After the success of Apple’s iPad, many people rumored that computer manufacture Acer was working on developing and marketing a tablet PC of their own.  While this has only been a rumor for quite some time now, Acer today announced that they are indeed working on tablet PCs and that they plan to have three models on the market by April as next year, with possible release dates being as early as February for select products.

The three models are as shown:

  1. 7″ compact design; Android OS, 1280 x 800 resolution, 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor (dual core), HDMI output, 5 megapixel camera, WiFi and 3G connectivity
  2. 10.1″ design; Android OS, 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor (dual core), HDMI output, 5 megapixel camera, WiFi and 3G connectivity, Aluminum (iPad-like) case
  3. 10.1″ Windows 7 version; Windows 7 OS, AMD processor, 2x 1.3 megapixel cameras (one on either side), WiFi and 3G connectivity – possibly available as soon as February

Acer has always been a well-known computer manufacturer, and was able to make quite a name for themselves during the explosion of the netbook market.  However, as Jeff pointed out in a recent post regarding why netbooks sporting Chrome OS are doomed for failure, the netbook industry is simply on its last leg.  For this reason, it makes sense that Acer would be looking to enter a new venture, as it will be a challenge for the company to survive (much less expand) if they do not make innovations to their product line.

While Acer doesn’t necessarily have the best image in regards to quality computers, many people regard Acer’s monitors to be of superb quality.  Fort this reason, Acer would be best off if they were to work on trumping the retina display seen in the iPad and focus on marketing their tablets as having superior video quality.  Because of the number of people who praise the iPhone 4 for having the retina display, I firmly believe that Acer would be very successful if they were to make the video quality in their devices the main feature.

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Additionally, one of the reasons that Apple’s iPad is looked down upon is the fact that it does not run a full-on desktop operating system, but rather uses the iOS mobile operating system; the same one seen in the iPhone and iPod Touch.  Because Acer’s tablets will be sold with the choice of Android OS or Windows 7, I believe that Acer could very well market their mobile devices towards “power users” who would likely take advantage of a full-on operating system.

Because a carrier has yet to be announced for the 3G connectivity, I think it might be a possibility that the device will be “unlocked” and usable on any network that chooses to support it.  In theory, this could be a big selling-point as many users do not want to be locked into a particular carrier.

With the iPad having been released in April of this year, an April 2011 release date for the Acer tablets would be right around the first anniversary of the iPad.  In that one year time-frame Acer would have been able to carefully analyze the success and feedback of the iPad; using Apple’s success to build their own.  Because of this, it is extremely possible that Acer will indeed release a product that could viably compete with the iPad.  I, for one, am extremely interested to see how Acer’s tablets are introduced, especially seeing as how the 2nd generation iPad (see Adam’s article about possible features) will likely be debuting at the same time.

What do you think about the Acer tablet?  Will it compete with the iPad?  Let us know in the comments!


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