Acer slates due November 23; prices to start at $299

A number of hardware makers seem to be waiting for Android 3.0's arrival next year before releasing their first slate devices, but apparently, Acer won't be one of them. As the Wall Street Journal reports, company Chief Executive Gianfranco Lanci revealed in an interview that Acer's first slates will launch in New York on November 23.

Lanci didn't say what software the slates will run, although he did reveal pricing: between $299 and $699. That starting price tag undercuts the cheapest iPad by $200, and it should land Acer's cheapest slate right in netbook territory. With the right mix of software and hardware, the low-priced Acer tablet may present an attractive alternative to netbooks for folks more interested in surfing from their couch than doing real work.

I'm interested to see what kind of operating system Acer ends up putting on these things, though. At this point, either Windows 7 or Android 2.2 seem like possible candidates, but Google has made it clear that Android 2.2 isn't ready for slates just yet.

By the way, today's announcement comes, oh, about a week after Acer Chairman JT Wang publicly stated that his company is "not in [a] hurry" to be the first with an iPad competitor, and "many related technologies" still aren't ready. Mixed signals ahoy!

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