Acer has confirmed that it will launch its Iconia Tab range in April as the firm aims to break into the lucrative tablet market by offering a choice between Android and Windows 7 devices.
The Iconia Tab range will be headed by the W500 10in tablet, a hybrid device that runs Windows 7 and gives a PC-like experience anywhere, Jose Luis Munoz, Acer business unit manager, said at a launch event in London.
The 970g W500 will be powered by a 1GHz dual-core C-50 processor together with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and will ship with a 32GB SSD.
Key features include the 10.1in LED backlit touch screen, which has a resolution of 1,280 x 800 and supports full HD 1080p video playback.
However, the main differentiator with other tablets is the ability to turn the tablet into a netbook by slotting it into the full sized companion keyboard.
Software features include the Acer Ring interface, which allows users to access content in an intuitive way, Munoz said. Adobe Flash 10.1, Adobe Reader 9.1, Bing and Microsoft Starter 2010 will also be included in the device out-of-the-box.
Acer has also incorporated USB, HDMI and Ethernet ports, together with a two-in-one card reader. This will allow users to transfer files between devices, connect to external HD displays and make use of high-speed internet, Munoz added.
Wireless connectivity, meanwhile, will come in the form of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and DLNA, which Acer has labelled as Clear.fi. Users will also be able to request HSDPA and 3G connectivity, but these models will ship at a later date.
The W500 will offer six hours of internet browsing and four hours of video playback, according to Acer.
The Wi-Fi W500 is due to be launched on 8 April and will start at £449 for the tablet only. The keyboard accessory will cost an additional £89.99, and the tablet and keyboard together will cost £529.
The tablet will be available from outlets including Dixons, Currys, PC World, Amazon, Comet and HMV.
The 3G edition is expected to be released a month later, and will be available for £579 including the docking keyboard.
Acer will also release the A500, a 10.1in device that will run the Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform, on 8 April.
Specifications are unconfirmed, but the tablet is expected to come with similar if not identical specifications to the W500.
The major difference between the tablets will be that the Android version will not come with the USB keyboard dock. Acer plans to make a Bluetooth keyboard accessory available.
The Wi-Fi version of the A500 is expected to retail at £449, excluding the bluetooth keyboard accessory.
Acer also plans to introduce the A100 tablet, an Android device with a 7in form factor, in the second half of the year.
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