Acer Jumps On Tablet Bandwagon

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Netbook maker Acer has revealed its nascent tablet development strategy, with a range of Iconia Tabs

Acer was keen to talk up its tablet PC strategy today, unveiling prototypes of two upcoming new models.

It showed off a 10.1-inch screen Acer Iconia Tab A500, which is said would be its first to use Google’s Android 3.0 operating system, codenamed Honeycomb, at a press conference.

It said the A500 and a second 7-inch model, the A100, also used Nvidia’s ARM based dual-core Tegra 250 processor, which runs at 1GHz.

The A500 will also come with 2GB RAM and a 32GB solid state drive SSD. And both will also use Nvidia’s ultra-low power GeForce graphics processing unit (GPU).

The Android Tablet will also be launched alongside its similar, W500 tablet, which will come preloaded with Windows 7 Home Premium.

Graphic quality compromise?

Details were more sketchy on the type of panel the tablets will use. But experts have speculated that it is likely the 1280 x 800 LCD touchscreen display of the A500 will use a low-grade TN panel due to its restricted viewing angles and limited colour gamut.

Acknowledging its stiff competition in the form of the iPad 2, which is being launched across a number of countries including the UK today, it said the A500 would have comparable battery life, delivering 10 hours of web browsing.

The A500 is twice as thick as the iPad 2, at 13.3mm, and weighs 100 grams more at 700g.

Unlike its rivals, Acer is also offering the Iconia Tab with an optional keyboard, at a cost of £90.

But, despite having a lower screen and graphics spec than its Apple rival, Acer said the Wi-Fi base model it displayed would cost £50 more than the iPad 2’s starting price, at £449.

It said the Wi-Fi only model will also have the option of adding a 3G modem and will be available next month, but the price of the 3G option was not revealed and will not be available until May 2011.

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