7-inch tablet PC, a monochrome e-reader and Clear.fi unveiled
Leading Taiwan-based computer hardware firm Acer unveiled its first monochrome electronic reader and a seven-inch touchscreen tablet PC at the Source Home summit here on Thursday.
With this, Acer has officially entered the lucrative and highly competitive tablet PC market. Without spilling the beans on the finer details of this product, slated to hit the markets by end of 2010, President of Acer Geanfranco Lanci announced that it will run on the Open Source operating system Android and that Acer is developing other applications to enable high-speed browsing and music or video sharing. The announcement comes days after Dell announced plans to release a five-inch, Android-based tablet PC 'Streak'. The tablet has a QWERTY keypad and is 3G enabled, Mr. Lanci said during his all-too-short demo. However, details on pricing and apps were not revealed.
Lumiread, the six-inch monochrome e-reader has a two GB flash memory (a Micro SD slot for more) and will offer wireless and 3G connectivity. It is likely to hit the market in a month or two. For content, Acer has partnered with Barnes and Nobles in the U.S. and is looking at similar partnerships in the U.K., Germany and other emerging markets. In the second session, the company also inked a pact with Chinese IT firm and leading digital publishing player Founder for content as well as other "strategic partnering". This is significant for Acer, which is among the top 3 hardware vendors in several mature and emerging markets but lags behind in China in terms of market-share. “We will be able to enter the top 3 in the mobile PC segment post this strategic alliance,” Mr. Lanci said.
Mr. Lanci emphasised that both the e-reader and tablet PC will be compliant with Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standards, in order to offer a "seamless digital experience". The event also focused on and unveiled its concept of 'digital individuals'. "Clear.fi is our concept designed to open up any home network and simplify sharing of digital content across different platforms and systems," Mr. Lanci said. From what was revealed, Clear.fi is a way of integrating technologies and devices in the home environment and allowing them to 'talk to each other'. However, devices and particularly consumer appliances, where there are no standards, will pose a challenge.