Acer Shows Tablets, Smartphone

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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 media-sharing application and the Acer Alive online media store.

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 versions.

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 announced.

The media-sharing application enables all varieties of content to be made accessible across a person's devices. Wong said 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 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.


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