At a global press event hosted at the Milk Gallery in New York, Acer revealed its fresh new tablet line-up for 2013. Acer Chairman JT Wang took the stage to introduce two new great-value Android tablets (Iconia A1 and Iconia B1), plus a premium Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard (Aspire P3) that is set to take on Microsoft’s Surface Tab.
Acer Aspire P3 (Windows tablet)
Acer’s premium new tablet rocks Windows 8 RT and this 11.6-inch device is a big boy, larger than the full-sized Apple iPad and even large tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.
The defining feature of the Aspire P3 is the detachable keyboard, which mimics the Microsoft Surface Tab’s keyboard cover. When the tablet isn’t in use, you can fold the keyboard up over the screen to keep both elements protected, which also places the Aspire P3 into hibernation.
When you want to bash out a document, send some emails or do some other typing, the screen can be propped up with the keyboard in front of it, just like a laptop. Alternatively, if you just want to watch a movie or play with an app, you can fold the keyboard so it props up the tablet from behind, freeing up space. Alternatively, you can completely disconnect the keyboard to have a traditional Windows tablet.
The Full HD IPS display should be a great way of taking in high-def movies, or simply playing games and messing around with apps. Games and apps should run beautifully too, thanks to the powerful Intel Core i5 or i7 processor (depending on which model you opt for), backed up by 2GB or 4GB of RAM.
Rounding off the specs is a 5MP rear-facing camera, plus a front-facing lens that can shoot 720p HD video, which should make it ideal for video calling your friends.
Check out our Acer Aspire P3 hands-on preview. The Aspire P3 will be available immediately, for £599.99.
Acer Iconia A1 (Android tablet)
Acer’s second great value tablet is the Iconia A1, a 7.9-inch Android 42. Jelly Bean tablet that boasts more than eight hours of HD video playback. The Iconia A1 is being billed as ‘everyone’s tablet’, thanks to its affordable price: 169 Euros, or 219 for the 3G model.
Apparently the Aspire A1 is ‘the perfect size for one-handed use’, and certainly seems to be slim and compact enough to slip into a bag, matching the iPad Mini in dimensions. At a shade over 400g it shouldn’t weigh you down much either. It comes with a detachable cover that can also be used to prop the tablet up, similar to Apple’s iPad cover.
Like the Nexus 7 tablet, it’s a 1.2GHz quad-core tablet which should capably handle even the most intensive games, and it comes with 8GB or 16GB of storage space, expandable up to a maximum of 48GB thanks to the MicroSD memory card slot.
Check out our Acer Iconia A1 hands-on preview. The Wi-Fi model will be available from the end of May starting at £149, while the 3G model arrives in the end of July starting at £209.
Acer Iconia B1 (Android tablet)
Last up was another bargainous new Android tablet, the Acer Iconia B1. Running Android Jelly Bean 4.2, this is even more affordable than the Iconia A1, with slightly cut-back specs.
The seven-inch screen matches the likes of the Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire and Asus Fonepad in size, and with its 1024 x 600 resolution it’ll enjoy similar image sharpness. Considering the 129 Euros base cost, the 1.2GHz dual-core processor is good news – you should comfortably be able to run apps and games, and stream HD video.
You can grab the Iconia B1 in two different flavours, either 8GB or 16GB, and the addition of a memory card slot means you’ll have a good chunk of space for apps and media. There’s also a slightly-more-expensive 3G version if you need to be always online.
The Wi-Fi version of the Iconia B1 will be available in the UK from June, starting at £109 for the 8GB model. The 3G model follows in July, for £129.