The Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is about to get some competition. Acer's Iconia Tab A501, which will ride on AT&T's 4G network, will be available on September 18th. This 10-inch slate will cost $380 with a two-year contract and $35 montly data plan, or you can opt for a contract-free version for $480.
The A501 is essentially the A500 with an HSPA+ radio inside. Like the A500 which we reviewed, the A501 measures 10.24 x 6.97 x 0.5 inches and weighs 1.7 pounds, and has an Alpine Silver brushed aluminum chassis. The 10.1-inch WXGA display has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, and inside is a 1-GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. The A501 has a 5-MP rear-facing camera and a front-facing 2-MP camera. The tablet also has an HDMI port, full-size USB 2.0, microUSB, and a microSDHC slot.
The A501 will connect to AT&T's HSPA+ network, which didn't fare that well in our 4G Nationwide Showdown. The HTC JetStream on AT&T supports the carrier's faster LTE network, but it also costs a much steeper $699.
Data plans for the Iconia Tab A501 include session-based plans of $15.00 for 250MB and $25.00 for 2GB; monthly based subscription plans will also be available. The A501 with 16GB of storage will cost $499 sans contract--which is just $50 more than the Wi-Fi only version--and the 32GB model will cost $549.