Packard Bell is a name you probably haven't heard in awhile. Now a subsidiary of Acer, Packard Bell was once a major player in the U.S. desktop market, right up until the company packed its bags and left North America back in 2000. The general consensus among power users was 'good riddance,' and if you're still of that opinion, don't worry, Packard Bell isn't making its way back to the States. The company is, however, releasing a tablet in Europe that bears a striking resemblance to Acer's recently announced Iconia Tab A500.
While the full swarm of Honeycomb tablets buzzes further off on the horizon, a few scouts are arriving to test the hospitableness of the consumer environment. Sales of the Motorola Xoom have been sluggish so far, and it may be due to a price that does little to sway potential iPad 2 buyers. The latest experiment in Honeycomb tablet market penetration, the Acer Iconia Tab A500, arrives today at BestBuy.com for pre-orders at a tantalizing sub-iPad price of $449.99. Pre-orders at Best Buy stores will begin on April 14, and the final onsale date will be April 24 -- exclusively at Best Buy stores and online.