Acer and Android Tablet News Fatigue

By  |  Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 9:02 am

Lately, the more I hear about Android tablet plans, the less excited I get.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still quite interested in Android tablets in general. But when Acer announced that it’s launching 7- and 10-inch tablets next spring, it might as well have been Asus, LG or Motorola. In my mind, they’re all the same.

Samsung might be partly to blame. With the Galaxy Tab, Samsung broke the Android tablet barrier. It wasn’t the first Android tablet to market, but it’s the best. Now, every other manufacturer is using the same playbook: Tease a little bit of information at a time, highlight key specs like a front-facing camera and keep the price a secret for as long as possible because it’s probably going to disappoint people.

But my fatigue, I think, has more to do with software than hardware. At least one of Acer’s tablets will apparently run Honeycomb, a version of Android about which we know virtually nothing. Presumably, it’ll allow for tablet-sized apps and interface features, but that’s just speculation. Google’s tablet plans are as murky at the end of 2010 as they were at the beginning.

Because Honeycomb is still a shadowy prospect, Android tablet makers can’t really demonstrate their devices in action. Engadget’s hands-on is the perfect example, showing only a multimedia viewer and a bit of HD video. No offense to Acer, but I would expect that any tablet released in 2011 could handle video playback.

Once we start to see these tablets running in full, custom user interfaces and all, differentiating them will be a lot easier. For now, forgive me if my pulse doesn’t race with news of another unnamed Android tablet with incomplete specs, no price, no release date and no software.


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. computerlizard Says:

    This treatment by the Android Tablet Bunch is just to stall iPad sales. A little rope-a-dope to keep the Androidicans with baited breath. But hard to tell the smell of the baited breath because it's "vapor-breath" for the most part, Tab excluded of course.

  2. androidfan Says:

    Are you afraid of something? Like competition?

  3. Computerlizard Says:

    Not at all, I love the competition if there was any other than the Tab. Just commenting on the state of the Android Tablet bunch. I don't own a iPad, but hope Santa leaves a 3G under the tree. I agree with Pond down below this post mostly.

  4. pond Says:

    I’m sick of it, too. I’m sick of Apple ‘rumors’ as well. I’m sick of all of the unreleased, ‘price and date to be announced’ products. Most of all I’m sick of the Android tablets because they were demo’ed at CES almost a year ago, and most never made it to market, and because Google is saying that Android is crap for tablets until Honeycomb, maybe, and because Google is also apparently banning some or all of the tablets from access the Android Market.

    So, what I want is: don’t talk up a product until you’re ready to ship it. Then I’ll look at ‘hands on’ and ‘using it for a couple weeks’ reviews, and I’ll also look at notices of first-adopters having any problems with the thing. Until then, don’t bother me.

    Android fragmentation is troublesome, in and of itself, but when every tablet maker who chooses to employ Android has to write their own overlays and kludges and work-arounds, like the Notion Ink team seem to have to do, it destroys any notion that ‘an Android tablet’ means anything. Each one might as well be its own proprietary product.

    I’d be happier frankly if a lot more of these ARM-based tablet OEMs were working with Ubuntu or Red Had or SUSE or even MEEGO to employ a more-mainstream Linux on their products, so we could use standard Linux programs and have a fair chance at regular upgrades even if Acer, Asus, Samsung, et al, decide they’ve had enough and stop production (and support).

  5. Malik Wahaj Ahmed Says:

    Completely agree with the point in the article. They are just mixing up things and not innovating. That’s why Apple is at the top of tablet market.