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November 24, 2010

Acer Iconia dual display tablet PC launched

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by Darren Allan

Acer revealed a triplet of tablets to challenge the iPad yesterday, although today’s offering from the company has more to do with Microsoft than Apple, in a manner of speaking.

That’s because, if you cast your mind back and recall the Microsoft Courier, a dual screen tablet that MS built a prototype of, well that’s exactly what Acer has gone and done with its Iconia.

The Iconia comes with two 14 inch displays that are hinged in the middle, so it’s effectively a laptop, but with another screen where the keyboard normally is. Both displays are multi-touch capable.

Users surfing the web or reading a document can spread a page over both screens for better readability. Or you can watch a video on one screen, while doing something else such as browsing the web on the other.

The bottom screen can also turn into a virtual keyboard, so the Iconia can be used as a laptop (albeit with less tactile keys). The device can even detect when you place your hands in a typing position, and automatically brings up the virtual keyboard, a clever touch.

Acer wrote in a press release: “If you are looking for a different and innovative approach to personal computing, look no further. With its two all-point multi-touch displays Acer Iconia offers an enhanced content consumption experience and brings the interaction with the tablet to a new level.”

“Multimedia, entertainment, communication, web browsing and office productivity seamlessly flow across the dual screen, allowing users to set the best scenario for what they are doing.”

In terms of spec, both 14 inch displays are HD with a resolution of 1366 x 768, and they’re LED-backlit TFT LCDs, constructed with gorilla glass to make them scratch and fingerprint resistant.

The Iconia is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, and a pretty chunky 4GB of memory, and if you were starting to worry about the pricing at this point, well, your fears aren’t unjustified.

This is one high-end dual tablet, as according to the Telegraph, it’s going to cost £1,499 when it goes on sale at the end of the first week in January. Yowser – makes the likes of the iPad and Galaxy Tab look positively budget models.

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