1. I don't think I'd consider a tablet without a usb port. I have an iconia (A500) and I can, and do
- plug a logitech mini receiver for a mouse into it when needed
- when i bring it to work, I can grab a usb keyboard lying around to plug into it
- connect my olympus camera directly to it to transfer photos
- record tv programs from my tv onto a usb drive and then plug that into the tablet to watch
- plug in an external hard drive containing pics or music
2. Does it rival the ipad2? I grabbed this list from somewhere.
RAM 512 MB iPad2 vs 1 G Acer
No USB port iPad2 (need external sd/usb adapters *) vs USB port Acer
No SD Card slot iPad2 (need external sd/usb adapters *$29) vs SD Card slot Acer
No HDMI output port iPad2 (need external adapter $39) vs HDMI output port Acer
No Camera flash “bulb” iPad2 vs Camera flash “bulb” Acer
Camera Rear less than 1 MP (0.92) iPad2 vs 5 MP Acer
Camera Front less than 1 MP (0.7) iPad2 vs 2 MP Acer
Speaker 1 iPad2 vs 2 Speakers Acer
No Browser Tabs iPad2 vs Browser Tabs Acer
No Adobe Flash Player iPad2 vs Adobe Flash Player Acer
Requires iTunes even for file transfers iPad2 vs Normal file transfers – USB, SD card, etc. Acer
Wifi Price $567 iPad2 vs $449 Acer Iconia A500
Screen 1024 x 768 iPad2 vs 1280 x 800 Acer
GPS iPad2 3G Only vs Acer GPS w/Wifi
Weight doesnt seem all that different to me, the screen on the iconia looks fine when i watch or read stuff on it.
Since I have a 3G phone which I'm always carrying, and dont want TWO phone accounts/data plans, I prefer to use tethering than have a wifi enabled tablet
So I'd say the iconia clearly rivals the ipad2, except perhaps in "cachet" .