Acer announced a trio of new affordable tablets at IFA on Wednesday, but looking at the hardware, you’d think they’d only launched two. It’s because Acer launched both an 8-inch tablet running Windows 8.1 and an 8-inch tablet with Android, and both devices are running on the same hardware.
The $150 Iconia One 8, which comes with Google Android 4.4 pre-installed, is packing a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735G processor powering an 8-inch 1280 x 800 display. The Iconia Tab 8 W, also expected to retail for $150, has the same hardware configuration, but is running Windows 8.1. The only exterior difference is that the One Tab 8 will come in a variety of colors. It’s an interesting approach to reusing hardware, and we’ve been seeing other companies toy with similar ideas, such as the HTC One M8 which can run either Windows Phone or Android.
Acer also announced a 10-inch Android tablet, the Iconia Tab 10. There’s no Windows version here, perhaps because it’s using a quad-core MediaTek processor. But it comes with a 1080p display and has a micro-HDMI port on the side, which makes it a convincing bargain at $200. Expect the Iconia Tab 10 to hit stores in the United States later this month.
The sub-$200 tablet market is heating up, with several companies releasing competitively priced devices for the holiday season and some Windows tablets retailing for as low as $120. As more Android tablets utilize Intel processors, the gap between Windows and Android hardware continues to shrink. If Acer’s approach to reusing hardware for multiple operating systems is successful, expect to see more devices coming in both a Microsoft Windows and an Android version next year.