by Anton Shilov
05/27/2010 | 10:27 PM
One of the world’s largest suppliers of personal computer – Acer Group – has demonstrated its forthcoming tablet PC, which the company plans to release late this year. The device sports 7” screen and a rather surprising feature: a QWERTY keyboard.
Acer’s tablet with 7” colour touch screen was shown by chief executive of the company Gianfranco Lanci at a press event earlier this week, reports Shufflegazine web-site. The head of Acer did not reveal any specifications of the device, but implied that it will feature 3G connectivity, whereas Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are naturally expected. Quite obvious is also the fact that the product is based on a microprocessor powered by the ARM architecture (most probably, it is Qualcomm Snapdragon). The device, which is based on Google Android, not on Google Chrome operating system (OS) as reported earlier, features a hardware keyboard under the screen, which will allow users to type more intuitively than on a screen keyboard.
The keyboard, unfortunately, is very small and it is questionable whether it will be possible to type on it comfortably: typing with one hand while holding the device with another will hardly be convenient since tablets seem to be much more heavy than mobile phones, whereas typing with both hands when the product is lying on the table will barely be convenient since the keyboard is too small. In any case, the drawbacks of the hardware keyboard are basically the same as for an on-screen one.
At present the official price of Acer’s tablet is not known, but earlier reports suggested that it may be as low as around $300. Unfortunately, the slate will only be available sometime in Q4 2010.
The tablet PC from Acer will have to compete not only against Apple iPad, but also against the approaching Asustek Computer’s Eee Pad, Samsung Electronics’ S Pad and other products of the kind. Since the prices of the slates do not seem to be truly low, customers will pay a lot of attention on services provided by manufacturers of such devices, e.g., content delivery mechanisms and so on. In case of Acer, the actual platform owner will be Google, which partners with various distributors of content. However, Google Android will also power many other slates and Acer will either have to offer certain exclusive features or to cut down the price of its tablet so to be competitive.