Acer has confirmed it is planning to release two or three tablets in the first half of 2011, ranging in size from 7-inches to 10-inches. Described by Taiwan sales manager Lu Bing-hsian as “aimed at phasing out netbooks” since “that’s the direction of the market,” the three slates will be Android based but use Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors, according to ComputerWorld.
That’s relatively unusual, since it’s more common to see Android running on ARM-based processors such as NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, while Intel’s chips generally run some flavor of Windows. Acer announced another Android tablet during CES 2011, the ICONIA Tab A500, which pairs Android with the Tegra 2 and which is headed to Verizon’s network in the US.
Acer expects the new tablets to be consumer-centric, and while the company believes the segment as a whole is gradually eclipsing the netbook segment, it will still be producing the budget notebooks. According to Lu, Acer plans to focus on simple netbook models and fewer SKUs to suit the reduced demand.