In a move to preempt the avalanche of tablet announcements we're going to hear at CES 2010 in January, Acer unveiled its 2011 tablet plans on Tuesday. With a 10-inch Windows 7 tablet, a 10-inch Android tablet, a 7-inch Android tablet, and a dual-screen tablet/laptop hybrid, Acer is trying to compete with the Apple iPad from every angle and then see which of its devices consumers prefer the most.
Acer has emerged in recent years as one of the new superpowers in the computer business, so it is also one the companies that has been hurt the most from the iPad eating into netbook and laptop sales. Acer has been an outspoken critic of the iPad, and it has been making promises about forthcoming tablets throughout 2010.
On Tuesday, Acer unveiled five devices:
- 10.1-inch Windows 7 tablet
- 10.1-inch Android tablet
- 7-inch Android tablet
- 14-inch dual-screen hybrid tablet/laptop called "Iconia"
- 4.8-inch Android smartphone
For all the gory details and specs, read these reports:
- Acer intros 10.1-inch Windows 7 tablet with AMD processor
- Acer unveils Android-based 7-inch and 10.1-inch tablets
- Double vision: Acer's new Iconia laptop comes with dual touch screens
- Acer debuts Android-based smartphone with 4.8-inch display
The one big thing Acer didn't reveal was the price of these devices. Earlier this year the company said that it planned to release a series of tablets between $300-$700. It would certainly make sense to see the 7-inch Android tablet at $300 (the price the Samsung Galaxy Tab should have been) and the Windows tablet at $700 (which would compete with the HP Slate 500), with the 10-inch Android model falling somewhere in between. However, since a deluge of tablets are expected to be announced over the next two months, I think Acer is hedging its bets for now to see where its competitors price their products.
Acer said it plans to launch the devices in February.
Slide show of 2011 Acer tablets
Demo of the dual-screen Acer Iconia
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).