Acer has finally launched its 7-inch tablet in the United States, nearly five months after its UK arrival
The launch adds a new entry to the growing field of tablet computers based on Google’s Android “Honeycomb” operating system.
The WiFi-only tablet, which has a TFT WSVGA display with a 1024-by-600 resolution, first launched in the UK in April. It is the smaller brother to the Acer Iconia Tab A500, the 10.1-inch tablet.
That Honeycomb device is powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor and weighs a hefty 1.7 pounds. Tab A100, which is also powered by the Tegra 2 dual-core chip and sports 1GB of RAM, weighs less than a pound and is half an inch thick.
The Tab A100 runs the latest Android 3.2 Honeycomb build, which includes the ability to let users switch between modes for normal layout resizing or no resizing.
Acer is touting the A100 as a multimedia powerhouse. To wit, the machine comes preinstalled with Adobe Flash Player 10.3 to let users access web pages, games and videos. Users can choose to access the Google Movies application, which pulls content from Google’s YouTube movies selection to let users rent and play movies on the A100.
The machine includes Acer LumiRead and Google Books electronic reading applications to let consumers install and read electronic books.
The Acer A100 has a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with flash and records HD video in 720p at 30 frames per second. The Tab also has a front-facing 2 megapixel camera that serves as a webcam for video chats.
The Tab A100 can also be connected to a TV with an HDMI cable (sold separately) to let customers port HD videos in 1080p and games onto a larger TV display. Users may tap the Tab’s Android sensors and gyroscopes to use the slate as a game controller.
Acer has also put its own stamp on the A100 with a couple applications. Social Jogger, a social media aggregator program, centralises Facebook and Twitter in one place. Acer’s Day Planner application lists upcoming activities.
Available in the United States now from Best Buy and other retail stores and in Canada next month, the Tab A100 pricing is curious. The 8GB model starts at $329.99 (£203) in the United States, while the 16GB version costs $349.99 (£215). For $20 (£12) more, who wouldn’t buy the 16GB model?
At the 7-inch size, the Tab A100 is poised to challenge the HTC Evo View 4G tablet offered by Sprint for $399.99 (£246), and perhaps even the $499 (£307) BlackBerry PlayBook from Research In Motion.
All of the Android tablets and slates from other manufacturers are chasing Apple’s iPad, which has sold 30 million-plus units to date.