Acer today became the latest PC manufacturer jumping into the tablet market
, which has been gaining increasing attention since Apple launched its iPad in January. Without revealing much in the way of specs, the company's CEO Gianfranco Lanci suggested the 7-inch Android powered device would arrive in the fourth quarter of 2010, featuring a Kindle-style hardware keyboard on the bottom and possibly 3G connectivity in partnership with a mobile carrier.
Alongside the unnamed iPad competitor, most of Acer's attention was devoted to its first e-reader: the LumiRead. This device will have Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity options, as reported by Engadget
, with an integrated keyboard and 6-inch E Ink display. There'll be a large selection of titles available on release. Barnes & Noble is providing access to its online store, which suggests there will be a U.S. release, while Libri.de will supply books in Europe and Founder in China. On top of that the LumiRead can scan ISBN codes so you can order online versions of your favorite books.
Last but not least, the event also included the formal launch of the Acer's Stream smartphone
. The device will run Google's Android 2.1 operating system, but with a proprietary user interface created by Acer, offering a strong focus on multimedia and a fairly high-end feature set -- 1GHz Snapdragon processor with 512MB of RAM, 3.7-inch AMOLED screen, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p recording, HSDPA 7.2, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11n, and HDMI video out. Pricing for the Stream is not yet known but rumors suggest the smartphone might be released by AT&T.