Acer makes stunning entry into Android tablet arena with 4.8- and 7-inch models

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Not to be left out of the snowballing Android tablet movement, computer giant Acer made a stunning entry into the arena with the unveiling of a range of tablet models in 4.8-, 7-, and 10-inch sizes at a special press event in New York on Tuesday. Only basic details were disclosed about the two smaller devices that interest us here at Pocketables; they are both currently without official product names and have launch dates set for April 2011.

The larger 7-inch tablet (shown below) that occupies the mid-size spot in the trio sports a very impressive 1280×800, 16:10 ratio 7-inch capacitive touch screen, is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, runs "Android Tablet OS" widely rumored to be Android 3.0 Honeycomb with support for Flash 10.1, has a front-facing camera capable of recording HD video, WiFi and 3G connectivity, HDMI output, and sound output enhanced by Dolby Mobile Technology.

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At the smaller end of the scale, the 4.8-inch tablet (shown below) is quoted by Acer as being "100% smartphone, 100% tablet" with the combination of full phone functionality and a large screen, placing it in a similar position to the Dell Streak. Featuring a 4.8-inch capacitive touch screen with an unusually wide 21:9 ratio and 1024×480 resolution, the device is said to be slightly smaller than the Streak and is also said to run Android 3.0 Honeycomb with Flash 10.1 support. The other known specs are no less impressive with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, b/g/n WiFi, HSDPA 3G, and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, 2MP front-facing camera, 8MP rear-facing camera, 720p HD video recording, HDMI output, and Dolby Mobile Technology contained in a very slim, sleek all-metal body.

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Although Acer was happy to let everyone pencil in the April 2011 launch window, there hasn't been any mention of expected pricing and launch markets, although judging by the scale of the global press event the company is likely planning to launch in all the major territories.

Brief demonstrations and non-functional demo units were also the order of the day at the event due to the unreleased nature of Android 3.0, but what was shown looked to be very promising.

I don't know about you but I am very impressed by what Acer has been working on behind the scenes. Its range of tablets look to have great potential combining high-end hardware with exciting software developments that Google has in store for the next version of Android following the upcoming 2.3 Gingerbread update. The 4.8- and 7-inch models definitely stand out from most current devices with their high-res displays that will almost certainly be fully supported by Honeycomb unlike Android's current WVGA limit. Are you also excited by Acer's Android tablets? Can April come soon enough?

[Engadget 1, 2, 3]
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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.