Sony, Acer and NEC announce new tablets

By on September 12, 2011, 6:00 PM

The unrelenting surge of tablet news continues today with fresh announcements from Sony, Acer and NEC. First up, Sony has finally announced the launch of its new consumer slate, the 9.4-inch Honeycomb-based Tablet S. To accompany its dreary name, the device carries the same silicon entrails you'll find on most Android-based competitors: a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2.

Other hardware includes a 1280x800 "TruBlack" display, front and back-mounted cameras, and an SD card reader -- though Engadget notes that the device can't play media directly from an SD card. If nothing else, the Tablet S has a unique sloped shape that is supposedly inspired by the shape of a folded magazine and measures between 0.3in and 0.8in.

Sony Tablet S

Software-wise, Sony has added a PlayStation emulator of sorts along with a custom universal remote app that can control the company's TVs, Blu-ray players and other compatible devices. Battery life is rated at about 8:35 hours -- less than the iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab 10.1. Pricing is set at $499 for the 16GB model or $599 for 32GB and units should ship within a few weeks.

Acer and AT&T have made good on their promise to deliver a 4G (HSPA+) tablet this year. The Iconia Tab A501 will launch in the US on Sunday, September 18 in two variants: a 16GB device for $330 with a two-year contract or $500 unsubsidized, and a 32GB that's $550 sans contract. Other specifications seem unchanged from the company's Iconia Tab A500.

NEC LaVie Touch

Meanwhile, NEC has announced a Wintel device with a 10.1-inch 1280x800 IPS panel, a 1.5GHz Atom and SM35 Express chipset, Windows 7 Home Premium, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, two USB ports, HDMI-out, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The LaVie Touch will ship next month in Japan for ¥94,500 (~$1,225) and comes with a DVD dock, a keyboard and mouse.

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