and the Acer Iconia A500, which is currently available through major retailers.

Read our comprehensive Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v review and Acer Iconia A500 review, along with our detailed Motorola Xoom preview.

All three of these Android tablets run Google's latest Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' operating system, which has been specifically designed for larger screened tablet devices. With each of these devices running virtually identical software, how do the Motorola Xoom, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v and the Acer Iconia A500 compare when it comes to specifications?

Motorola Xoom vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v vs. Acer Iconia A500: Specifications

Feature Motorola Xoom Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v Acer Iconia A500
Display size 10.1in 10.1in 10.1in
Display technology Capacitive TFT Capacitive TFT Capacitive TFT
Display resolution 1280x800 pixels 1280x800 pixels 1280x800 pixels
Multitouch Yes Yes Yes
Front camera 2 megapixels 2 megapixels 2 megapixels
Rear camera 5 megapixels, dual-LED flash, autofocus, geotagging 8 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging 5 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging
Video recording Yes, 720p HD Yes, 1080p HD Yes, 720p HD
GPS Yes Yes Yes
Internal memory 32GB 16GB 16GB or 32GB
Expandable memory microSD None microSD
Dimensions 249.1 x 167.8 x 12.9mm 246.2 x 170.4 x 10.9mm 260 x 177 x 13.3mm
Weight 730g 600g 730g
Processor NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core (1GHz) Samsung dual-core (1GHz) NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core (1GHz)
RAM 1GB 1GB 1GB
3G networks HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 Wi-Fi only
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP 2.1 with A2DP 2.1 with A2DP
HDMI-out Yes No Yes
USB port No No Yes
Quoted battery life Up to 10 hours Up to 10 hours Up to 10 hours
Adobe Flash support Yes Yes Yes

Software and performance

The Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v and Acer Iconia all run the same software, so the end user experience is almost identical. Key features of Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' include an 'action bar', a contextual option group displayed at the top of the screen, five customisable home screens with a big emphasis on widgets, a recent apps list for easier multitasking, a redesigned on-screen keyboard, a new browser and improved copy and paste. If all that isn't enough of a tongue twister, Android 3.0 Honeycomb also offers support for tabbed Web browsing, and 3D graphics. Overall, the Android software for tablets is a huge improvement over earlier versions; tablets running earlier versions felt more like overblown smartphones.

The software on all three of these tablets is a 'vanilla' version of the Honeycomb OS, so there is no UI overlay or enhancements slapped over the top of the standard Android interface. However, Acer includes a few small hubs to store and sort downloaded apps on the Iconia A500. These include social, eReading, Game Zone and Multimedia — they are merely a fancy bookshelf background where you can group application shortcuts, and don't add much to the overall user experience.

Acer includes a few small hubs to store and sort downloaded apps on the Iconia A500. These include social, eReading, Game Zone and Multimedia.

All three tablets offer a slick Web browser that is fast and displays Flash content, most of the time with minimal delay. They also support tabbed Web browsing, and the entire browsing experience is as close as you'll find to a full desktop or notebook computer. The on-screen keyboard on all three devices is spacious and comfortable to type on once you get used to its layout.

The handling of notifications is excellent, and the recent apps list also makes flicking back and forth between recently used programs a breeze. We love the flexibility of live widgets; they are particularly useful on a tablet that has much more screen real estate than a smartphone.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide
Topics: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Acer Iconia, Vodafone, Android 3.0 Honeycomb, tablets, motorola xoom, Android tablets, Telstra

Comments

skitzandroid

1

Nice writeup. Thanks for that. I think the Galaxy Tab is probably the winner IMO.

Are you certain that the Galaxy Tab 10.1v is using Samsungs own processor? If so, which one.

nicol

2

Galaxy Tab is no doubt very powerful but i think Motorola Xoom with Honeycomb is much better and has grabbed the tablet market.
http://www.directphoneshop.co.uk/dealset.asp?id=2016

bb

3

The Acer is 720p also. (I just checked since I own one). It will be 1080p this summer with an upgrade.

Hiram

4

Its a draw. What the Galaxy Tab wins for in Camera / video recording, the Xoom makes up for in more memory, and microSD. (btw, the Xoom does support usb)

In the event of a tie, the win has to go to the Xoom, and here is why. The Xoom is the device being used by Google to develop Honeycomb. Meaning that software and hardware were designed with each other in mind.

A small advantage to be sure, but enough to break the tie.

Joebob

5

I believe i heard the rear camera on the samsung is only 3 mp not 8.

Chris

6

The rear camera is actually 3 MP. Only the 10.1v that is being released in Europe has the 8 MP rear camera.

DrijverR

7

In your own comparing specifications you're saying that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v has a NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core (1GHz)and the acer has a Samsung dual-core (1GHz). According to Samsung the 10.1v has an adapter with a usb connector and 16 or 32 SSD.

shane

8

The Acer Iconia A500 has dolby mobile on board. I didn't see this mentioned in the article....but maybe i missed it. The sound on this tablet through the speakers and using headphones is significantly better than the xoom and ipad 2.....i haven't seen a galaxy tab to compare.

john smith

9

615.573.5536 please call

Lou

10

I bought an Acer Iconia A500 in Hong Kong when on holidays. The tablet worked pretty good ini the store. I just arrived home and can not connect it to my wireless network, the tablet just show scanning and connecting, but in the end it never connects to my wifi. The bluetooh connection is not working neither. Is there anyone with same problem or solution? Thanks.

Will

11

This information is very inaccurate. The galaxy tab listed above is the 10.1v, not the galaxy tab 10.1 that is set to be released in america and around the world.

Ross Catanzariti

Staff

12

It is not inaccurate given the Galaxy Tab 10.1v is the one that has been released in Australia.

gilson

13

Acompanhei o lancamento do galaxy 10,1 acho o melhor tab de todos ao lado do ipad 2

Lora

14

Love my Galaxy. The only problem I have come across is the screen goes dark on some apps. Has anybody had this problem?

Shazeerazly

15

no usb port for galaxy tab. hm..

Xtremist

16

Xoom does have USB.
Please correct that.

Ross Catanzariti

Staff

17

Xoom has a micro-USB port, not full USB. Currently that is limited to connecting to a PC.

Bob

18

love my 10.1v galaxy very happy with it

showson1

19

Thanks for posting this!
I was considering returning my A500 and holding out for the 10.1" Galaxy Tab, but now I see I'd actually be losing functionality (I use the HDMI and USB port all the time) so I think I'll hold on to it.

Hopefully Acer comes out with a 3.1 upgrade though..

Adam

20

No USB, No HDMI, No SD card support. what samsung going same way as apple :) No good for consumers.

Oleg

21

I have Acer A500, and use USB all the time. Sometimes even both at the same time whe I am copying files from camera to external HD using A500. I love Dolby sound on A500, which does not exists in ANY tablet except A500. Equalizer is build in. Perfect. Samsung - failed again.

sadi

22

Love my galaxy tab10.1v

Sid

23

Thanks for the review and comments, this makes me clear which tablet to go for. I liked the fact that A500 has an full USB port. wish 3G was out there!. Has any one experienced any freeze or bad times in A500 using USB?

Peter

24

I'll stick with my A500. I use my USB stick to franfpsfer music with covers for cover flow. I also use the mini HDMI port on my 42" LG TV for youtube conent or BBC IPlayer on my 21" TV in my bedroom.

Acres wide screen is really nice and the tablet look the nicest and feels really nice :-)

Aniket

25

A5000 is about to get an upgrade in June-end, both in terms of video recording resolution - 1080p, from 720p - and connectivity - 3G. Then, it becomes the winner as it already has Dolby sound and supports Adobe Flash 10.2, compared with Xoom and Galaxy's 10.1 support.

Jack

26

The international samsung galaxy tab has a 3.15 mp camera that shoots 720p hd video not an 8 mp camera that shoots 1080p

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