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The Android Tablet fans have been waiting for (Acer A500)


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#1 of 23 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 08 2011 - 04:58 AM

Honeycomb, better specs, lower price than the iPad 2.


http://arstechnica.c...ad-on-price.ars


Soon, it will start to get interesting :)



#2 of 23 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted April 08 2011 - 05:35 AM

At this point, I still would like to see a 7-8" one at similar res and higher ppi (for lower price and maybe better battery life).  The Android tablet makers really should not limit themselves to competing against the iPad (and each other) only on Apple's turf.


And this Acer 10" really isn't all that much cheaper (than the Xoom) anyway since it comes at the cost of less built-in memory (ie. 16GB vs 32GB), if nothing else.  I'd probably rather have a minimum of 32GB anyway before going the expansion route (unless I view it as a short term/throwaway device), especially since we're currently capped at 32GB for microSD cards.  Also, it's still not clear whether using microSD requires some sort of compromise vs just using internal memory.


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#3 of 23 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted April 08 2011 - 06:07 AM

On 2nd thought, at this point, maybe it's just better to view these tablets as short term devices (w/ mild potential for longer useful lives).


Still would like to see some options in the 7-8" range and also find out more about potential compromises to expanding memory w/ microSD cards -- on the plus side, I suppose one can always switch between multiple cards for a larger near-line storage, which might be ok for certain kinds of things like watching movies stored on a separate card, if one is in to that (vs a primary card you'd use for everything else).


Not much in the way of specs available for this Acer model though.  And hmmm... having their chief resign because the company (and the board) is not (aggressively) going after the tablet market doesn't seem to bold well for this though...


http://www.pcworld.c...ced_at_449.html


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#4 of 23 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 08 2011 - 06:16 AM

It's 10% cheaper: $450 vs $499 for a wifi 16GB model. And it's striking compared to the Xoom which launched more expensively.


Isn't Samsung coming out with a 7" Honeycomb tablet? I'm seeing ads for a 7" Tab, but don't know if they're touting their old and busted tablet or their new hotness. (Why would anyone buy an Android 2.3 tablet in 2011?)



#5 of 23 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 08 2011 - 06:25 AM

Samsung is coming out with both 8" and 10" honeycomb tablets.  The pricing is supposed to be competitive with the iPad 2 ($499 for the 10", less for the 8") and they are looking at making it a hair thinner than the iPad 2.


Any ads you're seeing right now are Galaxy Tab ads.  And one advantage of 2.3 over 3.0 is that 2.3 is a refinement of a proven OS that will run practically anything in the app store.  3.0 has bugs to work out.  From what I've seen of 3.0, it might take until 3.2 before it's really ready for primetime.


#6 of 23 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted April 08 2011 - 06:43 AM



Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 

Samsung is coming out with both 8" and 10" honeycomb tablets.  The pricing is supposed to be competitive with the iPad 2 ($499 for the 10", less for the 8") and they are looking at making it a hair thinner than the iPad 2.





It almost seems *impossible* that any tablet could be thinner than the iPad 2!  My daughter has hers in now and it's so thin it makes my iPhone 4 seem obese in comparison.  (And the original iPad now seems like a dinosaur.) So I'll have to "see it to believe it" before I'll believe that it's thinner than the iPad 2 (even by a hair)!




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#7 of 23 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 08 2011 - 07:06 AM

There's some question about whether the new Tab will be thinner

http://www.informati...cleID=229400221



And Samsung seems to be playing a bit loose with its representations

http://technologizer...alaxy-tab-fans/


We'll know when it's for sale.



#8 of 23 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 08 2011 - 07:30 AM

The 10.1" version is 595g and 8.6mm thick.  The iPad2 is 601g and 8.8mm thick.  I don't think the normal person could discern the 6g and .2mm difference.


BTW, the smaller version is actually 8.9".  That one is 8.6mm thick and weighs 470g.



#9 of 23 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 08 2011 - 07:51 AM

That's what's claimed. Has it been seen and verified "live"? A preliminary report quoted those numbers, but had a side-by-side photo indicating the Tab was thicker.


Perhaps in that same article, I also read some hints that the European version is thinner, but the US version isn't.


Until they're in reviewers' hands, this thinness claim is a bit dodgy, it seems.


I agree that 200 microns either way probably isn't important; possibly imperceptible (thickness of ~ 4 human hairs :) )



#10 of 23 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 08 2011 - 09:03 AM

In that no actual production model has been released, there's no way to tell.  The hands on models were the ones Samsung was going to produce before the iPad2 was released.  The other appeared to just be mock ups.



#11 of 23 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted April 08 2011 - 09:19 AM


Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 

The 10.1" version is 595g and 8.6mm thick.  The iPad2 is 601g and 8.8mm thick.  I don't think the normal person could discern the 6g and .2mm difference.


BTW, the smaller version is actually 8.9".  That one is 8.6mm thick and weighs 470g.


I like the sound of the 8.9", if the display res can still be around 1280x800.  That just might strike the best balance for me.


Seems kinda odd though that they'd have 2 different model lines (w/ likely different configs for each) be quite that close in form factor.  Then again, maybe it's not a big deal compared to how many slightly different smartphone models they have to churn out...


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#12 of 23 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted April 08 2011 - 09:23 AM

Here's the thing.. Acer enterting into this is interesting because frankly, Motorola (Xoom) and Samsung (Galaxy) simply do not have the fabrication capability that Acer does.   I know that sounds funny, but Acer is a manufacturing monster; they have the facilities, space and reach to be seriously competitive in this field.  Motorola doesn't.   Samsung doesn't.    Sorry, they just don't.

Acer has the facilities and tools to really put up a fight if they decide to.   People forget, but Acer's AspireOne was the first broadly accepted and manufactured "Netbook" And to this day Acer and it's subbrands (Acer owns Gateway, Emachine, etc.) dominate that category in shipment numbers.


Acer has an agressive price structure that will leverage their manufacturing capabilities and put up a hell of a fight over models, space and shipping.. one of the things that has killed Motorola and Samsung is that their volume capability has sucked.  Acer will not run into this problem.   If they want to flood the market with quantity, they absolutely have the means to do so.


I think their introduction of their first round is interesting.   I'm not at all sold as Honeycomb as a platform yet due to ecosystem problems, but if anyone can get adoption of a new product line, Acer is a much better source then other partners.


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#13 of 23 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 08 2011 - 09:53 AM

That's the deeper story of global business: the once-manufacturers whose products were stamped with others' brand names are tossing off the role as the contractor and claiming their own brand-name and greater profits. HTC and MSI are examples of this, as I understand it. To deviate from topic: this has been a grave danger with the US's increased outsourcing of manufacturing: teach someone else how to engineer and manufacture a product, and it's not too far to develop the original design skills and move up and out of the subservient manufacturing role.


So here comes Acer, looking poised and ready to eat Motorola's and Samsung's lunch with a better designed and cheaper priced Honeycomb tablet.



#14 of 23 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 08 2011 - 01:05 PM



Originally Posted by DaveF 

I agree that 200 microns either way probably isn't important; possibly imperceptible (thickness of ~ 4 human hairs :) )


I was reading a head to head comparison of the Evo 3D and the Optimus 3D on some cell phone site, and aside from the fact that a head to head comparison of unreleased phones is a bit dodgy to begin with, they gave round one to the Optimus 3D in the form factor category for being "thinner and lighter".  The actual difference?  .15mm and 2g.  That's right, basically a few strands of hair.  Meanwhile, the Optimus 3D was 2.8mm wider and 3mm taller.  Some people get too hung up on humanly imperceptible differences because they're just looking at the numbers.


Man, it appears the 8.9" model is 1280 X 800 resolution as well.  While the price is nice for the Iconia (and will definitely give it an advantage in the market) $50 extra for the Samsung model that will probably be much thinner and lighter and support multiple video codecs natively is a no-brainer for me.




#15 of 23 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted April 08 2011 - 02:26 PM



Originally Posted by DaveF 

That's the deeper story of global business: the once-manufacturers whose products were stamped with others' brand names are tossing off the role as the contractor and claiming their own brand-name and greater profits. HTC and MSI are examples of this, as I understand it. To deviate from topic: this has been a grave danger with the US's increased outsourcing of manufacturing: teach someone else how to engineer and manufacture a product, and it's not too far to develop the original design skills and move up and out of the subservient manufacturing role.


So here comes Acer, looking poised and ready to eat Motorola's and Samsung's lunch with a better designed and cheaper priced Honeycomb tablet.



It is a turnabout.   People forget that before FoxConn, Acer handled quite a bit of the manufacturing duties for companies like Apple.  Acer came into the US with their AspireOne (The Netbook) and pretty much created an entire marketspace out of whole cloth.  I mean, just straight out of nowhere, BAM!  And they have controlled that marketspace.


Whether you love or hate Acer, it is hard for me to believe that if the competition were between Samsung/Motorola/Acer that Acer wouldn't run the other two completely out of the market.   Acer just has a better ability to produce units in large bulk.   I hear people say "$450" but like everything Acer, there will be incentives, student kickbacks, dealer goals.. I would be surprised if you don't see these tablets at the $399 mark in very quick order.     That's the kind of thing that Acer can do that is hard for others to do.




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#16 of 23 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted April 20 2011 - 03:39 AM

The Acer Iconia reviews seem to be very positive.  I admit, I really like the brushed silver look.


http://androidcommun...eview-20110420/



Ah, that’s the stuff. This device has a Dolby speaker system, it’s light, has a casing that’s nearly wholly aluminum, and it’s silver. If you’ll take a look at the image above, you’ll see that it’s got a whole different situation going on compared to the rest of the tablets that’ve come out in the recent past, and it’s made by Acer.


24 hour uptime, nice looking case, a price sure to be discounted, and one of the biggest distributors in the game.  If Acer is serious about this, then they can quickly surge in the android tablet market.


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#17 of 23 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 20 2011 - 03:50 AM

24 hour uptime is based on "medium to high use".


 If you watch movies the entire time, you’re looking at only 2 or three probably, but you never know. Medium to high use, 24 hours or more. 


We'll see how it stacks up in Mossberg's battery test, where he plays a video loop with screen brightness at max.  But it should be more than 2 or 3 hours.



#18 of 23 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted April 20 2011 - 05:11 AM

Sounds like it's a bit on the heavy side at this point (at just shy of 26oz), and I'm guessing in-hand balance won't be any better than the (couple-oz lighter) Xoom.


At this point, of these announced Android tablets, seems to me like the 8.9" Samsung G Tab might turn out best, except it doesn't do HDMI/USB and only comes w/ a mono(?) speaker, which is too bad.


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#19 of 23 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted April 20 2011 - 06:25 AM

When you look at the Iconia and compare it to the Xoom and then look at the price tags, it looks more and more like Motorola fashioned itself a huge failure.  In fact, I predict that every attempt at creating an Android tablet sold through wireless carriers will be an abject failure, because you will never get a competitive price point through that channel until after the product has bombed and they are trying to liquidate their stock. Apple has set the price point for an entry level tablet, and it is $500.  If you can't come in at $500 or under, you will fail.



#20 of 23 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted April 20 2011 - 07:11 AM

I think I said this before, but the reality is, Motorola etc. aren't big enough to get enough manufacturing space to pull off a real competition with Apple.   They don't have the ability to ship in volume or monopolize factory floors.   Look at RIM.   I happen to think it's an interesting tablet.. but what is their biggest problem (outside of OS) they can't get the materials because Apple has commitments ahead of them and it shuts them out (according to reports).   Vendors aren't stupid.  When you're vending pieces and parts, you go with the big fish.... Motorola is no where near big enough to tangle on this playing field.  Acer is.. outside of the fact that they run/own quite a few of the manufacturing facilities themselves.     I can see Samsung making a run at it.. but not really motorola.. and yes, when you realize you're debating between the pros and cons of two closely matched units like the Xoom or Iconia, except whoops.. the Iconia is $200+ cheaper (and likely less after discounts) then it's hard to see how Motorola fits.  Motorola could fend off a gtab etc. because of size and performance.. but it can't make that case here.



I have not played with the Acer (I should soon) but of all the Android tablets, Xoom to me comes across as the one that I just can't find any use for.  It's clunky, it has problems with locking up and wild crashes.. I mean, for all of the snickers at Blackberry Playbook, I messed with my Xoom this morning, all updates.. and you try to make it run through THIS forum (hometheaterforum.com) and you will get an ENORMOUS stall which if you wait through the stall it does recover, but that it also happens at a few other sites. and apps that bomb the OS or system?  Not at all unheard of (google Xoom Crash).


I do not have a GalaxyTab, but I've played with one briefly, and even it is a better product then the Xoom.   The Xoom to me is one of the most worthless devices on the market.. I am fundamentally convinced that there is a significant hardware problem with too many of them and no matter what the software is, it will never be "right"



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