With Perfect Timing, Acer Outs a Pair of Android Tablets

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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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