April 08, 2011, 8:08 AM — Acer's first tablet based on Google's Android 3.0 OS will ship later this month for $449, the company said Friday.
The Acer Iconia Tab A500 will have a 10.1-inch screen and Wi-Fi capabilities and will ship for the U.S. market on April 24, an Acer spokeswoman said. The A500's price is lower than the $499 entry-level price for Apple's iPad 2.
Acer has said that the A500 will ship worldwide starting in April. The company has also announced an LTE (Long-Term Evolution) version of the A500 and a W500 model that will run Windows 7. Shipment dates for the tablets were not disclosed.
The company announced the shipment date for the Acer Iconia Tab a week after President and CEO Gianfranco Lanci resigned over disagreements with the board about the company's future direction. Analysts said reasons for Lanci's resignation included the company's unwavering commitment to the PC market and lack of aggression expanding in the burgeoning tablet market.
The Iconia Tab A500 was first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January. The tablet is powered by a Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor running at 1GHz, a chip that is also used in Motorola's Xoom and LG's G-Slate tablets. The Tegra processor has a powerful graphics core that will allow users to play high-definition games and 1080p video, Acer said in a statement.
Users will be able to watch 720p video on the tablet, with an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) port to connect to TVs to watch 1080p video.
The tablet will handle up to eight hours of gaming or high-definition video time, or 10 hours of Wi-Fi Internet browsing, on one battery charge, Acer said. The A500 weighs around 1.69 pounds (0.76 kilograms) and measures 0.52 inches at its thinnest point.
It includes a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It comes with 16GB of internal storage and a Micro SD card slot for up to 32GB of extended storage.
The Android 3.0 OS is Google's tablet operating system with a specialized user interface optimized for larger screens. The OS lets users navigate back and forth between multiple applications and has features that enable tablets to be used as gaming consoles.