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Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Acer Unveils Windows and Android Tablets, Dual-display Model and New Smartphone


Acer unveiled a range of tablet computers to help it compete with Apple's iPad, wading into the fast-growing market. The company also released a 4.8" widescreen smartphone.

Acer?s strategy is based on the concept of sharing multimedia content and enjoying it across any device, and Tablets are ideal devices for this purpose.

With close to 19 million tablets sold worldwide in 2010, 54.8 million units expected to be sold in 2011, and 208 million units forecasted for 2014.

Chief Executive Gianfranco Lanci announced at a news conference in New York on Tuesday that the tablets would have 5-, 7-, and 10-inch screens, running on Google's Android software. A second 10-inch tablet will run on Microsoft's Windows.

The company said the WiFi-only models of the tablets would come out in April 2011, while the third-generation -capable models would arrive about a month later.

Acer also unveiled a media store and software called Clear.fi that lets customers stream content on different Acer devices.

Acer's 10.1" Android touch screen tablet with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity comes with an aluminum casing provides and a high gloss finish. The device is just 13.3mm thick and has been designed for HD entertainment, offering a built-in HDMI port and 1080p capability. Users will be able to run and play HD arcade games and complex online 3D games, thanks to the 10 point multitouch and gyro meter control.

Acer's 7" Android tablet features a front-facing HD camera for video chat and an HDMI port.It features a dual core processor with Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support. The tablet also comes with Dolby Mobile Technology, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity and supports DLNA.



The company's 10.1" Windows tablet combines touch screen user-friendliness with the comfortable experience of a physical keyboard. In fact, the tablet comes with a docking device that includes a full-size keyboard. Thin and light (only 15 mm and less than 1kg), and with a 10.1" high resolution display, it?s easy to carry around. The tablet will run on the next-generation AMD platform and will be equipped with two 1.3MP cameras, one rear and one front-facing, as well as Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.





ICONIA Dual-screen tablet

Acer also presented ICONIA, a new concept device that combines the conventional 14" form factor tablet with a dual-screen layout and multi-touch functionality.

ICONIA has two all-point multi-touch displays offering enough space for users to enjoy multimedia, entertainment, communication, web browsing and office apps. To improve readability of web sites or documents, the window can be spread across both screens. But the dual screen also means you can do one thing in one screen and something else entirely on the other.

"We took this insight and created a range of easy to use devices with touch technology including Smartphones, Notebooks, AIO PCs, Tablet and our latest addition, the ICONIA Touchbook: this level of commitment to touch technology is something no other PC vendor can compete with." states Jim Wong Acer Inc. Vice President and ITGO President. "The Intel Core i5 processor together with our experience with touch technology has allowed us to completely remap the user experience to create a far more natural interaction with our devices."

Both 14-inch displays have HD 1366x768 resolution, Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit TFT LCDs and take advantage of technologies supporting all-point multi-touch for precise on-screen input. Protected by the ultra-thin yet durable Gorilla Glass, the displays are scratch and fingerprint resistant, easier to clean and offer the same touch functionality.



The starting point to launch ICONIA?s touch features and controls as well as applications is the Acer Ring.

The Acer Ring appears simply by placing five fingers on the screen and making a grab gesture. The Acer Ring allows users to start touch applications by scrolling through the App cards and tapping on the one they choose. The Ring also provides fast access to: Virtual Keyboard, Gesture Editor, Window Manager, and Device Control Console.

The Virtual Keyboard can be launched from the Acer Ring or by placing both palms on the bottom display. The intelligent design senses the position of the user?s palms and launches the keyboard. It comes with a full-size QWERTY layout with international language support and features predictive text input for natural-speed typing while avoiding mistakes. The Virtual Keyboard also includes a touchpad and a numeric keypad and can be switched to handwriting mode.

With the Gesture Editor users can set customized gestures to launch specific applications, open websites, view their desktop or lock your computer.

Window Manager allows users to organize the various application windows on the double touch screen. Windows and applications can be moved across displays. Plus, users can browse through a list of running application, and resize, dock or close windows.

Besides the built-in touch applications already implemented on Acer?s touch devices, such as TouchBrowser, TouchPhoto, TouchMusic and TouchVideo, ICONIA includes three new ones: SocialJogger, My Journal and Scrapbook.

SocialJogger lets users gather and check updates from Facebook, YouTube and Flickr in all in the same place, taking advantage of the dual screens to check posts and updates on the bottom display and use the second display for exploring and viewing more content.

Users may use MyJournal to collect web clippings on their preferred topics. Web clippings are dynamically updated to display all the latest information and can be categorized and displayed according to their needs.

Scrapbook lets users store clippings, posts and just about anything else from different sources in the same place. Users can capture screen shots from the web or an application, edit them and add notes. Users can create photo collections with notes and comments. They can also add your scraps to presentations, and documents.

Acer ICONIA is based on the Intel Core i5 family of processors, and can also be equipped with 3G connectivity, while an HDMI port guarantees high-definition viewing and the Dolby Home Theater v3 provides high quality audio.

Separately Tuesday, Acer's rival Dell announced a new tablet that runs on Microsoft's Windows software.

Apple's iPad, a touchscreen tablet that began selling in April, still has an overwhelming lead in the fledgling market.

Dell's new 10-inch touchscreen Inspiron Duo looks and runs like a portable tablet but can also be popped into a laptop shell and used like a traditional notebook, similar to one of the new Acer tablets. The Duo starts at $550. Dell has already released the 5-inch Streak tablet.

Taiwan-based Asustek will also launch its newest 7-inch, mobile communication tablets in early 2011. They will reportedly feature mobile communications and built-in GPS and maps developed by Garmin. In addition to 7-inch tablets, the firm will also soon launch several models with different screen sizes. For instance, the firm`s 12-inch tablet will be available at the end of this year, which runs Microsoft`s operating system and sells for around US$1,000 per unit. The firm will launch two 10-inch tablets with keypads, too.

Next generation smartphone

Acer also announced a new smartphone, which also combines the features of a tablet. The device has a thin and slightly curved shape, a full metal body, a smoothly curved back and minimal width (64mm).

The front is entirely dominated by the multi-touch, high resolution 4.8", 21:9 screen (12.2cm diagonal, 1024x480), with 4 keys: Home, Search, Back, and Menu. While on the back there is an 8MP camera, complete with LED Flash.

This Android smartphone is powerful and able to wirelessly control all the multimedia content of a home environment, thanks to the integrated clear.fi media sharing system. With Clear.fi, Acer has created a content sharing platform that merges content stored on different devices across the same network around the idea that it is easier and better if this content is simply linked together under one system with a common interface.

The smartphone also comes with an Android browser with multi-touch, Java script, Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and multiple page opening support.

Connectivity options include HSDPA @ 14.4 and WiFi N for data connection and Bluetooth 3.0.

Dolby Mobile technology delivers high quality sound, while DLNA technology and the HDMI port can be used to connect the smartphone to a bigger TV screen.

Inside the product beats the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, which, in addition to the large screen, turns this smartphone into a perfect game console. Together with 6-axis motion sensing (Gyroscope + accelerometer), this smartphone will exceed any gaming expectation.

The smartphone is also equipped with an 8MP camera and LED flash, and a 2MP front camera for IP video calling.


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