While the full swarm of Honeycomb tablets buzzes further off on the horizon, a few scouts are arriving to test the hospitableness of the consumer environment. Sales of the Motorola Xoom have been sluggish so far, and it may be due to a price that does little to sway potential iPad 2 buyers. The latest experiment in Honeycomb tablet market penetration, the Acer Iconia Tab A500, arrives today at BestBuy.com for pre-orders at a tantalizing sub-iPad price of $449.99 (Wi-Fi only; no 3G/4G data). Pre-orders at Best Buy stores will begin on April 14, and the final onsale date will be April 24 -- exclusively at Best Buy stores and online.
The 10.1-inch Iconia Tab A500 comes loaded with a Tegra 250 dual-core 1GHz processor with integrated GeForce GPU, which Acer promises will be boss for HD gaming (Need for Speed: Shift and Let's Golf included), 1080p video and snappy browsing. With an aluminum casing, the tablet weighs about 1.7 pounds with a thickness of about a half inch. It carries 16GB of internal memory and supports Micro-SD cards up to 32GB. Acer reports 8 hours of battery life for casual gaming or HD video playback, and 10 hours for Wi-Fi Internet browsing.
Among the other tablet-standard features are built-in GPS and Bluetooth, HDMI output, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, 5MP rear camera with flash and autofocus and 2MP front-facing webcam. Acer notes that the Iconia Tab A500 will support Flash but will not come with it pre-installed.
Many of the images below are clearly 3D-render graphics, which don't really give us an idea of how the 1280x800 TFT WXGA display looks or whether the claim of an 80-degree wide viewing angle holds up. Still, we're curious to see how the A500 performs, are you?