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Acer Shows off Complete Line of Tablets for 2011

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 10 comments

Acer has been talking up its tablet event for weeks and with good reason as today was the day Acer took the wraps off a myriad of tablet devices running all different processors and OSes.

The tablet that made the biggest splash wasn't actually a tablet at all; it was a dual-display PC called the Iconia. Acer is calling it a dual-PC tablet and it's a lot like the dual-screen laptop concepts we've seen in the past. If you're thinking Microsoft's Courier, so were we. Acer has managed to nip in and produce and announce a similar product before Microsoft could even get around to talking about its plans for the canned device.

The Iconia packs two 14-inch (1366x768) LED-backlit TFT Gorilla Glass LCDs, an Intel Core i5 CPU, up to 4GB of DDR3, integrated Intel HD graphics, up to 750GB HDD storge, VGA and HDMI out, 802.11b/g/n, WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0+HD integrated 3G WWAN, gigabit Ethernet and Windows 7. At 6.18 pounds, this puppy is a little on the heavy side, but when it looks this good, we kind of don't care so much. Battery life is very disappointing, a mere 2.5 to 3 hours we're told, but that's to be expected when you've got those big, bright displays and only a 4-cell battery to run the whole show.

It's an impressive enough device all on its own, but the Iconia's biggest boon is the unique multitouch experience that it offers. Though the bottom display acts as a full screen keyboard, this can be chopped and changed to suit whatever task you're doing at the time. Placing five fingers on the bottom display will bring up what's called the Acer Ring. From there you can control media applications, such as music and video, or launch the virtual keyboard. You can also use the Gesture Editor to set customized gestures to perform certain tasks (like launch apps, show desktop, or lock computer), and close the keyboard completely for a more immersive browsing experience.

It's all very touchy feely and, as the world's first 10-finger multitouch laptop, it's sure to garner a lot of attention. Still, there's no tactile feedback from the keyboard and the few minutes we spent on the computer didn't leave us with a great impression. A full-size touchscreen keyboard is only an attractive option if you think a touchscreen keyboard is an option at all. It was difficult to type on and the trackpad tended to click in places you didn't want it to. Fans of hardware keyboards will not be happy on this machine.

The Iconia wasn't the only tablet Acer had on show today, though. The company also showed off three Android tablets in 4.8-inch, 7-inch and 10.1-inch flavors. The smallest of the three packs a 1024 x 480-resolution screen (21:9 aspect ratio), support for Flash 10.1, Bluetooth 3.0, a 1GHz Snapdragon, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and a 2MP front-facing camera for video calling. Availability for this device is set for April 2011.

Next up are the 10.1- and 7-inch tablets. We know they'll both be running Honeycomb, which is expected early next year and is optimized for tablets. Unfortunately, Acer has no plans to launch the devices without Honeycomb and update them later, so the release date is still very much up in the air. Still, we do know that the larger of the two features that same ten-point multitouch that we've already seen on the Iconia. It also boasts integrated WiFi and 3G along with 1080p video via HDMI out and two cameras. Unfortunately, Acer was a lot less generous with details for the 10.1-inch than the 7-inch. The company was more than happy to divulge the fact that the 7-inch packs a dual-core processor, a 7-inch 1280 x 800-resolution (16:10) full touch display, a HD camera, support for Flash 10.1, and integrated WiFi and 3G. We assume the 10.1-inch is just as blessed when it comes down to stuff like CPU, but it would be nice to know just what else it's got going on aside from a bigger display. Similar to the phone, availability for both of these is set for April 2011.

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  • -1 Hide
    vicsrealms , November 23, 2010 7:09 PM
    I hope they have better support for those then their Aspire Easystore H340. Calling them for support on it got me a question mark. They had no clue what it was!! So, I'm not going to even bother with these things.
  • 1 Hide
    monkeysweat , November 23, 2010 7:09 PM
    if there is a sd slot, this may be an ipad killer (the 10 or 7 inch models)
  • 1 Hide
    damianrobertjones , November 23, 2010 8:24 PM
    I don't think any of them will be an iPad killer. (Coming from a person who doesn't like Apple and has owned an Archos 9, Latitude XT2, Acer 1820ptx, HP tc1100 and still have an Asus R2h)

    People that have an iPhone also have iTunes and will, probably, eventually, settle for the damn iPad.
  • Display all 10 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    falchard , November 23, 2010 9:09 PM
    "integrated Intel HD graphics"
  • 0 Hide
    enewmen , November 24, 2010 1:21 AM
    If the 4.8" model can make normal GSM phone calls, have a real "desktop" like browser, and have HDMI out, that will be a big win.. (for me anyway)
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , November 24, 2010 1:45 AM
    It sure looks impressive. Especially that dual-screen laptop - I'd love to read Tom's on that huge screen!
  • 0 Hide
    ronch79 , November 24, 2010 3:13 AM
    Although I bet typing on the dual screen laptop with the touch screen keyboard would feel like hell, I'm sure having one is also pretty cool. They'd better bundle a couple (or more) screen protectors for each of the screens.
  • 1 Hide
    Griffolion , November 24, 2010 7:15 AM
    Monkeysweatif there is a sd slot, this may be an ipad killer (the 10 or 7 inch models)

    Please don't use that term, its pointless. So long as there are millions of people who are fooled by Apple's marketing, there will never truly be an iPad killer, only devices that are better than the iPad.
  • 0 Hide
    ridewya , November 24, 2010 7:57 PM
    PLS GOD don't let this company make cheap low quality LCD like it has always does..and actually make something with excellent quality...amen
  • 0 Hide
    jgutz2006 , November 29, 2010 1:41 PM
    I've been desperately looking for a quality iPad killer, i have the ipad and enjoy using it as its reliable and convenient, especially since the new 4.2 IOS multitasking/folders update but i dont currently have and never will have an iPhone and communication between my Evo and Android tablet will make the device just that much better and handy. I personally dont care for 3G as i wifi tether my 4G evo for internet on my portable devices. What i Want is, 10" screen with respectable resolution, Wifi/Bluetooth/GPS,USB,SD,HDMI and ANDROID biggest and baddest CPU + RAM + Flash Storage is obviously what people want but they need to get the battery just right, i'm loving the 8+ hours on my iPad so please let this device hit 5 at a minimum!
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