Nov 23 AT 12:27 PM Taylor Wimberly 36 Comments

Acer announces two Honeycomb tablets, one huge smartphone, and their own app store

Today in New York city Acer announced a pair of Android tablets along with a new smartphone design that might turn a few heads. In addition to the new devices, Acer also announced their own app store which should be available for Android by the time these products launch.

Recently we heard that Acer might try to launch a Galaxy Tab competitor this year, but it appears they scrapped those plans and decided to wait on Google to release the tablet version of Android – Honeycomb.

First up we saw a 10.1 inch Android tablet. This device features a dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, 10.1 inch TFT display with WXGA resolution (1280 x 800), 5 MP rear-facing camera + HD front-facing camera, HDMI output (720p), and support for Flash Player 10.1. Acer said this 10 inch tablet would run “Google Android Tablet OS” (aka Honeycomb) and their Acer UI 4.5.

Acer's new 7-inch tablet.

Next up we saw Acer’s 7-inch Android tablet. This smaller version features a dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor, 7 inch display with WXGA resolution (1280 x 800), and support for Flash Player 10.1. This tablet will also run Honeycomb and the Acer UI 4.5.

Both tablets are expected to launch around April 2011.

Acer smartphone

Acer's super-wide Android smartphone.

After that Acer revealed a new Android phone featuring a wide display. This device features a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, ultra-wide 4.8 inch display with 1024 x 480 resolution, 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD 720p video recording, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, 6-axis motion sensing, HDMI out, and “LED edge lighting”. We don’t know what version of Android it will run, but this gadget is also coming in 2011 so I would expect it to have Gingerbread or Honeycomb.

Finally, Acer announced they were launching their own app store called Alive. The marketplace will feature apps, games, movies, music, and book and will go live in the UK this December for Windows 7 clients. The Android version is expected to roll out in Q2 2011 around the time when their new tablets hit.

Overall, it looks like a pretty interesting Android lineup for Acer. I’m glad to see that they waited on Gingerbread instead of trying to rush a tablet to market. We haven’t seen any Acer products from the U.S. carriers yet, but maybe this press conference in New York is a sign of things to come.

Update: Engadget is reporting that Acer is working with AT&T and T-Mobile, so keep an eye on those carriers.

As a processor nerd, I think the most interesting thing from the show is the fact that they went with NVIDIA’s dual-core CPU for the 10-inch tablet and used Qualcomm’s dual-core CPU for the 7-inch version. We don’t know for sure why they did this, but I’m going to assume the Tegra platform offered better performance at reduced power for the larger display. Acer’s CEO specifically mentioned that Tegra was “very good with video management and gaming” so this could be good news for NVIDIA.

Which Acer product do you think looks the most interesting?

Update 2: Our friends from Netbooknews uploaded a quick video of the Acer press event.

Via: Engadget

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website UniqueNate

    Tablet would of been perfect if it didn’t have their custom UI.

    • http://Website FlashIG

      would have*

    • Gunnar Lium

      How do you know that their custom UI will be bad? Google’s UI is far from perfect, why do we always determine that any custom UI is a bad UI? IMO, there’s plenty of nice touches in most cutsom UIs, even though the overall experience may not be better (subjectively speaking).

      Let’s try to not be as “zealotty” as the Apple crowd :)

      • http://Website meth master

        The ui may not be bad, but it means that we will probably have to wait much longer to get an update if ever

      • http://Website Georgeo

        When HTC’s Sense debuted on the Hero most reviews agreed that it ironed out most of Android’s (1.5 at the time) kinks and improved the user experience massively. It added functionality that later versions of Android adopted (e.g. 7 home screens). HTC Sense’s widgets are still some of the best looking around and some of their apps are great (weather, contacts, phone, messages).

        The new Sense has even more features not in stock Android (offline maps+navigation,, skins).

        So to me that is an example of a custom UI that is an improvement. I think something similar can happen on tablets to tailor the Android experience to a different form factor. That is, if its done properly.

        The problem with updates stands though. In the Hero’s case, officially it is stuck on a version of 2.1 which I hear slows the device down. I have since rooted and am running Froydvillain so I don’t know first-hand how good/bad the official update is.

        • Noice

          Most people actually like the immediate result of the Manufacturers improvements (within personal preferences obviously)… it’s the maintainability and reduction in long-term usefulness that makes these aspects hated.

          Assuming you’ve used and don’t utterly despise Windows here:

          If Dell, HP, IBM, Gateway, Acer, Asus etc… all over the years had completely customized the Windows for each of their new computers with no way to get Windows Updates without waiting for the manufacturers to start/finish/not-abandon the process.

          NO ONE would use own one of their computers and have a up-to-date* Operating system and many less would use Windows at all.

          Manufacturers are failing their own users by mucking around with something that they should be trying to fix by contributing to the open source software that they are profiting from… not making their own unique branch and stagnating their own efforts.

  • http://Website Jeffroid

    4.8 inch for the phone..

    In the near future, we won’t be able to tell if a device should be classified as phone or tablet

    (i.e. 5 inch display phone)

    • http://Website melstav

      To be frank, smartphones are *already* at the point where it’s pretty disingenuous to call them a “phone”. I mean, I’ve got an HTC Evo, and it’s a much more capable device than the PC I had on my desk only 10 years ago.

    • http://Website Daniel

      Note, though, that this screen is actually thinner than SGS’s 4″ screen. This ought to be a very “tall” device, but not exactly large (as in being big in both dimensions).

      1024×480 is simply insane. There will be so much breakage for sure, you simply will never be able to have a consistent experience. The majority of apps will invariably look bad there, as they were designed with 3:2 and at most 16:9 screens in mind.

    • PixelSlave

      Well, there may be a market for bigger phones. Every time I see a huge guy putting their fingers on an iPhone, I want to laugh.

    • http://Website R.S.

      I for one am VERY glad to see phones getting larger. For far too long, everyone wanted phones as small as possible phone and companies were happy to oblige.

      I couldn’t stand how small phones had become. I remember Cingular having this itty bitty phone that was beyond ridiculous. I think it was a Pantech. Heck just a few years ago, Verizon had that Joke err I mean Juke of a phone that was also quite small.

      I’m sure they were popular with tween girls. However as someone who has somewhat large hands, trying to text on those phones (or even even dial) was next to impossible. I always tried to buy the largest phone that had the features I wanted. Those “large” phones of a few years ago are small compared to regular sized phones of today.

  • http://Website Mike Stabile

    When is someone going to make a tablet with an 8.5×11 screen size? You know the size of a standard piece of paper. It would nice to be able to just take a picture of a piece of paper and actually read it at the orginal size. Also if you are carrying any paper the tablet would fit right in.

  • http://Website Steffen

    Hmmm… “Acer UI 4.5″ and “Acer announced they were launching their own app store called Alive.”

    Sounds like Acer is going against everything we all thought Honeycomb stood for. Thats disappointing. I wonder if that means that the huge UI revamp we are expecting is just a myth.

  • http://Website Brian 2

    Hooray, finally decent resolutions. (Although 1024×480 is utterly insane). I’ll be happy to buy one as soon as it’s possible to run stock Honeycomb.

    • http://Website Gee

      The “screen density” will look the same as other WVGA (800×480 – Nexus One, EVO, etc.) phones but just with more vertical space (longer).

  • Detox


  • http://Website Luigi

    Question: how could the choice of processor be based on performance for screen size at all? They are the same resolution: there shouldn’t be any difference between them, not?

    • http://Website Lucian Armasu

      They probably wanted to go with the dual core Snapdragon and be one of the first companies to brag about it, even if it draws more power. On a 10″ tablet it might be more obvious that it draws more power than other competing Tegra 2 10″ tablets.

      Btw, that 1280×800 is PERFECT. 1280×720 is too narrow – I was afraid they’ll go with that. Hopefully they’ll skip the 1024×600 resolution for smartphones, too, and go with 1280×800. That’s the only way they can claim they have higher density displays than the iPhone 4 on a 4-4.3″ phone.

  • http://Website George

    If the article is accurate and both the 7-inch and the 10-inch tablets have the same resolution (1280×800) doesn’t that mean that the hardware is pushing the same number of pixels and therefore performance should be the same?

    If so, then your speculation for why they use different processors doesn’t make sense.

    Maybe its an issue with battery and power consumption instead, with the larger device having a larger battery???

    • Taylor Wimberly

      You are correct they are pushing the same number of pixels. There must be some reason for going Tegra on the 10-inch while sticking with Qualcomm on the 7 inch tablet and phone. I guess we will find out soon enough when these products come out next year.

      • http://Website George

        Taylor, any idea or educated guesses on whether these tablets will be Google certified (with access to the market)?

        With Honeycomb touted as Google’s official tablet version of Android I would have thought they would.

        Acer’s own market should be one that focuses on Tablet-specific apps. Then it would compliment Google’s market nicely and make the tablets more desirable and more functional.

        I really hope someone gets an Android tablet done right, at a competitive price point, with a Wi-Fi only option. Something that gets adopted widely enough to build a tablet App Market ecosystem, and hopefully one that doesn’t suffer from the issues of Google’s current market.

        • Taylor Wimberly

          They did not announce this, but we heard Google will relax their rules on Market access in future versions of Android.

    • http://Website metafor

      One potential reason is that the 7″ model is offered (cheap) with 3G. Since Snapdragon has a modem integrated already, there’s no additional cost for adding 3G capability (other than the antenna).

      Whereas with a 10″ tablet….how well has the 3G iPad sold? I think 10″ is a bit too big to be mobile enough to warrant a 3G connection. 7″ is perfectly portable though.

      Then there’s always the possibility Tegra 2 uses more power (though it performs better as well).

  • http://Website bemymonkey

    FINALLY, some decent resolutions! I’ve been complaining about WVGA since a year before the iPhone 4 came out… hooray for high pixel density!

    • http://Website Daniel

      The dot pitch on this phone is pretty much the same as the SGS’s 4″ screen, and lower than that of the 3.7″ devices. Also, this screen is actually thinner (when in portrait mode) than SGS’s, despite the apparently huge number.

  • David

    I still have issue with this race to dual-core processors. We haven’t even perfected multi-core usage in the PC space, yet they are ready to throw them in the mobile space? I think the mobile space would be better served with specialized hardware accelerated support for video encoding/decoding, sound processing, flash acceleration, and graphics(Think of ui acceleration when using hardware gpu vs cpu).

    Also I’m still not sold on these slate tablets. The one thing they never show is some sort of pen input. This is what I think of when using a tablet. Not as a large mobile multimedia device, but as a tool to get work done, and that includes writing hand-written notes via a pen.

    • http://Website katvo

      My thoughts exactly. It would be great to have a tablet that could run Adobe/Illustration products and have a pen that could actually “draw” on them.

      • http://Website Ryan McKay

        my perfect world, summed up in two sentences.

    • http://Website Brian 2

      I would guess that the main benefit of dual cores isn’t that individual apps will take advantage of them, but rather that the active app will be able to keep using one full core even when there’s other stuff going on in the background.

  • http://Website 2434

    How many app stores do we need, it’s getting stupid.

    Don’t any of these phone manufacturers realize that it’s dumb shit like this that creates a confused mess for the user, while further adding fracture to the android platform.
    But none of that matters as long as companies like Acer can make money from apps.

    Google needs to start making some rules… at least.

    • http://Website Daniel

      I do agree there are too many app stores out there, and I do agree they need stricter rules that protect the consumer better, but forbidding the creation/inclusion of an alternative store would be too much of a dictatorship.

      Just let these alternative stores drown in their own incompetence. Companies should eventually realize they should either commit themselves to provide something significantly better than Google’s Market (which I don’t see anyone trying to; limiting a store to a single manufacturer or carrier won’t attract the devs), or not bother their consumers at all.

  • http://Website brandon

    cant wait for this i really want to get a tablet but.. dont want the ipad but want a big screen (10.1) and want wifi only. tethering (; .

  • http://Website bpear

    i hope its under $500

  • http://Website Android Ninja

    This is the first of many to come within the next month and a half. CES and Christmas are coming.

  • http://Website Skeet

    “and their Acer UI 4.5.” my heart sank :(