updated 07:55 am EDT, Thu May 27, 2010
Acer CEO shows mystery entry into tablet wars
Acer used a broad product launch today to reveal a surprise entry into the tablet arena. CEO Gianfranco Lanci briefly demonstrated a 7-inch tablet running Android and with a hardware keyboard underneath. He didn't provide any other details of the device in question but said it would ship in the fall and hinted that it would have 3G and sell through carriers with a subsidized price.
The design spotted by Shufflegazine marks Acer's official entry into tablets and one of the first Taiwanese companies to directly show its competition against the iPad. ASUS has teased its Eee Pad for a summer launch but has yet to confirm any details. It and MSI are set to show their first real tablet entries at Computex on June 1st, but direct competition to the iPad may be shunted to the side following pressure from Intel and Microsoft to show Atom-based Windows tablets.
Alongside the touchscreen device, most of Acer's attention was devoted to the LumiRead, its first e-reader. It shares a similar design to the tablet but uses a 6-inch e-paper display and a joystick for input. Its unique touch is a scanner that can recognize ISBN codes and use physical books as the source for a wish list for downloads. Barnes & Noble is providing access to its online store, hinting at a US release; Libri.de will supply books in Europe, and Founder is providing Chinese titles.
The event also included the formal launch of the Stream, an Android smartphone with an AMOLED screen, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p recording, HDMI video out and Dolby Surround Mobile audio. A pair of computers were on show and included the Aspire Z5710, a 23-inch, multi-touch all-in-one desktop, and the Aspire 5745P, a 15.6-inch Intel-based notebook with dedicated graphics. Full details of these aren't immediately available.