Acer has announced it’s joining the Android army with 3 tablets in 3 different sizes: 4.8 inches, 7 inches and 10.1 inches. All of them will come with Android OS 3.0 (Honeycomb). Once agaiin, we have confirmation that Honeycomb is not far off, and we’ll see it in products even in Q1 next year, although Acer says they will ship their products in April next year. Perhaps their custom UI has something to do with that.
The 4.8 inch mini-tablet will have a 1024 x 480 resolution, which I find very unusual because that will be one very wide tablet with a 21:9 ratio. Video is usually 16:9, so the extra wide space seems pretty pointless to me, especially since it will break app compatibility. Yes, most Android apps are resolution independent, but they still have to scale properly. With this kind of crazy resolution, they won’t, and developers will need to redesign their apps to fit this phone if it ever becomes popular.
It will also feature a 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU, which will definitely seem dated in April next year when all new phones and tablets will have a dual core CPU in them. However, maybe that’s not their goal here. Other nice things it has are a 8 MP rear camera, a 1.3 MP front-facing camera, and HSPA+ with 14.4 Mbps download speed.
The 7 inch tablet is a bit more special from the others because it has something more unexpected – a dual core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon chip. It will also have a 1280 x 800 resolution, which I believe is perfect for tablets. I’m really glad they went with the 16:10 ratio here instead of 16:9, because 16:9 would’ve been too narrow, especially for 10 inch tablets. They’d just look too weird when holding them vertically. The 16:10 ratio seems to look a lot better vertically, so you can have the best of both worlds, wide screen and be able to hold it vertically, too.
The 10 inch tablet will also have a 1280 x 800 resolution which is great because the apps will work the same on both. The difference here is that this tablet runs on a Tegra 2. It’s quite interesting that they chose the dual core Snapdragon for the 7 inch device and the dual core Tegra 2 for the 10 inch one. Acer claims Tegra has better video and gaming performance. I think they wanted to be able to brag about the fact that they are one of the first with a dual core Snapdragon chip, but they also didn’t want to lose out on Tegra 2’s gaming performance, so they put the Snapdragon in one tablet and Tegra 2 in the other.
This 10 inch tablet will also come with a 5 MP back camera, HD front facing camera, HDMI output (720p), and support for Flash Player 10.1 (the 7 inch tablet will have it, too).
We’ve only just seen how the Acer tablets will look like in 2011. We’ve yet to see what Motorola, Samsung, HTC and LG have for us. It looks like 2011 is going to be a very good year for Android tablets.