$330 Acer tablet released in the U.S.

The tablet price war is in full swing. Earlier today, Acer announced the release of its 7" Iconia Tab A100 tablet in the United States. The device starts at just $329.99 with 8GB of storage capacity, which is awfully cheap any way you cut it.

That $330 gets you a device with a 7" 1024x600 display, a Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip, 1GB of RAM, 802.11n Wi-Fi, HDMI out, a microSD card slot, a two-megapixel front camera, and a five-megapixel rear camera. In other words, it's not too shabby on paper, with specs roughly comparable to those of bigger fish like Asus' Eee Pad Transformer (minus 8GB of storage capacity on the cheapest model, that is).

Unfortunately, battery life seems to be where Acer cut corners. The Iconia Tab A100's 1530 mAH lithium-polymer battery is only rated for "up to five hours," which pales in comparison to the iPad's 10 hours or the Eee Pad Transformer's 9.5 hours. That's too bad, because mobility is what tablets are supposed to be all about... and five hours is lackluster even by notebook standards. Perhaps Acer could only cram so much gear into the device's diminutive, half-inch-thick frame.

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