The days of having to spend a small fortune in order to have a tablet that doesn't suck are over. With the introduction of the Iconia Tab A200, Acer throws its hat into the ring of low(er) cost slates. It's priced at $330, and while that's higher than Amazon's Kindle Fire ($199) and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet ($249), the A200 is a full-size slate measuring 10.1 inches with a promised upgrade path to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).
One of the most popular tech categories in all of 2011 was the tablet PC. For the most part, Intel and Microsoft missed the boat, but luckily for both, the tablet ship hasn't sailed and looks to be just as popular in 2012 as it has been for the past 12 months. Come Q3, Acer and Lenovo will punch their ticket with tablets built around Intel's Clover Trail platform rocking Microsoft's Windows 8.
You won't find too many people beating down virtual or brick and mortar doors to get their hands on an Acer Iconia Tab. The demand just isn't there, not when there are sexier, slimmer, more capable, and less expensive alternatives available (some of which are a combination of more than one of those), and the Iconia Tab line hasn't sold particularly well as a result. Be that as it may, Acer isn't waving the white flag.
Chromebooks from the likes of Acer and Samsung have been on the market for over six months now. In this time, there have there have been reports of these Chrome OS-running netbooks selling very poorly. Google even slashed their prices last month in a bid to spur demand among holiday shoppers. It’s difficult to say how helpful that move has been, if at all. But there is something that will definitely be very helpful for existing Chromebook users looking to do more with their machines while offline.
Being a technology enthusiast sometimes feels like a series of tradeoffs. Want a balls-to-the-wall gaming notebook? Be prepared to sacrifice portability and battery life. Looking for an ultra-slim laptop you can toss in your bag and hardly know it's there? Intel's new Ultrabook form factor has your name written all over it, but only if you can be content with an 11-inch or 13-inch screen. Acer's about to change that.
Keep it simple, stupid: amongst the major computer suppliers out there, only – gasp! – Apple truly lives by the basic axiom. And while us DIY-loving Maximum PC types prefer options, big companies prefer making money for their stockholders, and they’ve noted the monetary bonanza Apple’s drawing in with its slim pickings. If you read the lead news story in our January issue, you already know that analysts expect HP to reduce its number of products next year, and now, a report says Acer plans on taking “slim and trim” to the next level and cutting its lineup by two-thirds of its current size in 2012.
A slew of hardware makers that didn’t start out as online bookstores—including Acer, Samsung, and Toshiba—debuted 7-inch Android Honeycomb tablets just in time for Amazon’s Kindle Fire to steal their thunder. The apparent goal: to discover if anyone is actually interested in 7-inch tablets. Acer’s Iconia Tab A100 serves as our guinea pig for this form factor.
Acer tells us its upcoming Iconia Tab A200 will debut "at an affordable price," a claim that's impossible to substantiate until the company actually announces how much it will cost (which it hasn't). What we do know, however, is that it will come packing an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) out of the gate in...November? Perhaps Acer has discovered time travel.
So, Ultrabooks haven’t exactly been lighting the sales charts on fire. Theoretically, 2012 is supposed to be the year sales take off. Some critics say that can only happen if pricing comes down, but Ultrabook suppliers say it’s hard to shave off more cash because of high manufacturing costs. Well, that might be changing soon. Today, Acer president Jim Wong predicted that Ultrabooks should see $100 to $200 price cuts by midway through 2012. Heck, if that isn’t low enough for you, he thinks Ultrabooks should clock in as low as $500 by 2013.
Despite affordability being an integral part of Intel’s ultrabook vision, PC vendors are finding it difficult to honor the $1,000 price cap stipulated by the chip maker. If it’s the price that’s keeping you from buying your first ultrabook, you might not have to wait all that long now for a dip in ultrabook prices. Hit the jump for more.