Computing brand Acer has revealed plans to enter the tablet market by unveiling three new Android or Windows tablets, due to be released next year.
The three tablets – a 10-inch Windows 7 tablet, and 7 and 10-inch Android tablets – have yet to be given names or prices. At the launch event in New York, Acer also demonstrated its prototype for a dual-screen laptop, called Iconia, which has two 14-inch screens.
Both Android tablets will use Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb). Honeycomb will be the first version of Android to officially support tablets when it’s released next year.
The Acer Android tablets will offer both wi-fi and 3G connectivity, plus HDMI ports for streaming HD video to your TV. Like the Toshiba Folio 100, which also has an HDMI output, Acer claims the tablets will output 1080p HD video to TVs.
Acer also promises that, unlike Apple’s iPad, its Android tablets will support Adobe Flash.
The 10-inch Android tablet will feature a 10-point multi-touch touchscreen, which Acer reckons will ‘guarantee an entertainment experience on par with the best game consoles’.
The 7-inch version, meanwhile, will feature a 1,280 x 800 resolution screen (the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which also has a 7-inch screen, is 1,024 x 600), Dolby Mobile audio technology, and DLNA support for simplified streaming to supported TVs and PCs.
Both are expected to launch in April 2011.
Acer’s 10-inch Windows tablet will launch in February 2011. It’ll be powered by AMD processor technology, and will ship with a docking device that includes a full-size keyboard and more connectivity options – effectively turning it into a docked laptop.
Acer states the Windows tablet will be only 15mm thick and weigh less than 1kg. It’ll feature front and rear-facing 1.3Mp cameras, and include wi-fi and 3G wireless connectivity.
Acer also demonstrated an innovative dual-touchscreen laptop. Christened Iconia, the device has a second screen where the keyboard would normally sit. Both screens will support 10-point multi-touch, with the second featuring a virtual keyboard for typing on.
Aside from its dual-screens, the Iconia is a fairly typical laptop. It’s powered by Intel Core i5 processors, and will feature up to 4GB of Ram and Intel graphics. Acer is yet give details of a release date or price, but speculation has it at a wallet busting £1,500.
Acer isn’t the first to create a dual-screen laptop or tablet, but the Iconia is unusual given it’s essentially a full power laptop – not a tablet or netbook style device. Comparisons between it and tablets will be unavoidable, and we have the sense it’s looking for a problem that doesn’t need fixing.
Do you need a tablet? Find out in our Tablet Buyers’ Guide, and read our reports on the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Apple iPad.
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