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Acer Honeycomb tablet to ship with 4G, modest price

Sep 13, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

AT&T will begin selling the 4G version of its 10.1-inch Iconia Tab Android 3.0 (“Honeycomb”) tablet Sept. 18 for $480 outright, or $330 on contract. The Acer Iconia Tab A501 4G closely follows the typical Honeycomb script, from the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor to the five- and two-megapixel cameras, but it's significantly cheaper than most of its rivals.

AT&T is coming on strong in the Android "Honeycomb" tablet market, vowing to sell the 10.1-inch Acer Iconia Tab A501 4G tablet Sept. 18 for $480, or $330 on contract.

Equipped with a 4G radio to run on AT&T's HSPA+ network, the Acer Iconia Tab A501 was announced by AT&T in March. The tablet is the speediest Acer Honeycomb tablet yet, following Acer's almost identical 10.1-inch Iconia Tab A500 and seven-inch Iconia Tab A100 Wi-Fi-only Honeycomb machines.

Acer Iconia Tab A501 4G

Like the A500 predecessor, which shipped in April for $450, the A501 is powered by Nvidia's Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor. When paired with AT&T's HSPA+ 4G network, the slate offers fast web browsing, high-definition video playback without hiccups, as well as smooth Adobe Flash processing for games and other apps, says AT&T.

AT&T offered no further technical details, but based on its earlier announcement, the device would appear to be almost identical to the A500. The latter features a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 display, as well as five-megapixel and two-megapixel cameras.

Other A500 features include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless options, as well as an HDMI port, a micro-USB port, and Dolby Mobile audio. While the A501 could differ, the base A500 system was said to ship with 1GB RAM and 16GB internal storage, as well as a microSD slot.

In short, there's nothing particularly special about the A500 and A501 compared to other 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablets, several of which come with 4G. However, they're priced at about $50 to $200 less than most of their rivals, which could make all the difference in the world.

One potential hitch: The company lists the operating system as Android 3.0, as opposed to the Android 3.1 and 3.2 builds offered on most of the Honeycomb tablets announced this summer. If the device does indeed end up shipping with the somewhat buggy, unrefined 3.0 version, consumers may want to wait until it gets upgraded.

AT&T ramps up Android tablet releases

While Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile have all pushed Honeycomb tablets to market over the last few months, AT&T has really ramped up its tablet plans this summer. The company began selling the HTC Jetstream 4G tablet, which features the HTC Scribe digital pen technology, Sept. 4 for $700 on contract.

AT&T is also the exclusive provider in the United States of Sony's Tablet S and Tablet P Honeycomb machines. Available for $499 in a 16GB version and $599 for 32GB later this month, the Tablet S resembles a paper pad with folded sheets.

The Tablet P, which does not have pricing or a formal launch date beyond the end of 2011, offers two 5.5-inch touch-screen displays and weighs only 0.83 pounds. Both are powered by Nvidia's Tegra 2, have front- and rear-facing cameras, and despite the initial Wi-Fi Tablet S offering, are said to be 4G LTE-capable.


AT&T will sell the Iconia Tab A501 for a flat fee of $480 sans contract, starting Sept. 18. However, consumers may also purchase the A501 for $330 if they subscribe to a $35, 3GB monthly data plan for a two-year period. The carrier said customers who do not choose a long-term commitment may instead choose a post-paid option of $15 for 250MB or $25 for 2GB.

Customers on the 2GB plan who exceed their monthly data quota will be charged $10 per 1GB of overage. Customers on the 250MB plan who blow past their monthly data allotment will be charged $15 per 250MB of overage.

More information may be found in this AT&T Iconia Tab A501 announcement.

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