Acer is continuing to announce products before CES officially starts, and this latest one is a bit unusual. Today, the company announced the TA272 HUL desktop monitor. This is a large, 27-inch multi-touch monitor capable of detecting 10 touch points at once. It's extremely high-resolution and has built-in speakers, making it perfect for a Windows 8 desktop monitor.
What sets this unit apart, however, is that it can boot to Android 4.2 when not being used as a monitor. This isn't the first time Acer has made a large Android monitor, but this one is certainly the most advanced. It is pretty feature packed and will probably end up on lots of wish lists:
2560 x 1440 resolution (WQHD)
NVIDIA Tegra quad-core CPU
16GB internal memory
2MP front facing camera
802.11 a/b/g/n WiFI
Dolby stereo speakers
USB 3.0 port
HDMI and DisplayPort for using as a monitor
Windows 8 certified
This monitor will cost $1,099 when it goes on sale. So why might you want an expensive, high-resolution monitor that doubles as a huge Android desktop tablet? Admittedly, the Android experience can't offer much that full-blown Windows can't aside from a few games. But it could be great for, say, watching Netflix without leaving your large, power-hungry gaming PC running. Acer says it is "ideal for home entertainment, browsing, and sharing" so they envision using the Android side for more simple tasks that a full PC aren't needed for. If your desktop PC is off, it would probably be a lot faster to simply use the Android side of the monitor when trying to do something quickly.
Acer and other companies are constantly trying to find new product categories, and mixing Android into traditional products could work. The price on this model makes it too expensive for most average consumers, but it could work great for certain businesses or professionals.
What do you think? Would you have a use for a product like this? We'll probably see a whole lot more products that have integrated Android aspects at CES this weekend. Stay tuned!