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Buy our new 10.1-inch tablet today, get ICS in January, claims Acer

Dec 2, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Acer announced a new 10.1-inch tablet, initially featuring Android 3.2 but due for an January upgrade to Android 4.0 in January. The Nvidia Tegra 2-based Iconia Tab A200 is slightly leaner and lighter than the earlier 10.1-inch A500, also adding a USB 2.0 host port, but it lacks its predecessor's HDMI port and rear-facing five-megapixel camera.

Acer stood out from the Honeycomb ("Android 3.x") tablet crowd earlier this year with an Acer Iconia Tab A500 10.1-inch tablet priced at a comparatively reasonable $450. When AT&T launched the 4G-ready Iconia Tab A501 version in September, the price went up slightly to $480 outright, or $330 on contract (and was recently discounted to $280 on contract with a $50 AT&T gift card rebate). In August, meanwhile, Acer announced a seven-inch Iconia Tab A100 running Android 3.2 on an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, for an affordable $330.


Acer Iconia Tab A200

(Click to enlarge)

Now comes the Iconia Tab A200, which, based on the name, might suggest a downgraded version of the A500. If it is, it's not much of a downgrade, and it offers the added advantage of a promised upgrade to Android 4.0 ("Ice Cream Sandwich") in January from Android 3.2.

According to Acer, you might be able to buy the A200 today in "select countries," but no pricing is offered, and we have yet to see evidence of its existence. The promised January relaunch with Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is said to be worldwide.

Like the Iconia Tab A500 and most other 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablets, the A200 is equipped with a dual-core, 1GHz Tegra 2, accompanied by 1GB of RAM and a microSD slot. While the A500 is offered only with 16GB of internal storage, the A200 is available with a choice of 8GB or 16GB configurations, says Acer.

Like the A500, the A200 offers a 1280 x 800 pixel capacitive display, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and an audio jack. No 3G or 4G cellular modem has yet been promised, however.

While the A500 offered both a five-megapixel rear-facing camera and a two-megapixel webcam, the A200 just offers the webcam. Also missing is the previous version's HDMI port, although video may be streamed wirelessly via Acer's .clear.fi technology, according to the company, which posted a video showing the tablet sending video to an HDTV (see farther below).

On the other hand, the A200 adds a full-sized USB 2.0 host port in addition to the earlier micro-USB client port. The tablet is slightly thinner than the 0.52-inch thick A500, measuring 10.24 x 6.89 x 0.49 inches (260 x 175 x 12.4mm). The A200 is also somewhat lighter at 1.59 pounds (720 grams), compared to the 1.69-pound A500, according to Acer.

The 3260mAh battery is said to provide the same eight-hour life as the A500 when playing video, as well as 400 hours on standby. Available in Titanium Gray or Metallic Red, the tablet offers a rear surface that is "soft to the touch and features an eye-catching pattern," according to the company.

The Iconia Tab A200 ships with an "Acer Ring" user interface touted as offering "easy-access apps from any screen" (see image at right). Other pre-installed apps are said to include a Screenshot screen capture app and Acer SocialJogger, which integrates Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking services.

The A200 is also said to provide Netflix, Google Music, Kindle, and McAfee, among other installed apps. Google apps are said to include Google Movie Studio, Google Maps, and Google Music.

Slightly nauseating Acer Iconia Tab A200 promotion video on YouTube
Source: Acer
(Click to play)

Availability

The Acer Iconia Tab A200 is currently available in select markets, although Acer won't say where or for how much. The company does say the device will ship in January worldwide with Android 4.0, and an Android 4.0 upgrade will be available to users who purchase it earlier with Android 3.2. More information should eventually appear on Acer's Iconia Tab tablet page.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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