Acer announces three new tablets

One powered by AMD, two by ARM

AMD DID MENTION that it wanted a slice of the tablet market and it seems like this is happening sooner rather than later, as Acer has announced that it will be launching an AMD powered tablet sometime in February next year. At the same time the company announced that it’s readying two Android tablets, both powered by ARM and all three tablets are said to have dual core processors.

As for the 10.1-inch Windows 7 tablet with an AMD processors we’d bet our money on an AMD C-50 processor, in other words a 1GHz Ontario APU with a 280MHz Radeon HD 6250 GPU. Acer didn’t mention which processor it will use, just that it will be run on the next-generation AMD platform, but the C-50 is the most sensible option for this form factor. Other features include a pair of 1.3 Megapixel cameras, Wi-Fi and presumably optional 3G connectivity.

The tablet weighs in at less than 1kg and is said to be 15mm thick. It comes with a docking station that adds a full-size phyiscal keyboard and more connectivity options, whatever that entails. An HDMI port appears to be part of the tablet itself that will allow you to hook it up to an external screen, although the display used manages a resolution of 1280×800 which isn’t half bad on a 10.1-inch tablet. This actually reminds us a lot of the 12-inch CULV tablet that Asus showed off at Computex earlier this year.

The first of the ARM tablets is using the same 10.1-inch screen, but features a dual core 1GHz SoC of unknown origin, but it’s rumoured to be a Tegra 2 from Nvidia. It will be running Android with a custom Acer UI on top and it won’t be available until April next year. It should also feature a 5 Megapixel rear camera, as well as an “HD” front facing camera, HDMI output, 10 point multitouch and a gyrometer. Judging by the pictures, it also features a USB port, a USB OTG port, a docking connector, a headphone jack, a docking connector and a micro SD card slot.

Finally we have a 7-inch tablet that again features a 1280×800 resolution and Android as its OS of choice with the same Acer customizations as the 10.1-inch model. It’s said to sport a 1.2GHz dual core Qualcomm SoC, alongside with a front facing “HD” camera and HDMI output. It will also sport Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, as well as DLNA support. The 7-inch tablet should also be available sometime in April of next year. Acer didn’t supply any pictures of the 7-inch model, so we’re not quite sure what to expect here in terms of connectivity and looks.

Acer wasn’t very forthcoming with details of the new tablets, but it seems like the company is waiting for the tablet specific version of Android for the two ARM powered models. It’ll be interesting to see what an AMD powered tablet can bring to the market compared to Atom and ARM powered tablets, although Windows 7 just doesn’t seem like the best OS choice on a tablet. Still, with the keyboard dock, it might just make for a nice low-power netbook beater, especially since it features a higher resolution screen compared to most netbooks.S|A

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