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Acer Readies Tablet, Smartphone Launches


Acer unveiled the company’s first smartphone
and tablets along with other new hardware and
software products.

The products include two Wi-Fi/3G-equipped Android
tablets, a Wi-Fi 3G-equipped Windows tablet and an
Android-based combination smartphone/tablet. Other
announcements included a dual-LCD
laptop, a home media system, the
company’s media-sharing application
and its Acer Alive online media

Acer officially took the wraps off
four tablets that were hinted at by
company president/CEO Gianfranco
Lanci in late October.

The tablet line, as yet unnamed, contains
two 10.1-inch models intended
for use in the home or office, a 7-inch
model designed for mobile use, and
a 4.8-inch combination smartphone/
tablet. Acer executives did not say if
they were partnering with a specific
cellular carrier.

One 10.1-inch tablet is a convertible
model running Windows 7. It’s expected to ship
in February 2011. It features an optional docking
station that contains a full-size keyboard. It
connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi or 3G and
has two 1.3-megapixel digital cameras, one on
each side of the device. Acer will equip it with
an as-yet-unnamed next-generation AMD processor.
Pricing has not been set.

The second 10.1-inch tablet uses the Android
operating system and features a built-in
HDMI port with 1080p capability. It has 3G
and Wi-Fi connectivity. Acer is positioning this
tablet as a potential gaming platform with a 10-point multitouch
display and gyro meter for better gaming control.
It will ship in April 2011. Pricing wasn’t set.

Two additional Android devices will ship in April 2011.
The 7-inch is a more mobile version of its larger tablet
cousins, while the 5-inch model is touted as a smartphone/
tablet. Jim Wong, Acer’s senior corporate VP, said
all the tablets access the full versions of web sites, not
just mobile versions of websites.

The 4.8-inch smartphone/tablet’s display has a 21:9 aspect
ratio with a resolution of 1,024 by
480 pixels and is 64mm thick. There
is an 8-megapixel digital camera with
LED flash. The unit is powered by a
1GHz Snapdragon processor capable
of a running movie or playing
games, Acer said.

The 7-inch model features an asyet-
unspecified dual-core processor
with Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support,
Dolby Mobile Technology and DLNA
support. Pricing and additional details
were not available.

The dual-screen Iconia laptop features
two LED-backlit 14-inch LCDs
with 1,366 by 768 resolution. Both
are multitouch-capable and can recognize
up to 10 fingers at one time.
The screens are scratch- and fingerprint-resistant,
the company said. 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. The Iconia runs on an Intel Core i5 processor,
holds up to 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM 1GHz memory,
features Intel HD graphics with 128MB of dedicated
memory, and runs Microsoft’s Windows
7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system.

Lanci said this Iconia model is the first in
what it expects to be a family of similar devices.
He did admit the dual-screen laptop was likely
to appeal mainly to early adopters, but he said
the company was determined to help shape
this new category.

The Iconia is expected to ship early next year
at an unannounced price.

For media sharing, the company introduced
the media-sharing application, which
enables all varieties of content to be 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.

Like, the Alive interface will
be preloaded into all Acer products.
People owning legacy Acer devices
can download the interface.

Alive customers will set up a single
account and payment system for all the
products carried on the site. In addition,
the site will learn a user’s preferences
and make purchase suggestions.