And now for something completely out of left field. According to IDG News, Acer is planning two or three new slates that will feature Sandy Bridge processors and run Google's Android operating system. The report strains believability when it mentions the use of quad-core Sandy Bridge CPUs... and boggles the mind by attributing all the information to a plausible first-hand source, Acer Taiwan Sales Manager Lu Bing-hsian.
If I'm reading this story right, we'll be looking at 7" and 10" slates with Android and Sandy Bridge guts. The Acer exec reportedly claims "they are aimed at phasing out netbooks" because "that's the direction of the market." Despite the seemingly disproportionate computing power of Intel's new gear, Lu is quoted as saying the slates will target "common" users and not gamers.
I really don't know what to make of this. On the one hand, I'm sure we'll see Sandy Bridge in Windows-powered slates eventually. On the other, I really can't think of a reason for sticking a 35W quad-core Sandy Bridge mobile CPU in an iPad-sized consumer device, especially one whose most challenging task might be to run Angry Birds. Perhaps there was some miscommunication here. Then again, maybe we're just seeing yet another example of the "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" strategy so commonly used in the PC hardware industry. (Thanks to Engadget for the link.)