I waited for the Acer Iconia a500 tablet to arrive, and I unpacked it today.

Acer a500 stock photo

It retails new for $449 and Amazon sells it for 16% less. But I bought it much lower from eBay, being the winning bidder at $270 for a manufacturer-refurbished model.

I specifically chose this device because it runs the Android operating system, which is also active on my HTC smartphone. This is among the short list of tablets to be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich in the coming weeks. It’s installed with Honeycomb today.

Some people suggested I get an iPad but that was an illogical decision for me unless I also had an iPhone. Because my phone runs Android, it made sense to go with an Android tablet. I’m also a Google user, active with GMail and YouTube and Docs and other Google applications, which run seamlessly on the tablet.

I also trusted the advice of Roy Krantz, who networked my dad’s law office some 30 years ago and continues to be my go-to source on mobile technologies.

The tablet is installed with a 10.1-inch display screen, 16GB of hard drive space, 1GB of memory, both front and rear cameras, and other specifications — and unlike the iPad, it has built-in ports for USB, Micro USB, and HDMI. In other words, I can connect it to my camera, TV, or flash drive in seconds to share and show data on the fly.

I’ll be using the tablet in the coming weeks and months as a replacement for my Samsung NC-10 netbook. As I continue to discover Wi-Fi hotspots around the region, this is how the tablet will connect to the internet. I’ve already connected it via my apartment router and downloaded some of my favorite Android applications.

The next step will be to determine how and where to integrate the tablet into my life.