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Acer says Predator 8 gaming tablet primed for September launch

Acer says Predator 8 gaming tablet primed for September launch

Acer's first gaming tablet is not yet ready for prime time as there are some issues to resolve, a company rep said

Gigabyte booth at Computex.

Gigabyte booth at Computex.

Acer couldn't keep the mystery around the launch of its highly-anticipated Acer Predator 8-inch gaming tablet bottled up for too long.

The tablet could launch sometime in September, with a big event planned for Europe, said a representative at the Acer booth on the Computex show floor this week.

The tablet was first shown on stage in April at a lavish event at the World Trade Center in New York. At the time, Acer CEO Jason Chen said during an interview that the tablet details were being finalized and more details would be shared at launch. However, no specific launch date was provided.

But details about the tablet starting trickling out much earlier at Computex in Taipei this week. It will run on Android OS and have Intel's Atom processor code-named Cherry Trail, which has two times faster graphics than the aging predecessor chip code-named Bay Trail. The Cherry Trail chip is also used in Microsoft's Surface 3, which started shipping last month.

For Acer, the tablet is an entry point into the growing market for mobile gaming. The company already has Predator laptops and desktops, and is launching gaming monitors under the same brand. In a stagnant PC market, gaming PCs and Chromebooks are the largest growing segments.

At Computex, the Predator 8 was shown in a glass case, and no one was allowed to play with it. There are a couple of issues yet to resolve, which is pushing the launch of Predator 8 to September, the Acer representative said.

Tablets can be dull to look at, but the Predator isn't. It has a metal gray and red color scheme that could appeal to gamers. Wing-like contours on the four corners of the tablet house speakers.

Predator will face competition from Nvidia, whose Shield is perhaps the most popular Android gaming tablet. There are still questions around the viability of Android as a core gaming platform, and the OS will take on Microsoft's Windows 10, which will have a graphics technology called DirectX 12 that could help mobile games look better.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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