Acer Unveils Android Tablets, Smartphone

Acer today unveiled plans for two touchscreen Android 2.2 tablets due out in April, one with a 7-inch display and one with a 10.1-inch screen, making the Taiwan-based PC maker the latest hardware vendor to offer challengers to Apple's iPad.

Acer at a press event in New York City showed off a 10.1-inch Android-powered tablet that has a dual-core 1GHz processor, 1280x800 screen resolution, 5-megapixel rear camera, an HD front-facing camera for video calling, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, 1080p output over HDMI, Flash 10.1 support and a 10-point multitouch system. It's only about a half-inch thick. Its smaller sibling basically has the same specs, but with a 7-inch display, according to a company statement.

April is the release date for both models, but prices and official names for the two Android tablets have not yet been disclosed.

Windows 7 tablet, Android smartphone also coming from Acer

Also on tap from Acer is a Windows 7 tablet with a 10-inch screen, which will be out in February, and will include a dock for a full physical keyboard, along with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

But that's not all that Acer, a company known for selling chic-yet-affordable netbooks, has in the pipeline for the wireless sector. There's also an Android smartphone with a 4.8-inch 1024x480 resolution screen, expected to run Froyo 2.2, due out in April as well.

The yet-to-be-named Android smartphone from Acer will include the following: a 21:9 aspect ratio for viewing video, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, multitouch display; HSDPA; Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 3.0; DLNA support; Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support; 6-axis motion-sensing Gyroscope and accelerometer; 8-megapixel rear camera and LED flash; 2-megapixel front camera for high-quality IP video calling; Google Apps suite (i.e Contacts, Google Maps, Email, Gchat, etc.); and HDMI.

Acer tablets to run Android 3.0 Honeycomb?

The news of Acer's tablet PCs comes at a time when Google's mobile Linux OS Android is expected to be updated in coming weeks from Froyo version 2.2 to Gingerbread 2.3. Meanwhile, however, Google is planning to release early next year an update to the mobile OS that is optimized for tablet PCs -- version 3.0, dubbed Honeycomb. Acer has not disclosed details yet on if the Android tablets will be updated to Honeycomb or not.

Acer isn't the only tech company jumping into the tablet space in an effort to snatch some market share from Apple's iPad, which launched in April.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab, an Android tablet, is on sale now. It will be joined soon by Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook, which runs a new QNX-based mobile OS, coming in the first quarter. The Android Cisco Cius, like the PlayBook is aimed at the enterprise, is also due out early next year. Archos is also offering a series of Android-based tablets, along with ViewSonic and Dell.


Android, smartphone, tablet PC, tablet, Acer