Here comes another iPad 2 rival: Acer unveils Iconia A500 tablet

Iconia 500 Android 'Honeycomb' tablet on sale from mid-April, starting at $579

The Acer Iconia A500 Android tablet

The Acer Iconia A500 Android tablet

In an event in Sydney today, Acer unveiled its iPad 2 competitor: the Iconia A500 Android tablet. It's set to hit Australian retailers in mid-April.

Read our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

The Acer Iconia A500, which will start at $579 for the entry level model, has a 10.1in capacitive touchscreen and runs the latest Google Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' operating system specifically designed for larger screened tablet devices.

Described by Acer as offering a "superb mobile and home entertainment experience", the Iconia A500 supports HD video playback, and has an HDMI-out port meaning it can be plugged directly into a high-definition television. Like the iPad 2, it comes in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G variants, and has two cameras — a front facing camera for video calls and a rear camera for recording HD video and capturing still photographs. The Iconia A500 also has a USB port for storing and transferring files.

Along with the Iconia A500, Acer also unveiled three other devices in the Iconia family. These include the Windows 7-powered Iconia Tab W500 (starting at $899) and Iconia Touchbook (starting at $2499), and the Iconia A100 (starting at $499), a 7in tablet running the Android Honeycomb platform.

The Acer Iconia Tab W500 is a Windows 7 tablet that comes with a full-sized physical keyboard dock, essentially making it a hybrid notebook-cum-tablet device. The Iconia Touchbook is a notebook with dual touchscreens. It runs a customised version of Windows 7, with larger icons designed with a touchscreen in mind. Acer says the Iconia Touchbook has a "heavy SMB focus" and will be sold though Harvey Norman from April, and then through Telstra in June.

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Ross Catanzariti

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