New York – Acer today introduced new hardware and software
products along with what it is calling a “next-generation” online store.
At a press event held here, Acer unveiled several tablet PCs, a
dual-LCD laptop and a home media system. The software introductions included
the company’s Clear.fi media-sharing application and the Acer Alive online
Acer officially took the wraps off of four tablet PCs that were
hinted at by company president and CEO Gianfranco Lanci in late October.
The tablet line, which is as yet unnamed, contains two 10.1-inch
models intended for use in the home or office, a 7-inch mobile type and a
5-inch combination smartphone/tablet.
The first 10.1-inch is a convertible tablet running Windows 7
that is expected to ship in February 2011. It has an optional docking station
that contains a full-size keyboard. Pricing has not been decided.
The second 10.1-inch tablet uses the Android operating system and
will ship in April 2011. Pricing is not set.
Two additional Android models will ship in April 2011. The 7-inch
is a more mobile version of its larger cousin, while the 5-inch is being touted
as a smartphone/tablet. Jim Wong, Acer’s senior corporate VP said all the
tablets are not limited to accessing just mobile websites, but can run the full
Acer executives did not say if they were partnering with a
specific cellular carrier.
Again, pricing was not set and further details are forthcoming.
The dual-screen Iconia laptop features two 14-inch LCDs. Both are
multitouch capable and can recognize up to 10 fingers at one time. The device
unfolds like a typical notebook, with the lower display being used as either a
keyboard or to access the computers content.
The keyboard automatically activates when the user places 10
fingers on the display. When five fingers are placed, a user interface called
the Acer Ring appears. The Ring is a virtual wheel that appears on the display
to access the computers content.
An Acer spokesman said the device currently offers about three
hours of battery life and weighs about 6.5 pounds.
Lanci said this Iconia model is the first in a family. He did
admit the dual-screen laptop was likely to appeal mainly to first adopters, but
the company was determined to help shape this new category.
The Iconia is expected to ship early next year; pricing was not
The Clear.fi media-sharing application enables all varieties of
content to be made accessible across a person’s Clear.fi-enabled devices. Wong
said Clear.fi will be included in all upcoming Acer-branded computers and
mobile devices, with eMachines and Gateway products following at a later date.
In addition, consumers purchasing the Acer Aspire Revo media hub can use the
Clear.fi software on non-Acer products by downloading the app from the Revo.
Acer will jumped into the retail end of the content business in
the United States during the second quarter of 2011 with its Alive store. The
site will sell movies, music, books and news publications, all for download on
Acer products. Like Amazon’s store, it will learn the consumer’s likes and tune
itself to present the proper products.