Report: Acer plans Sandy Bridge-powered Android slates

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.)

Comments closed
    • Trymor
    • 9 years ago

    Go Acer!

    Make sure to include an inductive charger for the battery, then we can just toss this thing on a coffee table or a nightstand to charge. 3-4 hours battery time should be plenty sufficient for those scenarios.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 9 years ago

    This could be cool in an Eee Transformer sort of system

    • hubick
    • 9 years ago

    I think this is great, and don’t understand all the negativity here.

    I think just surfing the next generation HTML5 websites using WebGL 3D graphics, animated SVG 2D graphics, HD video, audio, etc, will easily be able to suck up this power in order to be responsive. Go check out some of the demo sites people! ( [url<]http://blog.vlad1.com/2010/12/21/webgl-in-firefox-4-beta-8/[/url<] , [url<]http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/[/url<] , [url<]http://media.tojicode.com/q3bsp/[/url<] ). If I want to do my surfing in bed on Sunday morning, or from my sofa, why would I want my tablet to be any less powerful than my desktop? If anything, my tablet would do more multimedia or gaming type duties, and my desktop PC in the office is just used for writing or boring old business type apps. And as for Angry Birds, FarmVille, and all the other games people like to play - I see no reason why games can't be made to work just as well or better using touch interfaces on tablets, and have their graphics cranked up if the hardware supports it. This market is just getting started. Jeesh, I mean, come on people, get a little imagination. If you can't see the possibilities then you deserve to be stuck with Pong. 640kb should be enough for anybody, right?

      • mcnabney
      • 9 years ago

      My old dual-core doesn’t even break a sweat with those demos.

      Sandy Bridge is an order of magnitude faster.

      I think the reason for this device is to support Intel’s Quicksync video encoding. It is embedded in the chip, so having a secure HD video stream to a tablet would actually require Sandy Bridge at this time.

    • chischis
    • 9 years ago

    YES PLEASE.

    Now, if only Ableton would port Live to Android. Or something similar but new might appear. Or, heck, a port of Reason to Android. On this, it would be fantastic.

    Some of us would love to have something like this to WORK on, and not have to be tied to a keyboard and mouse.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      Those would both be huge undertakings. You might have better luck with Ardour, since it’s already a Linux software. x86-specific stuff would need to be ported to ARM but that should be easier than essentially starting from scratch.

      [url<]http://www.ardour.org/[/url<] Maybe you could hope for Four Track for iPhone to be ported. That seems reasonable as well.

    • esterhasz
    • 9 years ago

    That’s it, no more doubt, the industry is going positively insane. I mean, what’s next, run Solaris on a SuperNES? It’s like those people are thinking, well, the iPad 2 will have two cores, so we’ll have – wait for it – [i<]four[/i<]. No matter that there is no software structure in place that can compete with what Apple's janitor can come up. And "replacing netbooks"? I love my iPad for certain core tasks of my professional life but I'd rather get waterboarded (not torture!) than write an email longer than "Hi Li Bing-hsian, WTF!?" on the virtual keyboard. This tablet hype is seriously out of hand and nobody's even close to deliver...

      • Trymor
      • 9 years ago

      Blue-tooth magnetic keyboard and a PROPER pop-out stand from the back of a tablet…

      The ‘transformer’ is inelegant, but I assume someone out there is capable of doing it right…

      The Dell flat-panel Flip screen tablet idea looks like the closest I can find for ideal, if it had the ‘proper’ guts. I’d love to DB WIN/LIN/Android on a form like this!

    • Thorburn
    • 9 years ago

    “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”

    Lowest power Sandy Bridge mobile quad-core I’m aware of is 45W.

    Only one that deviates from this is the i7-2920XM, which is 55W.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    Bashes face into wall…

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    Even super underclocked SB chips would use a fair amount of power, not sure theyd compete with ARM in battery life, although they would likely destroy it in raw performance.
    Still, how much CPU power do you need in a tablet which most people use for light internet work, watching movies and saying “hey look fellow starbucks customers, i got a tablet!”

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    If the rumor turns out to be true, then this truly is the explanation:

    “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.”

    And it reminds me of why Apple will be just fine even if SJ leaves permanently — all the other companies in this industry are run by clowns. The Apple executive team minus SJ is still a lot better than Steve Ballmer or <<insert generic OEM CEO here>>.

      • Voldenuit
      • 9 years ago

      Apple isn’t immune to half-assed attempts. See WebTV or Ping. I also recall the times when Apple used to have a whole line of consumer and professional desktop solutions with expandable and user-configurable options, instead of all-in-one machines or the overpriced (as a desktop, it’s not bad as a workstation) MacPro.

      Apple might even be better off without Jobs, and his ego. They’ve already built up a cachet of brand recognition in the mass public that they never had during the ‘fruity logo’ days. Yes, they do have and always have had their die-hard fans, but mass market appeal is something relatively recent in the history of the company.

        • blastdoor
        • 9 years ago

        WebTV?? Yeah, and how about that Apple Bob interface and clippy the annoying assistant that used to be in AppleWorks. Apple is lucky to still be in business… if only they could return to those halcyon days of the late 90s when there were so many more Mac models to choose from plus all those wonderful clones. That really was the pinnacle of Apple’s existence. This last decade with that deranged psycho Jobs have been so painful for Apple fans to watch.

          • Rakhmaninov3
          • 9 years ago

          Probably has something to do with how Apple products are everywhere and that having one doesn’t make someone special anymore. Kinda like how Mercedes and BMW aren’t really as special as they used to be because they’re all over the place now. Used to be rare to see one in the US, and if you had one, you were “up there.” Now they’re everywhere you look.

          • Trymor
          • 9 years ago

          WebTV?? Yeah, and how about that Apple Bob interface and clippy

          These are Micro products are they not?

    • sweatshopking
    • 9 years ago

    this would be absolutely retarded. Unless, it was a windows/android dual boot, with an additional ARM processor, and it has a dock, where you might plug it into a keyboard, etc.

      • dpaus
      • 9 years ago

      Which is apparently [i<]hp[/i<]'s strategy with WebOS, although even they're talking Bobcat chips, not SB

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