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Summary:

Acer’s Iconia A100 is on the show floor at Mobile World Congress running Android 2.2. But this 7-inch tablet is expected to run Honeycomb, or Android 3.0, when it launches in April, which gives hope for Samsung and others to bring Honeycomb to smaller tablets.

Acer-Iconia-Tab-A100_02-550x376

Acer may take the plunge to put Android 3.0 on a 7-inch tablet, according to reports from this week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. The company is showing off the Iconia A100 tablet and says it will run Honeycomb, which Google launched a few weeks ago. Up until now, the smallest Android 3.0 tablet I’ve seen is the 8.9-inch LG Optimus Pad, or G-Slate as it will be known on T-Mobile here in the U.S. Even Samsung, with the success of its 7-inch Galaxy Tab running Android 2.2, has yet to announce a Honeycomb tablet smaller than the new Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The Iconia A100 being shown off at MWC is currently running on Android 2.2, so show attendees can’t get a look at Honeycomb on the smaller screen. According to the MobileBurn blog, the A100 will see Honeycomb when the device launches in the UK this April. I’ll be interested to see how Acer accomplishes such a feat, given the expected 1024×600 resolution of the device. Many sites are reporting that Nvidia’s Tegra 2 will power the A100, and while Nvidia confirms this in a blog post today, it makes no mention of the smaller tablet display size. However, there are many pictures and videos confirming the 7-inch screen, such as this one from Phandroid:

The thought of a company bringing Android 3.0 to a 7-inch tablet gives me hope for others to follow. I recently prioritized form factor over a cleaner user interface and wider selection of software when I dumped my iPad for a Samsung Galaxy Tab. I don’t expect my Tab to see a Honeycomb upgrade from Samsung, but I do believe that Samsung will announce a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet before mid-year. For the moment, everyone other Acer appears completely intent on challenging the iPad with 10-inch tablets, so once these devices hit the market, news of smaller Android 3.0 devices could follow.

Image courtesy of Phandroid

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  1. I seen this one in a couple different videos and thought of you. I especially like narrower sides–looks like it might be even easier to hold in one hand. I can’t wait to see Acer & Asus getting some tablets out–really interested to see Asus’ Transformer hit the market.

    Many of the tablets coming out now look great but many have no USB & HDMI. . . which I just don’t get for an Android tablet.

    At least now we have “real” Android tablets with a real UI hitting the market.

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  2. I’m also encouraged by this, although I’m still hoping Samsung will produce a 7″ version.

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  3. This looks very promising! The first tablet that I’m really really interested in.

    The 7″ is perfect for my portability needs and it’s got a good SoC that can handle lots of data. Nice!

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  4. [...] we see Honeycomb on the smaller tablet — the model shown off last month at Mobile World Congress ran Froyo — we won’t know how well this approach works. My biggest concern revolves around the [...]

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  5. [...] One of the first companies out of the gate to announce a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet may be slowing up a bit. Amazon’s UK page for the Acer Iconia Tab A100 originally displayed a May 14 launch date, but the Carrypad blog says Amazon now shows a June 30 date. In some sense, the tablet can’t technically be delayed if Acer didn’t officially announce a launch date to begin with, but folks hoping for the device sooner rather than later may have to wait a bit longer. I’ve reached out to contacts at Acer for an official statement and will update with a reply. Earlier this year, some blogs reported the device would launch by the end of April, so there’s clearly some confusion. [...]

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