We're live at Acer's New York event where the company has promised a whole line of tablets. Gianfranco Lanci is on stage right now talking about tablet trends and the importance of different form factors.
Update1: "Today we're going to introduce a whole family of tablets," says Lanci. He's talking about different CPUs, OSes, target markets, form factors and display size right across the line. They're also going to be introducing a new concept, which Lanci is calling a "dual PC Tablet" which will be optimised for touch with ten-finger detection.
Update2: They're using Tegra, which Lanci is praising for its performance when it comes to video games.
Update3: Still no sign of the tablets themselves but Lanci says they're announcing a new store today too, for content. This will work across all devices and provide music, video, gaming, newspapers.
Update4: Jim Wong, Senior Corporate VP is on stage now. Bye-bye Gianfranco! He's talking about interaction and the importance of being able to interact with your device. We're getting impatient here.
Update5: "We think about touch. Touch should have the complete experience -- productivity, entertainment and info-accessing." Today we're going to cover all devices.
Update6: We have the first tablet and it's called the Iconia! It's a dual-screen tablet and guys, it is sexy as hell (pictures soon, promise!). Two 14-inch displays, full touch with 10-finger touch capabilities. Anyone fans of Microsoft's ditched Courier, which was a similar concept. Looks like someone else nipped in and produced it before they could decide what to do with it.
Update7: It's running Windows 7. It's a completely touch keyboard, by the way, no haptic feedback like what we saw in the BlackBerry Storm.
Update8: He's showing off the media player and how the bottom display turns into a library-view of your content while the top display plays the selected media.
Update9: Browsing on this computer is a little different to regular touch-based browsing on phones or the iPad: the bottom keyboard turns into a control panel, while the top display shows the browser.
Update10: We just got a peek at a 10-inch tablet. This one is also running Windows. Looks a lot like the iPad and the Galaxy Tab -- no dual screens this time. It's is directed at media consumption and it comes with a keyboard dock for those of us who love our keyboards too much to let go.
Update11: The promo video for the Iconia playing now. No clarification what that 10-inch is or why they crammed it in with the Iconia. Either way, the Iconia really does look gorgeous. Microsoft is probably kicking itself at this stage.
Update12: So that's the Windows lot. The next one is Android. It's a 10.1-inch tablet.
Update13: We're looking at a dual core 1GHz CPU with an April 2011 release. It is Android, but there's an Acer UI layered on top.
Update14: Acer says it's going to have the 'Google Tablet OS,' Honeycomb to you and me. There's also a 7-inch version with a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm, and a 4.8-inch device (1024 x 480), also packing Android and that Acer UI. It's got a 1.3MP foward-facing camera, 8MP back camera with LED flash, 720p video. Acer is calling it a smartphone and a tablet.
Update15: We're on to Clearfi, or as Acer likes to call it 'clear.fi.' clear.fi is a media sharing system that allows you to share all your content across your devices. It reminds us a lot of DropBox -- you download something to one device and its immediately available on the others. Works "for any device in the house," so over WiFi.
Update16: Sure enough, "All you need is a router and a WiFi connection." He's talking about how great the search feature is and how you can search all your files as well as search for files on a certain device. It also allows for easy publishing of photos to social networking sites like Facebook.
Update17: "This is something we continue to develop and it has its own roadmap for the next six months to a year," says Jim. "Acer's clear.fi is just beginning."
Update18: And Jim's gone! We get to touch them soon, guys! Hands-on as soon as we can.
Update19: But FIRST, we
have to get to hear about Acer's plans for it's store. Like we mentioned earlier this is going to be a content and media store rather than an app store (because they're using already established OSes, like Windows 7 and Android, Acer doesn't need to come up with it's own app store.
Update20: Gianpiero Morbello, Acer's VP for Marketing and Brand, is on stage now to talk about the store, which is called 'alive.' "This is a very big moment for Acer," says Morbello. No kidding, Gianpiero! We're excited by your tablets but not so sure about this store...
Update21: Morbello is describing this as a next generation store and has promised he'll explain why they think it's a next generation product soon. We're waiting!
Update22: "Alive is real-time. It's based on feed, a single feed and it's feeding the userface that you're in. It's both global and local." We're kind of confused by this 'real-time' business. Real-time, how? Well, we're still waiting for that answer, bec
ause Morbello has gotten caught up describing why it's important for there to be local feeds and global feeds.
Update23: Oh, good news! It's social! "Because you can't not be social now!" Well, we've got some very anti-Facebook readers, Gianpiero, and I think they'd probably take issue with that statement...
Update24: It's cloud-based. Well that's important to know. "You can watch everything you purchase anywhere you want and how many times you want."
Update25:Oh good, there's a video to show the user experience. Hopefully this will clear up some of the confusion.
Update26: Okay, so the screenshots are showing a few main functions: Listen, watch, read, play, "get apps" and "See everything." That gives a pretty accurate description of what you can buy from 'alive.' There's also a 'Channels' concept that allows content providers to group all content on one subject, like Lady GaGa, in the one place. It all looks very ordinary to us so far. We're wondering where the next-generation part of this whole thing is ...
Update27: Though Gianpiero has said you can watch your cloud-stored content whenever you want, Engadget points out that Iron Man 2 has an expiry date listed (2013), so while you have a long time to watch the stuff you've purchased, you don't actually get to keep it.
Update28: Morbello is now talking about 'smart' recommendations. The more you use it, the better it gets at judging what you might like. Nice and all, but again, nothing we haven't seen done before in other stores.
Update29: Launching December 20 in the UK and Italy but not until Q2 2011 for America. Lame-central.
Update30: That UK launch is Windows 7 systems only guys. No word on a Mac launch.
Update 31: And that's Gianpiero done!
Update32: We're being promised hands-on with the new toys soon. Come on, we can't wait!
Update33: Someone just asked how many tablets Acer expects to sell next year. Acer says they don't really know because when they can release depends on how long it takes for Google to release Honeycomb. "We don't want to release it with a phone OS." We should see the tablets themselves by the end of Q1 (that goes for both the Windows models and the Android models). Not really an answer, but it's probably a bit early to make sales estimations, anyway.
Update34: They don't have names. Someone just asked, and aside from the Iconia, they don't have names. They want to feel things out and then decide a name for each device. Bit strange that there aren't even codenames but hey, we're not here to judge.