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Support USB -- Can I get a definitive answer about accessing external USB drives?


  1. sutekh137

    sutekh137 Member

    Hey all,

    I know I could just get an adapter and try it (I've plenty of USB thumb drives and external USB drives), and there are some other threads on the topic, but for the Acer A100 specifically:

    Can I hook an external, powered USB drive or USB thumb drive to the A100 directly and access files, no PC or Mac in between?

    I am asking because I found this page:

    Iconia Tab Files Transfer,Sync Movies/Videos to A100,Iconia Tab Video Converter | Everything about Tablet

    Where the number three point under "Something you should know before transferring videos and music to the Acer A100:"

    states you CAN play multimedia off an external drive. It is extra confusing because it mentions the A100 and A500 interchangeably, while perhaps it is the case that the A500 CAN play off external drives while the A100 cannot?

    Also, on the Amazon page for the A100, there is a very vague line about reading content from other drives -- enough so that I find it misleading. They sort of mention putting files on an SD card in the same breath as mentioning external USB drives such that a casual reader will assume reading external sources (without a computer in between to transfer to SD) is possible. From the Amazon page:

    "Thanks to the Micro-USB 2.0 port and the Micro-SD slot, the Iconia Tab gives you the ability to connect USB flash drives, USB media card readers and even a portable hard drive. The expansion opportunities are endless."

    Is that a blatant, flat-out lie? You can't even transfer files from USB to SD without having a computer in between, but they are making it sound as if you can (if not play files directly!) I've a mind to post on the URL I list above and also email Amazon about this false advertising if that is what it is. Being able to play off external media devices without a computer being involved is a HUGE capability, in my opinion. To even be ambiguous about it, frankly, pisses me off.

    Everything else I have read says the A100 USB is slave-only, meaning it CANNOT read data from a USB thumb drive or external drive.

    Can I get this cleared up once and for all, and specifically for the Acer Iconia A100 7-inch tablet? If nothing else, maybe others can find this thread and get a clear answer, as that has been hard to come by in my research.

    Thanks,
    sutekh137

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  2. sutekh137

    sutekh137 Member

    OK, duh-er, when I finally googled on "acer a100 usb master slave" (Was just not looking in the right spots before) I hit pay-dirt (I think):

    A100 USB: master, slave or both?

    So, it looks like the A100 definitely CANNOT access from external drivers/thumbs directly. And it sounds likely that it is a basic hardware limitation, not a limitation of firmware or the OS software (correct me if I'm wrong about that).

    The A500 apparently CAN do this, hence the reason that one web site probably had some confusion. Still, I should go over there and politely comment about the original poster being full of doo-doo on that point. *smile*

    As for the Amazon page, that still really irks me so I will have to see if there is someone I can email directly about that. It's blatant false advertising to say the A100 can play directly off external USB sources and make it sound like a paradise of multi-media playback.

    [NOTE: I love my A100. *smile* The SD card works fine, and it's not like I was going to lug around an external USB drive and micro-adapters everywhere I go. Just want to be clear. This is about the principle of the thing...and I WOULD still like to see that capability be introduced, I just don't think the base hardware on the A100 can handle it.]

    Thanks,
    sutekh137
  3. richardd43

    richardd43 Member

    I tried my USB drive last night to no avail so I hooked my A100 to my computer and transferred a bunch of movies to my microSD card.

    Not exactly the answer I was looking for but it worked.
  4. sutekh137

    sutekh137 Member

    Sure, the "slave" functionality works great.

    But imagine how cool it would be to be able to pack up your tablet, earbuds, a huge USB external drive, and a two-outlet inverter on a long car trip? Instant multimedia hub with everything you own. Or, if you are gone for a long trip to an isolated area and don't want to have to take a laptop to keep shifting content around? For me, it isn't always about the space to cover the time, it is the space to give me all the choice I would have at home on HOW I use that time.

    The bottom line (for me) is this: I have over 70 GB of MP3s (all legit, ripped from CDs or purchased online via eMusic, Amazon, or iTunes), around 100 GB of DVD-rips (all legit, the movie DVDs are owned by me), and around 250 GB of TV show rips (all legit, I have DVD box sets of everything).

    That's over 400 GB of content. Last I checked, a single SD card isn't going to hold all that. *smile* Not to mention, on a basic cost-per-GB analysis, you simply can't beat a hard drive. I know prices have gone up on hard drives in the last 6-9 months, but the last 1 TB HD I bought (before the price jumps) was $50. Enclosures run 10-20. A 64 GB microSD card costs, what, around 100 bucks? I can store over 15 times as much content on an external USB hard drive for less than two-thirds the cost.

    You just can't beat that. Right now, not even my music alone would fit on the largest microSD card available, even if I DID want to pay the premium. So there is also a "library completeness" angle. That's personally a big issue for me, and it is why I still use an iPod classic for music -- I'll take 160 GB in a less flowery package over not even getting half the space on a 64 GB iPod Touch that can't hold all my music at once.

    OK, enough ranting. *smile* Yes, USB slave mode works fine for most folks and most needs! I just wanted to explain why USB hosting would be a really sweet thing, in my opinion...

    Thanks,
    sutekh137
  5. richardd43

    richardd43 Member

    Actually I have just that setup. The problem is the tablet is my Asus Transformer.

    It really would be nice to do it with the A100 also.

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