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Summary:

Acer, the no. 2 computer-maker globally, has previously experimented with Android but found little success. Now it’s taking a smarter approach by waiting for Google’s tablet-optimized version of Android. In April, Acer will over two new tablets and an easy way to share digital media.

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Acer decided to jump in the hot consumer tablet market with the introduction of two new Google Android tablets yesterday. The touchscreen slates, which will come in 7- and 10-inch sizes, weren’t demonstrated at Acer’s press event, because the devices will use Android 3.0, or Honeycomb, and Google hasn’t yet delivered this tablet-optimized version in final form.

Although Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has already sold 600,000 units, Acer may be wise to wait until April to deliver its two Android tablets. That gives the company time to integrate and customize its software with Android 3.0, while also allowing for potentially better hardware to be available. For now, both of Acer’s Android tablets use a 1280 x 800 display resolution — higher than both Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad and Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy Tab. The Acer tablets are also comparably equipped with cameras, dual-core processors, support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity and HDMI capabilities to connect the tablets to a high-definition television set.

Acer is beginning to understand that consumers want digital media content on every possible screen these days, so it is also introducing clear.fi: a simple way to share music and video around the home with its new tablets. Clear.fi is similar to DLNA, an industry standard for sharing media in consumer electronics, but differs in that it automatically synchronizes content across multiple devices. Without the need for manually moving media files, clear.fi shows promise.

Adding tablets to its product lineup makes sense for Acer. The company has slowly built itself up as a top computer seller around the globe, so it has the chops and experience to build decent devices at reasonable prices for consumers. This isn’t the first time Acer has dipped a toe in the Android pool to help sustain sales growth, however.

Last year, Acer announced a dual-boot netbook with both Windows and Android. At the time, I called it as a folly because Android isn’t meant for a mouse and keyboard. Going with a touchscreen tablet is the right approach, and if Acer debuts with tablet-optimized software, it should capture a respectable share of the 54.8 million tablets expected to sell in 2011.

Image credit: Engadget

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  1. I love that 16:10 resolution. I hope it comes to dual core 4.3″ phones, too.

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  2. It is indeed going to be a tablet year. I really like my iPad, but there is times I take my 4.8″ Archos 5IT with me, because I can just put in my back pocket and yet be able to work on anything that might come up. I do like the Samsung Tab as well because it is also much more portable than my iPad, so it’s like tell everyone that ask me, what should I get? I ask them you want to be very portable, are you going to just be for browsing and looking up things on the road. Or use it for GPS, etc… So yes every size from 5″ to 10″ can be useful and productive, depending on what you want to do. Samsung sees the same as consumers want media on the go and at home to connect devices to share and listen to all from the Tab all the way to Samsung TV’s or the Galaxy S series phone by using AllShare to connect with all your media.

    So let the Tablet race begin. ;-) last year at CES2010 we saw tablet announcements, but unfortunately not many made it out till now.

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  3. Hopefully the tablet optimization of Android is better than that of Samsung because it’s awful on the Galaxy Tab. That’s impressive though 600,000 bought into mediocrity and at a pretty steep price too. Unless they opt for the 2 year enslavement while others get better tablets in the near future :) That is pretty smart of Acer to wait it out. No matter how entrenched the iPad becomes it only takes one killer must have feature to knock off the market leader.

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