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Acer teases a $169 Aspire A1 Android tablet, debuts the P3 convertible Ultrabook

At a press event in New York City on Friday, Acer announced new mobile products running Google Android (s goog) and Microsoft(s msft) Windows 8. The company showed off the $169 Aspire A1, which runs Android and is meant for one-handed use. The new Aspire P3 is a convertible Windows 8 Ultrabook that works as a tablet or laptop due to a unique hinged dock with keyboard.

Iconia A1 landscapeThe new A1 is targeted to budget-conscious shoppers. Similar to the HP Slate 7 at the same price, the A1 cuts corners that keeps it from using premium components. Acer is keeping costs down with a 1.2 GHz quad-core chip from MediaTek and includes only 8 GB of internal storage capacity. Customers can expand storage through a micro SD card or spend $50 more for a 16 GB model. The 7.9-inch display uses the same 1024 x 768 resolution of Apple’s(s aapl) iPad mini; it also has the same 4:3 aspect ratio.

Even with a lower range of specs, the A1 has all the features you’d expect in almost any useful Android tablet: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, a 5MP rear-facing camera that can capture 1080p video at 30fps, a front-facing camera, micro USB 2.0 and microHDMI ports. Acer says the battery is rated for seven hours of use, which is a little light for this category, but not awful either.

I’m more intrigued by the Aspire P3, partially because I liked the Acer Aspire W510 Windows 8 tablet. That was powered by an Intel(s intc) Atom, but the new P3 has your choice of either an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor for improved performance. Of course, there’s a hit in battery life — I saw a good 12 hours from the Atom-based units; more with the keyboard dock — but Acer says six hours of run-time is possible. I expect that will rise a bit when the next-generation of Core chips, called Haswell, arrives in June.

Acer Aspire P3 ultrabook with keyboard left angle

The 3.06-pound Aspire P3 has an 11.6-inch IPS display with HD resolution. Instead of a traditional keyboard dock, the slate slides into a hinged case. That allows the screen to be propped up while also offering a standard chiclet keyboard. Unlike the dock of the W510, there’s no secondary battery in the P3 dock. Overall, the device looks like a large iPad in a keyboard case.

Acer says the price of the new P3 is $799.99 for the Core i3 model, which is available now.

3 Responses to “Acer teases a $169 Aspire A1 Android tablet, debuts the P3 convertible Ultrabook”

  1. Tony Stark

    Another hybrid model launching in May is the Hummingbird PX103 — a “Transformer style” 10-inch device with impressive features for a mid-range tablet and offers a hard cover with reversable built in keyboard, with specs that include a Rockchip Quad Core processor and HD 1280×800 IPS screen; as well as Bluetooth, HDMI, Dual Cameras, a 7000 mAh battery, Android 4.2.2 and Google Play… it offers a thin 9.6mm profile and weighs in at only 1.4lbs… and is priced at $239 with more details also available at TabletSprint —

  2. The Novo 8 Discovery from Ainol Electronics also launched this week and compares to the new Acer Iconia A1, but the Discovery model offers better features and is priced less — featuring a much more powerful battery (5000 mAh) compared to a minimal 3250 mAh on the Acer; and also offers twice the DRAM (2GB DDR3) and an 8 Core GPU (Power VR SGX544MP2). One thing Ainol Electronics is previously known for is winning runner-up for Best Tablet of the Year at CES 2012, when it first introduced the Novo series of tablets.

    Many of the other features of the Discovery model are the same as the Acer, including an 7.85″ mini- iPad size screen, 16GB Memory, a Quad Core processor (Actions ATM7029/1.5 GHz), Android 4.2 O/S, Bluetooth, MicroSD, both Front and Rear Cameras, and HDMI 1080p… however, what is most impressive is the Novo 8 Discovery works with one of the latest technology features… a Miracast HD Adapter ($25) which provides wireless connection to any HD TV – ideal for streaming movies (Netflix) and for video games as well as any other web content… essentially turning any HDTV into a computer device.

    The Novo 8 Discovery is priced at $155 – with one of the first U.S. resellers to offer this new model is a site called TabletSprint — which also currently offers a promotion that includes $25 in Bonus Apps.