Acer presents two new Iconia tablets, brings Liquid M220 to US
During its press event today, Acer has announced two new Android tablets. The 8-inch Iconia One 8 B1-820 is a tablet focused on writing and drawing while the larger Iconia Tab 10 is tailored for educational needs.
The updated Iconia One 8 is equipped with a IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels (~188 ppi). Thanks to Zero Air Gap technology, the picture should be especially crisp, but that's not the main highlight of the display: instead, Acer emphasizes its increased touch precision (dubbed Acer Precision Plus) that allows drawing with an optional pen accessory. Since it's not a digitizer pen, other pens might be compatible as well - the display is capable of recognizing tips with the diameter as small as 2 mm. A quad-core Intel Atom processor is used, but the exact model is not disclosed, though it could be the same Atom Z3735G as in the previous Iconia One 8 (B1-810). There's 1 GB of RAM and either 16 or 32 GB of onboard storage which can be expanded upon with a microSD card.
The main camera shoots pictures up to 5 MP while the webcam is limited to just 0.3 MP. Other specifications are not yet disclosed but Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 should obviously be supported. Battery life is claimed to be 8.5 hours which is 1.5 hours more than for the older Iconia One 8, so presumable the battery capacity was increased. The tablet weighs 355 g and is 9.5 mm thick, which should hopefully translate into a robust case. Several colors will be offered (see picture below). The new Iconia One 8 can be purchased in the US starting July and will cost $150. In Europe the tablet will be available already by the end of this month but will be priced noticeably higher at €180 ($195).
The Iconia Tab 10 also features a Zero Air Gap IPS display with Acer Precision Plus but thankfully has a higher resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels (~225 ppi) which should strain the users' eyes less. Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protects the panel as well as an unusually (by modern standards) large bezel. The thickness, however, doesn't seem out of ordinary at 9.7 mm and neither does the weight of 540 g. The hardware platform consists of Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM. Buyers can choose between 16, 32 or 64 GB of internal memory; microSD expansion is also supported (up to 64 GB). Apart from standard Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0, the tablet's connectivity includes NFC, which Acer claims to be useful for quick configuration of multiple tablets by the school's teachers or the IT department. Unlike the Iconia One 8, the Iconia Tab 10 will become available in both the US and Europe in May and will cost roughly the same in both markets - $299 and €299, respectively.
Acer has also announced that it's expanding its smartphone business in the US: the Liquid M220 smartphone, which we've already got acquainted with at MWC 2015, will now be available from June for $80 via Microsoft Stores. The budget handset contains a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 dual-core SoC, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage with microSD support and a removable 1300 mAh battery. There's a 5 MP camera on the back and a 2 MP one on the front, and a 4-inch WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) display serves for the Windows 8.1 UI.