Are Android-based tablets ready to compete against the iPad? We'll be finding out soon, according to word from boutique PC maker Velocity Micro and reports concerning Acer's upcoming plans.
Best known for gaming PCs and laptops, Velocity Micro is an unlikely tablet provider, but the company is planning to release its Cruz line of tablets on September 1. According to Velocity Micro's Cruz Web site, the Cruz Reader and Cruz Tablet (pictured) will each sport a 7-inch color display, built-in Wi-Fi, accelerometer, SD card slot, and, of course, the Android OS. The $199.99 Reader is cheaper than the $299.99 Tablet, as it has less RAM, less storage, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi instead of 802.11n, and a resistive touchscreen instead of a capacitive one. You do get a docking station with the Reader, though it's optional for the Tablet. No word on the type of processor running these devices.
You'll also see 7-inch tablets from Acer, as well as 10-inch ones before 2010 ends, if the latest DigiTimes report holds true. No specs have been disclosed, though DigiTimes says the tablets would be based on ARM chips and Acer is working with mobile carriers to offer some 3G support.
Will the 7-inch form factor emerge as a viable tablet option? While definitely more totable, the smaller size reduces the real estate the iPad uses well for reading (particularly Web sites) and video viewing. Which tablet would you rather use -- 7-inch or 10-inch? Let us know in the comments section.