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 (s nvda) 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 (s aapl) 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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