November 24, 2010
Acer is clearly trying to gain marketshare against the likes of HP and Dell Computer. While others are trimming their hardware lines, Acer is stepping up with a flurry of new devices and platforms seen here along with their brand new movie/tv/App store competitor to iTunes.
Coverage via ENGADGET.COM
Acer reveals 4.8-inch Android smartphone with 1024×480 screen resolution
Acer may be calling this “100 percent smartphone. 100 percent tablet,” but something just doesn’t add up there. That being said, we have to agree that a 1024×480 screen resolution on a 4.8-inch smartphone is downright drool-worthy. Clocking in at just a smidgen smaller than Dell’s Streak, this here phone (no finalized name has been bestowed quite yet) was just revealed at Acer’s Global press event in New York City. It was only shown briefly, demonstrating an unknown version of Android and the “evolution of Acer UI.” Specs wise, there’s a two megapixel front-facing camera, eight megapixel rear camera (with LED flash), 720p video recording, a six-axis Gyroscope + accelerometer package and LED edge lighting. Per usual, Acer’s keeping a lid on any pricing estimates, but it’ll be shipping out to gape-jawed customers everywhere in April 2011.
Update: We’ve got the full PR after the break, which informs us of the atypical 21:9 aspect ratio in use here as well as its “full metal body.” Curiously enough, it’s also rocking a curved back (is that a trend we spot?), Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11n WiFi, HSDPA support, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and an HDMI output. Delicious, all the way around.
We wish we had better news about our hands-on success here at the Acer global press conference, but because all of the company’s Android tablets will run Honeycomb / 3.0 or Google’s “tablet OS” most of the units just weren’t functioning. The 10.1-inch, dual-core Tegra-powered version was the only unit that would power on, and though we did get to see it blaze through some HD video, for the most part it was very sluggish and clearly acting like a pre-production unit. As far as the hardware goes, the display was bright and surprisingly had decent viewing angles. Acer’s been notorious for using terrible LCDs, so this is quite a nice change! Oh, and as you already knew, it does have two cameras.
We eventually convinced a very nice Acer rep on hand to bring out the 4.8- and 7-inch devices for a hardware demo — both of them were also very early units, but they did look nice from afar with glossy black screens and brushed metal backs. The phonlet’s 4.8-inch, 1024 x 480-resolution screen (it has a 21:9 aspect ratio!) makes it much wider than a Streak, and reminded us a lot of the LG GW900 (may it rest in peace). We told you we didn’t have much in the way of impressions, but hit the gallery below for some more hands-on shots and the break for a quick video of the 10-incher in action. April can’t come soon enough, can it?
Acer launches Alive digital content platform and app store, plans to pre-load it onto future machines
Acer’s Global press event today focused primarily around its Clear.fi content sharing system and a slew ofnew hardware introductions, but there’s one tidbit of software news that seems too significant to ignore. Here shortly, Acer will begin pre-loading its newfangled Alive digital content platform onto its machines. Hard to say if that includes tablets and smartphones (update: Acer has confirmed that it’ll eventually hit “netbooks, laptops, smartphones and tablets), but the screens we’re seeing today lead us to believe this is a desktop-only affair for now. Acer’s playing this up as being “more than an app store,” but there’s no question that an app store lies at the heart. A cornucopia of partners (Intel, Zinio, Adobe, etc.) will be providing content, and newly pushed material can be easily viewed via Twitter or Acer’s own Channel concept. Five main sections will be present: Listen, Watch, Read, Play and Application. Both free and paid content will be supported, with users in the UK and Italy getting first access next month. Mum’s the word on how long it’ll take to spread elsewhere (a more thorough rollout will “begin” in Q1 2011), and there’s no mention at all about an SDK for developers. Something tells us this will end up as more of a collection of apps from various app stores than anything else, but at least we’ll know for sure in just a couple weeks.