updated 08:30 am EDT, Fri April 8, 2011
Acer Iconia Tab A500 to hit US on April 24
Acer on Friday priced and dated the launch of its first tablet in the US, the Iconia Tab A500. Its 10-inch, Android 3.0-based flagship should reach Best Buy as an exclusive on April 24. The price will deliberately undercut that of the iPad 2 and will start at $450 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model.
Insider, the A500 still has the dual-core Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM as well as a rear five-megapixel camera, a front two-megapixel camera, a microSDHC slot, and HDMI output. Acer has done little customization of the tablet itself besides some custom widgets, DLNA media sharing using clear.fi, and loading its in-house LumiRead e-book app. Some third-party apps do come out of the box, including Let's Golf and Need For Speed: Shift for games and Zinio's magazine aggregator.
Both the AT&T and Verizon cellular-equipped versions haven't yet had their release dates pinned down.
Accessories are coming with the tablet itself and should include a $70 Bluetooth keyboard, a $80 charging dock with audio line-out support, a $40 multi-position case, and a $30 international power adapter kit.
The tablet is just the second Android 3.0 device to ship anywhere in the world and may be Apple's first significant challenge. Motorola ended up hurting its chances in the market by first limiting the Xoom to the $800 3G model and is still selling its 32GB Wi-Fi version at a much higher $600. Android tablet makers in their brief history have historically had a hard time being price-competitive with Apple and led Samsung to drop Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 pricing; the Iconia Tab A500 is the first in a similar size to the iPad not to have been initially planned with a higher price.