In the shadows of Apple's next-generation iPad, Acer rolled out its first quad-core tablet in North America. Dubbed the Iconia Tab A510, the new tablet has an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor as Acer pushes to offer stronger experiences on the video, mobile and lifestyle apps front.
The Iconia Tab A510 is a 10.1-inch tablet that comes equipped with Polaris Office 3.5, which is compatible with Microsoft Office. Polaris Office lets you read and edit various document formats for mobile access to important information. The tablet also includes Acer Print, which enables wireless printing, and sports the Android 4.0 operating system known as Ice Cream Sandwich.
The new Acer tablet is on pre-sale for $449.99 for the 32 GB model. But the question is, can it compete with the iPad's $499 entry-level model? Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis, has not reviewed the new Acer tablet but he has seen enough tablets to know that competing with the iPad takes more than what most device manufacturers have so far offered.
"You need to bring different applications and content," Greengart said. "The idea that you can use Google and create something that is basically the iPad without the iPad's apps and then sell it at roughly the same price is a recipe for failure."
Competing with Battery Life
Acer is promising extended battery life with its Iconia Tab A510. Specifically, Acer says the tablet will run for up to 12 hours of video playback. That could be head-turning for some iPad watchers who are complaining that the latest iPad has poor battery life.
Acer includes a fifth Battery SavMain Body: er Core that allows up to four cores to be dedicated to tasks like watching video and playing the next generation of graphics-intense mobile games. Acer says these four cores provide up to 2.6 times the performance and up to three times the graphics performance compared with previous-generation processors.
On the apps front, the A510 also features Evernote, a personal assistant that captures and saves Web pages, photos, ideas and documents and stores them in the cloud for access to other devices. Acer clear.fi is installed on the Acer Iconia Tab A510 to connect with any other DLNA-compliant device to quickly and easily share digital media. And a built-in micro HDMI port lets customers share video stored on the device with other devices.
Apple Still Rules
Acer is pulling out all the stops with the A510, even offering an Olympic Edition of the new tablet. But if other tablets are any measure, the new effort from Acer isn't likely to put a dent in Apple's market share.
"A year or two ago we wondered if the tablet market would be like the iPod where Apple has something like an 80 percent share -- and there really wasn't room for anyone else -- or if it would more like the iPhone," Greengart said. "In the smartphone market Apple is an important and perhaps even the most important player, but there is certainly room for others. Apple doesn't own anywhere near the percentage of the market share. Android is very strong and Microsoft is trying to push Windows Phone 7."
With tablets so far, Apple is clearly dominating. Other tablet manufacturers, like Hewlett-Packard and Research In Motion, have experimented with tablets. When a lot of those initial efforts failed the market witnessed several companies exiting the tablet sector entirely and others who are sort of biding their time.
"Dell, for example, says they are not going to do Android tablets. Dell is going to wait for Windows," Greengart said. "Nokia has sat out the first round of tablet and the rumor is they are also going to do a Windows tablet. We'll see."