Acer, Toshiba Find Android Tablets' Savoury Spot
Let's face it. If Android is going to make a significant dent in the tablet market, it's going to start by beating the iPad on price. We've seen the complete lack of success when companies (ie. Samsung and Motorola,) go against the grain. But, we've now reached a turning point. Acer is set to release their Honeycomb-based tablet, Iconia, for $450. And Toshiba is hot on their heels.
But, is a $50 discount really enough to sway people away from an iPad purchase? In my opinion, no. The Android tablet sweet spot is closer to the $300 or $350 mark and we're probably about a year away from that price point. And that’s assuming Apple doesn't release a lower-priced version of their product first.
That doesn't mean Acer and Toshiba won't find success. In fact, at $450, there is now a reasonably-priced Honeycomb tablet for Android holdouts. And for the price conscious, the lower price tag may be enough of a pull. The specs of Acer's tablet best the iPad in a few areas including screen resolution (which is capable of true 720p,) and contains all the ports necessary for portable use (eg. USB, SD, HDMI.) It weighs a bit more than the second generation iPad, but it’s still a respectable weight at 1.7lbs.
Toshiba's tablet has a similar spec sheet, but lacks and of the more important details and possibly won't be seen this month. Both tablets ship with dual cameras and a full range of sensors. Toshiba includes a removable battery, something that really should be more of a standard than a feature.
This new lower price point brings Android tablets into the discussion, but the iPad is still the de facto choice for consumers with a $500 budget. Mass adoption will have to wait until the price of an Android tablet is about half that of Apple’s standard.