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Acer UK announces tablet date

Date and price set for Acer's riposte to iPad

Acer UK has today announced the date for the release of its first Android tablet PC.

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 will be launched at the same time as its physically similar Windows version, the W500, on Friday 8th April 2011, PC Advisor was told today.

The launch will be significant, as the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is Acer's answer to the Apple iPad.

Acer's answer to the iPad: the Acer Iconia Tab A500

At a press conference today, Acer showed unfinished samples of these 10.1in-screen tablets, as well as a 7in version for Android, the A100.

The Acer Iconia Tab A500 will use Google's Android 3.0 operating system and an nVidia ARM-based Tegra 250 processor, a dual-core chip running at 1GHz. Graphics processing is from an ultra-low power nVidia GeForce GPU.

The A500 has a 1280x800 LCD touchscreen display. No-one from Acer today was able to explain what kind of panel it uses; but given the limited colour gamut and restricted viewing angles we believe it to be a lower-grade TN panel.

The Iconia Tab A500 is 13.3mm thick and weighs 700g. Price will be £449, with an optional keyboard costing another £90.

This Wi-Fi-only model will also be offered with an optional 3G modem, but that will not be available until May 2011. Price of the 3G version has not yet been revealed.

The A500 will naturally be compared to the iPad 2. Battery life is advertised to be the same as iPad 2, at 10 hours of web browsing. It has a similar ARM Cortex A9 dual-core processor, but a less powerful graphics solution.

In overall comparative terms, the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is over 50% thicker; weighs 100g more; has a poorer-quality screen; and costs £50 more.

Tablet AdvisorSee all Tablet PC reviewsSmall business IT advice

See also: Galaxy Tab return rate as high as 16%