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Handhelds Portables

Hands-On With Acer's New 10-Inch Android Tablet 159

Posted by timothy
from the temptinger-every-day dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Earlier this week Acer unveiled three new tablets, two for Android and one for Windows. Unfortunately details on the devices were slim, including their names. According to a hands-on with the 10-inch Android tablet, the device is about half-inch thick and weighs slightly more than an iPad. It's currently running an unknown Android version but according to the Acer executives the tablets will be running Google's tablet version of Android, Honeycomb. The tablet has no front-facing buttons. The side includes a power button, lock button, an SD slot and a docking port for full-sized keyboard dock. The device also includes two cameras, front and back, resolutions details of which are still unknown. There's also a mini HDMI port for playing content on HDTVs. The tablets are powered by Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU which gives it the edge when it comes to graphics."
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Hands-On With Acer's New 10-Inch Android Tablet

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  • Cost? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:04PM (#34334522)

    How much is it going to cost?

    Also, 16:9? Shit! Should be 16:10

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:05PM (#34334540)

    They are both toys, I highly doubt you're "working" on either.

  • Re:That last line (Score:3, Insightful)

    by $1uck (710826) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:25PM (#34334784)
    I don't see "rich 3d" games being that big of a deal on a tablet. The interface just isn't conductive to playing a game in 3 dimensions at least it doesn't seem that way to me. The most successful games that I'm aware of seem to be more along the lines of Plants vs Zombies, Angry birds, and various tower defense games.
  • Why android? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Keruo (771880) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:26PM (#34334792)
    Where are Maemo/Meego tablets?
    Why is everyone pushing android for tablets when even the original author [engadget.com] says it's not designed for that purpose.
    Maemo & Meego are opensource and free, and they are designed to be used on tablets.
  • by GreatDrok (684119) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:26PM (#34334794) Journal

    "Correct, but this toy does something very entertaining that the iPad can't, which is to stream and display video from the home network."

    Funny, one of the main uses I have for my iPad is to stream video from my iTunes box. Sure, it's an app I bought called Air Video but it can do it and Apple is rumoured to be developing the AppleTV interface for the iPad too. It's a bit strong to say it can't do it when it clearly can although I'll concede that Apple should provide a solution themselves that works with iTunes directly. Mind you, Air Video also allows me to stream Flash video files directly to the iPad since the server side can convert them into h.264 so that works pretty well and I'll likely keep it around even if Apple provides a more direct video streaming solution for iTunes.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:30PM (#34334846) Homepage

    They are both toys, I highly doubt you're "working" on either.

    Have many people replaced their main work machine entirely with an iPad or similar tablet? Not likely.

    Can you actually do work with them? Absolutely. I've used mine to read huge (~ 1000 page) PDF documents away from my desk, and I've also responded to work emails from an airport using wifi. I've also used some mind-mapping type apps to collect my notes for some projects, and documents I put into my dropbox folder are available to me. I've got a reader for wikipedia which keeps everything it reads offline, so I have a bunch of tech references (and a bunch of other stuff) cached for offline access. Heck, I've got a webex client, remote desktop, telnet, some javadocs ...

    I'll even give you "toy", but I prefer "portable entertainment system and light internet appliance" ... on two business trips now I've brought my iPad. Which, in addition to allowing me to read my email in airports and hotel lobbies, also gives me games, movies, books, and loads of other things when when I'm stuck in airplanes or in my hotel room. Heck, I can sit in the hotel bar after work with a martini and read google news, check in with the wife via email, and check my calendar *and* checkout nearby restaurants with UrbanSpoon. Sure, I could do that with my laptop, but it's far less convenient (and, my work laptop has wifi disabled as a security measure, so I'd actually need to be plugged into both wire and power to do it).

    For the most part, I'm not hearing people claim to have chucked their laptop/desktop in favor of a tablet. That doesn't mean that the things people do with it don't have value to them. Trust me, on a one week business trip ... my iPad is as important to me as my laptop is -- it actually gets more use than the laptop. It lets me cover about 85% of the things I'd use my laptop for, and a bunch of things that I wouldn't want to use my laptop for. (I've tried watching movies on a laptop in a hotel room, and it sucked. Something I can hold like a book and sit in a comfy chair or lay in the bed is awfully nice.)

    Trust me, the utility of an iPad is far more than my ability to "work". I'm not going to use it to compile code, run a web server, or generate SQL queries with it. But, I place a high value on the things it does allow me to do, and the way in which I can do them. That fact that it's small and lightweight, has a huge battery life, and will connect to anywhere with free wifi makes it far more convenient than a laptop. Given the size and weight, there are just certain contexts where I'd just as soon have both my iPad and my laptop -- I will use the iPad more, but if I *really* need to dig out the big gun, it's there.

  • Re:Why android? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki.cox@net> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:34PM (#34334908)

    Where's the application infrastructure? Third parties, distribution, OS drivers, etc?

    With MeeGo, it's not there. Not for MeeGo specific apps.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:41PM (#34335014) Homepage Journal

    The Android market has tons of productivity apps. It has tons of shopping apps. It has tons of fitness apps.

    Are these only on the Market, or are they also available as .apk files for devices without official access to the Market? As of right now, Android media players (e.g. Archos) and Android tablets without 3G tend to come without Market access.

  • by NitroWolf (72977) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:43PM (#34335050)

    Which one has a richer appstore? Which one has the apps you're looking for?

    Umm, both have the same apps? Seriously, besides a handful of high profile games, what does Apple have that Android doesn't?

    Which one has a large, dedicated application developer community?

    Again... the answer is both.

    I think we all know the answer to those questions.

    Well, if I understand what you were trying to imply correctly, it appears you do not actually know the answer to those questions, so you are thinking incorrectly that we all know the answer, since you don't...

    As much as it pains us to say, Apple has done those things very well while the Android market has floundered helplessly. So count my vote for Apple, because at the end of the day I want to get my work done, not just play around with a shiny toy.

    Wow... so can you tell me what work you can get done on an iPad (or maybe you're talking about an iPod Touch or an iPhone), because I have an iPod Touch and an iPad and I can't get any real work done on either of them. Not because they are crappy devices, or lack applications, or what have you... but because they aren't built for getting work done. They are built to be shiny entertainment devices, not workhorses. You might *think* you are getting work done on your little iPhone or iPad, but you're not - because it's nigh impossible to be truly productive on the incredibly restrictive iPad (the keyboard on iOS alone would prevent you from doing anything more than hobbling around like an injured bird), not to mention the smaller iPhone or iPod. Then there's the whole problem of the iPad lacking any sort of useful input mechanisms.

    But I digress... your entire statement is ridiculous in the extreme. If the Android market is floundering (which I'm not agreeing nor disagreeing with you) the Apple Market is in the same boat. There is absolutely NOTHING in the Apple market that is compelling over the Android Market. I use both extensively, you sound like you are an Apple Fanboi, so I doubt you've actually used an Android based device for any length of time. I think the key take away here is that Android is more flexible and modern than iOS is currently (and likely will ever be) and that is going to be it's advantage, now and in the future. The Android market may be fragmented and may continue to fragment further, and while that has some drawbacks, the gains far outweigh the drawbacks... which is are already seeing in the form of how fast Android devices are taking off compared to Apple. Unless Apple does something drastic with iOS in the not to distant future, they are going to go back to and remain a niche market. I think this is actually fine with Apple, so I don't expect them to be in any race to improve iOS and bring it up to the standards of a modern day OS. Apple is and always has been fine with having a tiny slice of the pie and then charging through the nose for their curated slice.

    If that's what floats your boat, fine. But there's nothing there at present and nothing in the future that makes Apple a superior choice any longer. iOS is, has always been and will likely always continue to be a shiny toy (although it's kind of a dull toy now), it's not meant to be productive. Will Android become a productive workhorse? Heck, I don't know, but trying to claim that iOS is one is a total joke. I can get far more done in an Android environment than I can in an iOS one and I don't consider the Android a productive environment, either.

  • by maillemaker (924053) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:49PM (#34335126)

    If the damn thing was just a computer, who would care about a fucking "app store"???

    I don't go buy my PC based on writes software for it. Is this like 1975 when the hardware was thrown in for free to get you locked into their software?

  • by mikelieman (35628) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:14PM (#34335418) Homepage

    Can you take this iPad, plug it into a USB jack on any PC, and copy over whatever files you want?

  • by aztracker1 (702135) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:15PM (#34335442) Homepage
    I can't speak for anyone else, but will address the points with the following prefixes... I refuse to spend another dime on AT&T service, ever. I'll start buying Sony products again long before I use AT&T. After owning several devices with bugs, only to discover they are no longer supported, or locked down in such a way that I can't use them in a way that's convenient to me as a user (like use an mp3 file as a ring tone, or download the opera mobile browser, not speaking specifically to apple here), I prefer devices with the potential for end-user support.

    1) I don't care if I'll never compile it... as long as there's support for it, I'm happier in 2-3 years when the vendor isn't supporting the device, I can get updates. (Froyo on my G1, though sluggish, works).

    2) I don't care... specifically Linux isn't *THE* end all/be all for embedded devices, and there are other similar OSes available that are equally/more open source.

    3) Not just ROMs, but anything the company/vendor feels like making unavailable to artificially protect their other channels, or after they drop support for said device. Dropped support tends to happen very quickly on portable devices.

    4) Really don't care too much on this... flash on mobile, especially smaller devices is a waste imho... though not being able to play videos is annoying at best.

    5) Google has earned a reputation for delivering quality options with far fewer quirks than other companies. This comes at two costs: a. less feature rich, though what they do offer is solid. and b. google tends to do a lot of data mining, which raises some privacy concerns. As long as you are aware of A, and B I don't see the problem.

    6) I don't bash apple for their design decisions (often), I happen to like aspects of Windows 7 *AND* OSX... though I think the applications for those platforms is where the differences come into play a bit more... To me, what keeps me from iOS devices is the artificial lock down regarding being able to side-load applications (I am the great and powerful JOBS, and all apps must go through me, giving me my cut). I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I won't spend my money there... I do own a Macbook.

    7) kind of, yes... I can tinker, and my cool toy can do things your cool toy can't... I can do wifi tethering with my phone... For the most part, that was the single biggest selling point for my device is that there was 3rd party dev support, active 3rd party firmware, and the ability to utilize the hardware how *I* see fit.
  • Re:That last line (Score:3, Insightful)

    by samkass (174571) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:19PM (#34335492) Homepage Journal

    Sure, it might have "The Edge" - but that doesn't mean its always a good thing.

    "The Edge" over what, anyway? These devices aren't going to ship for 3-5 months, by which time they'll be competing against iPad2 and who-knows-what. The fact that the specs are even comparable to this past year's machine kind of indicates it won't have "the edge" in performance over anything.

  • by dAzED1 (33635) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:19PM (#34335494) Homepage Journal
    err...if you have 50,000 music streaming apps for ipad, and 500 music streaming apps for android, but the top 10 work about the same...
    ...then guess what. They're equal. The "music streaming" role has been satisfied. You're not going to be using 50,000 of them at once, anyway.
  • by Daetrin (576516) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:35PM (#34335674)

    The way you described games is pretty much applicable to the other types of apps you listed. I would be amazed if even half of the non-game apps on my iPad or iPhone are available for Android. The only category that I'm aware of where Android is pretty close to iOS in this regard is music streaming apps, and even there it lags, but it at least has most of the main ones that come to mind.

    I'd certainly be interested to see a list of what you consider to be key non-game apps, but i guess there was kind of an underlying assumption that i didn't bother to clarify in my post. Unless you are migrating from one system to another, no one really cares which particular productivity app they use, they only care if it does its job well. I don't care how awesome the Mac proprietary office suite is, OpenOffice works fine for me on my PC. I know my old fitness app had both iPhone and Android versions. When they started requiring access to contact info because they wanted to integrate with Facebook i switched to a different app, and i don't care if this new app is on the iPhone or not, it does what i want it to do.

    But stereotypes aside, gaming is a much more social activity. I'm sure there was an "Angry Birds" clone on Android long before the real thing came over. It could even have been just as good as the original game in its own way. But everyone was still eager to pick up the real Angry Birds game when it was available because they wanted to play the same game everyone else was talking about. They wanted to talk to their friends about it, or beat their friends' scores, or were just curious to see what the buzz was about, or whatever. No one (okay, almost no one =) runs up to their friends shouting "i just found this amazing new spreadsheet program on my phone! You have to try it out!"

    For any kind of productivity app all that's needed is functional parity. For games or social apps however everyone is going to want whatever the cool new thing is. And for the moment at least the iPhone has the lion's share of the cool new things. Particularly with games, since games are so much harder to port/simultaneously develop than the social apps are.

  • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:56PM (#34335928) Homepage Journal

    I have to say that other than games, you've just named the things I like *least* about the iTunes store. I don't give a fig what apps the staff likes, and I *really* hate the way iTunes wants to steer your purchases to what they think is (or want to be) hot.

  • by Sleepy (4551) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @04:39PM (#34336392) Homepage

    As a web developer, the iPad kicks ass for getting work done.. actually *replacing* my laptop for many things: reviewing online (or offline) documentation, checking email, and oh.. testing my work via Safari Mobile. If your work IS the web, the iPad rocks. In a pinch, I could code on it using a bluetooth keyboard, but that's not really what it is best at obviously.

    At the very least, it makes a hell of second or third monitor (and has a much better display than the standard 75DPI used on most desktop and laptop displays).

    I do have some serious gripes, primarily that of depending on iTunes to sync everything (but I get around that well enough with an old Linksys NAS200 stuffed with 2Tb in drives, a TZO.COM dynamic dns account, and port forwarding on my home router).

    I actually held off on an iPad until the Samsung Galaxy reviews came out... I only use Linux at home and work, and a droid for my phone... I -really- wanted my platform to be a droid. My last "Internet tablet" was a Nokia N800 running Maemo... a pity that Nokia smothered their tablet line and moved the OS goalposts so many times (even now, the n800 is impressive... but lacks newer software).

    Maybe in a couple of hardware revisions, android tablets will get there. I'm sure of it. But right now Android is not designed for tablets, and people are trying to force it into that hardware...

  • by lordmetroid (708723) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @05:52PM (#34337176)
    I want to have a tablet which I can freely do as I wish with like any ordinary computer without any trouble of first rooting the machine.
  • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @06:39PM (#34337568) Journal

    Trust me, as a long time Mac user (my first Mac was a Macintosh), I know the argument well.

    Way back when, Macs couldn't do accounting. Why? Because there was no QuickBooks for Mac. No QuickBooks, no accounting. It was that simple for most people. Sure there was AccountEdge and other products, but would you want to trust your company's accounting information to them? All your friends had QuickBooks and they had no problems.

    So it becomes a branding issue. QuickBooks = Accounting. AutoCAD = CAD. Microsoft Word = Word Processing. If those programs aren't available, then the fact that you have AccountEdge, ArchiCAD, or Mariner Write that are "just as good, if not better" doesn't mean diddly.

    It becomes even more difficult with games, where branding is key. Angry Birds, for example, is a fun game. I'm sure there are plenty of Angry Bird clones out there. But everybody has heard of Angry Birds and they've heard it's a fun game. Which means that's the game you're looking for on your respective platform. If there's no Angry Birds on Windows Phone, for example, then it doesn't have any good games. The fact that "Annoyed Armadillo" is basically the same game is beside the point--no "Angry Birds", no fun games.

  • Re:Cost? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Misagon (1135) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @08:14PM (#34338336)

    I disagree. The ideal would be 3:4 (0.75) to be close to the aspect ratios of A4 (0.71) and US Letter (0.77) paper sizes.
    Some of us would like to use pads to get some work done. If I want to watch movies when travelling, I would get a portable DVD player.

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