Before the Acer event started this morning I was reading through the press pack and in there was a piece about the LumiRead e-book reader. It looks very much like other e-book readers and in the style of Kindle, it has a physical keyboard below the display. Monochrome 6-inch display, 2GB memory, MicroSD card slot, and you’ve pretty much got what it was all about.
I wasn’t very excited.
The e-book reader was shown on stage and still not much excitement. But my attention and that of everyone else quickly arrived when Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci pulled out something looking very much like the LumiRead but he said it was a tablet.
Indeed, Lanci showed off a 7-inch tablet running Android. We weren’t given much more information than that other than he said it had a color screen (which we could also see obviously) and would arrive in Q4. Price was not yet determined and in talking about how they would go to market with it, he said they had not decided between traditional channels or operators. He said that operators were an “obvious” option, hinting at the tablet having a 3G connection, something he didn’t confirm.
I’ve been wondering why companies such as Acer have not yet introduced something rivaling Apple’s iPad and I’m still confused as they said this would arrive in Q4. Even the monochrome e-book reader comes as late as Q3.
This could be an interesting alternative to the iPad if it’s fast enough (it looked pretty fast with sensitive touch when Lanci used it), and has options for getting digital content onto it, like books, music, movies, etc. Since it runs Android there should be plenty of apps available if only we had access to the Android MarketPlace on the devices bought in the UAE.
All in all, I think Acer raised more questions than they answered with this tablet display. Also, it made the tablet the most interesting piece of the event and not what was supposed to be the big thing, the Clear.fi system.