updated 11:25 am EST, Tue January 18, 2011
Acer preps quad Sandy Bridge tablets with Android
Acer is developing a pair of Intel-based tablets in what could be a wider exit from the entire netbook category, the company's Taiwan sales manager Lu Bing-hsian said on Tuesday. The seven- and 10-inch slates would use quad-core versions of Sandy Bridge-era Core processors but, reportedly, run on Android rather than Windows 7. Rather than serve as complements, they were directly intended to help in "phasing out netbooks," IDG was told.
They would be targeted at everyday users rather than performance users such as gamers, according to Lu.
So far, Acer's tablet plans have mostly surrounded Android tablets using ARM processors, such as the Tegra 2-packing Iconia Tab A500 as well as promised 4.8-inch and seven-inch hardware. Although Android will work on Intel, it's unknown what if any quad-core Intel chips would fit such small tablets. Lu may have been referring to dual-core ultra-low voltage processors whose Hyperthreading support gives them virtual quad-core performance.
The sudden mention of focusing on replacements for netbooks would be a furthering of an about-face the company has made in the past few months. It at once denied any impact from the iPad and insisted the netbook category would have healthy performance. It eventually decided to join in and has already claimed it hoped to overtake Apple tablets in two years.
Earlier suspicions may have been proven correct. IDC estimates have suggested that Acer may have