Acer is reported to be readying an Android tablet based on the Intel Oak Trail processor for the July timeframe. The Android Honeycomb tablet is allegedly in mass production according to suppliers, thus the rapid release time. Intel has been desperately putting pressure on mobile device makers to get its processors in shipping products. The company has been slapped in the face by Microsoft recently, first with the deal with Nokia that kicked MeeGo to the curb and then with the push to get Windows running on the ARM platform.
While it makes sense that Intel needs to get a position in the mobile segment, especially tablets, it's not clear what benefits Intel chips will bring to Andtel products. Devices with Intel inside usually get worse battery life than those with ARM or Nvidia Tegra 2 processors, and that is a key area. Tablets are different from laptops as Intel will no doubt discover, as they cannot be used while being charged as can notebooks. A tablet with a dead battery is a big paperweight, thus battery life for them needs to be rated in days, not hours as is the case with Intel products. Tablets must last all day on a single charge of the battery, without exception, and it's not clear Intel can deliver that.
Tablets running with ARM and Tegra processors are plenty powerful enough to handle anything that users need to get done, so while Intel Oak Trail might handle heavier loads than the competition it really isn't necessary. Tablets running non-Intel chips are good enough already, so Intel must come up with a compelling reason for consumers to switch. That pretty much just leaves pricing, an area Intel has not been able to successfully compete with the other guys.
Image credit: IntelFreePress