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Acer Launches New Touch-device Portfolio

Nov 23 2010, 11:28am CST | by , in News | Tablets

Acer Launches New Touch-device Portfolio
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Four tablets, a laptop and ALIVE.

Acer's big press conference is still ongoing, but the major announcements have been made. The company has revealed their new flagship notebook. It has two 14" touchscreen LCD displays. The second one can act as a keyboard or work for window management. The Iconia UI will allow users to edit gestures, and the web browser is said to have a very powerful zoom.

Iconia's interface SDK will hit in late December, so we should learn a lot more then. While the battery life on this thing will surely be piss-poor, it would be rather silly to treat it as a mobility device. This is what Acer sees as the future of laptops, and I can't say they seem to be widely off the mark. Touchscreens are only going to get less expensive and more effective. In five years, you might have trouble finding a laptop that doesn't look like this.

Acer also has the obligatory 10" Windows 7 tablet. The display is its own separate (droolingly thin) piece, but it attaches directly to a keyboard for "serious typing". Acer appears to be taking the 'more versatile notebook' approach here, rather than trying to make a true mobile tablet PC.

The king of the crop is a 10" Android tablet with a 1280x800 display and HDMI-out. It will launch in April with a dual-core 1 GHz processor and a 5 MP back camera, plus an HD front-facing camera. April will also see the launch of a 7" and a 4.8" tablet. The former has the same 1280x800 resolution as its big brother, plus a mightier 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. I think that means the 10" model has a Tegra 2, while the 7" model has a Qualcomm dual-core.

The 4.8" tablet will have a 1024x580 resolution, an 8 MP camera and 720p recording. There's a 1.3 MP front-facer and a six-axis gyroscope. The launch OS for all of these Android devices will likely be 3.0, since Acer doesn't want to use a phone OS on their fancy new line of slates.

The Alive market was also revealed at this press conference. It is designed to be an app/music/media store that holds all of your data in the cloud. It has a 'Genius' like program that is scans your purchases and use habits to recommend new apps and media. At launch, it will have 2k movies, 15k music videos and over 8 million songs. There will also be thousands of books, newspapers, magazines and casual games.

Alive will hit Italy and the UK in December and the US in the Spring. Honestly, it strikes me as the best idea out of all this. Acer has identified one of the things that makes Apple products so devastatingly addictive, and they are working hard to give themselves a similar advantage. While Alive has a long way to go to catch up to iTunes, the progress we've been shown today (in terms of content) is very impressive.

Acer deserves big kudos for today's event. By rolling out all these device announcements at once, alongside Alive, they come across as having a comprehensive vision for their mobile product line. Acer is taking the tablet space seriously. Apple (and everyone else) had better watch their butts.

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