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Acer announces April launch for Iconia A500 and W500 tablets

The Acer Iconia W500 and A500 will both launch on April 8, both priced at £449.

We managed to have a quick play with both, and hope to get in the Windows 7-based Iconia W500 in soon for review.

Acer told us the Iconia A500 (pictured above) isn’t ready just yet for review- their preview model wasn’t running the latest Honeycomb Android, but we’re promised it’ll be on it soon.

The W500 will be able to attach to an extra keyboard accessory, priced at around £90, which will plug into the base of tablet.

You aren’t able to close the tablet screen onto the keyboard like a typical netbook; it has to be disconnected and then reconnected through a laptop latch, and what seems like magnets.

The keyboard itself is very light- certainly doesn’t feel like it’s hefty price-tag.

The 10.1-inch Inconia A500 won’t come with the same ability; though it will be connectable to Bluetooth keyboards, and a spokesperson said the USB port (on both the A500 and W500) should also connection to any keyboard.The W500 also has card readers, supporting SD and MMC, covering one of the iPad’s weak spots.

Acer also reveal that development continued on a smaller seven-inch Android tablet, the A100, which according to Acer’s market research seemed more popular with female demographics. Cue giggles around the press conference.

Another nice touch on the Iconia W500’s keyboard attachment is an ethernet port perfect for night stays at some older (cheaper) hotels that provide in-room ethernet interwebs.

Battery-wise, it doesn’t stand up to the iPad 2’s promised 10 hours of use- but four hours of HD video, or six hours of internet use is a good mid-range benchmark. We’ll give this a proper test in the next few weeks.

The Iconia A500, though not as finished as its Windows-powered twin, will be a dual-core affair, and like the other tabs, will be Gorilla Glass coated- protected against your keys and other bag shrapnel.

Alongside their own operating systems, the tablets will include the Acer Ring- a touchscreen-friendly-circular-interface, for quick access to touch-friendly internet browsing.

If you need 3G coverage on your tablet, Acer have said  3G capable versions arrive a month later than the WiFi-only tablets, and both should cost around £529.


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