First Look on Acer Iconia
Acer unveiled its latest computing innovation that is slated to hit the market next year. The Acer Iconia houses Windows 7 and dual touchscreens. So the question is: Is this a laptop or a tablet?
Acer unveiled it latest computing innovation, the Acer Iconia. This device takes the physical form of a 14-inch notebook, but eschews the keyboard for dual touchscreen. However, since the Acer Iconia is due to release on January 15 of next year, the hardware is likely to change. Still, it seems that Acer is working closely with Microsoft as Acer Iconia runs Windows 7 Home Premium.
The use of multi-touch technology sets the Acer Iconia apart. It enables users to customize commands and gestures on the capacitive screen, but two commands are already installed on the device. Placing one palm switches on the Acer Ring, while two palms on the bottom screen shows the keyboards. Albeit the keyboard is a good size and fairly responsive, the Windows 7 doesn’t seem to be a natural operating system for touch controls.
Meanwhile, Acer got around this time with the Acer Ring. The Acer Ring is a skin and a portal to which users can access the main networking features. It is a circular interface that can be scrolled up and down through options like Touch, Scrapboook, My Journal, Social Networks and My Music. Touch lets owners create their own touch control, while Scrapbook is a visual page that enables taking down notes and cutting out web page elements through dragging. My Journal basically organizes web shortcuts to several categories, and Social Networks aggregates Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.
Browsing on Acer Iconia is fairly swift, as users can choose whether to view the pages on either or both screens. It supports multi-touch so owners can pinch and zoom. However, the 1355 x 768 14-inch screen becomes cluttered with fingerprints quickly. And it’s very obvious since the displays are reflective. On the hardware side, the Iconia is carrying a Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, four USB ports and one HDMI. Interestingly, there is no dedicated graphics chip for Acer’s innovative computing device. However, the three-hour battery life and hefty 2.8 kg weight makes the Iconia far from portable.
Acer is placing the Iconia as a lifestyle product. But it is difficult to see at the moment who would buy the device. While the Acer Ring is likable, the £1400 price tag is very expensive and it does not justify the cost — even if it is basically a Windows 7 laptop. But it’s not all the time that first impression lasts. So check back for Gadg’s full review when Acer Iconia hits the market.