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Acer to challenge the iPad by releasing Android, Windows tablets

The world’s second-largest computer maker, Acer, has announced its not-so-surprising plan to enter the burgeoning tablet computer market starting next year. Acer has unveiled initial details on three different models, two of which will run on the Android operating system and the other on Windows 7.

The difference among the Android-based options is primarily size: one will be a 7-inch version and the other 10.1-inches. The 7-inch model is geared towards mobility and offers a 1280-by-800 touch screen display with a 16-by-10 aspect ratio. The smaller Android tablet also features a front-facing HD camera, support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1, and “a truly amazing sound experience” through Dolby Mobile Technology.

The 10.1-inch tablet is a bit larger than the iPad’s 9.7-inch display and, at 13.3mm, is also slightly thicker as well. It also will feature 1080p display capabilities, aluminum casing, and a 10-point multi-touch and gyro meter control geared towards gaming.

Both of the Android models offer HDMI support and wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi and 3G. Expect them to be available in April of next year.

The Windows 7 version will be offered as a 10.1 model only. It features both front- and rear-facing 1.3MP cameras, and a docking station that includes a full-size physical keyboard. This model will be 15mm, slightly thicker than the 10.1-inch Android version. It will also have support for both Wi-Fi and 3G connections. It will be available in February of 2011, sooner than the Android models.

Obviously, there’s still a lot of details to be fleshed out on all three devices. For starters, we’re still waiting to hear what Acer will be calling these things as well as how much they’ll cost.

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