Computer maker Acer is expanding its Iconia Tab A series of Android tablet offerings with a new entry, the Iconia Tab A501, aiming to provide full-fledged entertainment, communications, and productivity capabilities in one portable package. The Iconia Tab A501 features a 10.1-inch 1280 by 800-pixel display, a 1 GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra processor, front- and rear-facing cameras, Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Wi-Fi—and it’ll be available with 4G HSPA+ mobile broadband service from AT&T, available either in monthly pay-as-you or subscription plans.
“Staying connected and entertained are firmly embedded as a part of our everyday lives—and the Acer Iconia Tab A500 does this and so much more in a performance-minded, sleek, and stylish design,” said Acer America VP of product marketing Sumit Agnihotry, in a statement. “This tablet absolutely delivers on the expectation that customers can be entertained, stay in touch with family, friends, colleagues and social networks, as well as keep up on the world around them in a way that is intuitive and fluid, and also incredibly enjoyable.”
On the hardware front, the Iconia Tab A501 keeps up with most of the top end of the Android tablet market: it packs a 1 GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra processor with integrated GeForce graphics pushing its 10.1-inch 1280 by 800-pixel display. The tablet can handle HD video (either on its own display or pushing 1080p video to a big screen via HDMI) and handle HD games: in addition to Nvidia graphics, it’s got a six-axis gyrometer and promises a gaming experience on par with game consoles—it also ships with Need for Speed: Shift and Let’s Golf to let users get a taste of its gaming capabilities right out of the box. The display has an 80° viewing angle so users can show off their best moves to appreciative audiences. The A501 features Android 3.0—Android 3.1 should arrive as an over-the-air update—with the Android Market right on the home screen, along with Acer’s custom overlay that groups similar applications.
The Iconia Tab A501 also sports a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera (with autofocus and flash) that can capture HD video, along with a 2 megapixel fixed-focus front-facing camera for video chat. The unit also sports a 1 GB of memory, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, assisted GPS, both full-sized and micro-USB ports, and support for up to 32 GB of removable microSD storage. Acer says the two 3260 mAh lithium-polymer batteries should offer up to eight hours’ playback of casual game use or HD video playback, and up to ten hours of Internet browsing. Like most of Acer’s recent products, the Iconia Tab A501 supports Acer clear.fi, enabling the tablet to connect to nearby DLNA-complaint and clear.fi-enabled devices (smartphones, PCs, etc.) to access video, music, photos, and other media.
The Iconia Tab A510 will also be offering AT&T 4G HSPA+ service—at least in areas where AT&T offers HSPA+. For $15, owners can get up to 250 MB of data services; $25 will let users go up to 2 GB, and AT&T stores will also be offering monthly subscription plans for users who know they’re going to rely on mobile broadband—although they may want to be careful of overage fees if they exceed their bandwidth limits.
Acer says the Iconia Tab A501 will be available beginning September 18, with a 16 GB model carrying a suggested retail price of $499.99, and a 32 GB model going for a suggested price of $549.99. Acer will also be offering accessories to go with the tablet, including a full-sized keyboard, a dock with IR remote, cases, and international power adapters. AT&T will be offering the 16 GB model for $4330 with a two-year contract, of $480 with pay-as-you-go service.