Acer Inc., the prominent PC manufacturer, is joining the bustling business of tablet production with multiple new tablet offerings that - you guessed it - aim to take a bite out of Apple's present lock on the tablet computer market. According to the executives at Acer, the new offerings include five-inch, seven-inch, and ten-inch touchscreen tablets that run on Google's Android software. Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci said that a Windows based 10-inch tablet (with AMD processor and two 1.3-megapixel cameras) is also forthcoming.
By spring 2011 the above slate will be available (although a February release is planned for the 10-inch Windows 7 tablet). The 10-inch Android tablet, however, seems to be generating the most enthusiasm. This particular model will serve up both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity to complement its multi-touch input and an internal gyroscope. Yet despite all the initial interest provoked by the 10-inch Android tablet, it's 7-inch counterpart could be the biggest seller, as it delivers a 1280-by-800-pixel display and a forward-facing HD camera. The HDMI port is still there, as are 3G and Wi-Fi capabilities. Also thrown in is dual-core processor and the ability to run Adobe Flash Player 10.1.
Additionally on Tuesday, Acer announced a dual-screen tablet concept known as "Iconia" (see PC World demo video above). Instead of delivering a standard below-screen keyboard, the device offers a second touch-panel display. Acer calls the innovative concept device a brand new tablet experience, "combining the versatility of a conventional 14” form factor with a unique dual-screen layout and highly intuitive all-point multi-touch functionality, which means you can use all the fingers of your hands to navigate Iconia."
Obviously, prospective tablet buyers have much to consider if not already sold on the idea of an iPad. As a new tablet - or concept tablet - is seemingly unveiled every week, it gets a little easier to understand the comments of JT Wang, chairman of Acer, who told the Economic Daily News (via DigiTimes) last summer that the iPad's market share will soon be only 20% to 30%. Citing Apple's closed platform more than increased tablet competition, Wang says Apple's iPad simply won't be able to compete as it once did as a crowded field of tablets will soon elevate new players to the top of the heap.