Acer's new 10-inch Android tablet will be available Jan. 15 in the U.S., so if you don't want to wait for the new iPad, you might want to head over to your local mom and pop electronics center and get your hands on one (Okay, corporate chain electronics store). About the only things we know about the as yet unannounced iPad 3 is it will likely be a 10-inch device like its predecessors and not likely to cost any less. That would make it about $500 for the 16 gigabyte version if it sticks to the current pricing scheme. It may debut with a 4G radio, have 2048x1536p resolution or have a display that goes all the way to the edge of the device. Those are rumors, but those are some of the more sane predictions as anyone who follows consumer tech can tell you.
Because the Acer tab is so close to its debut, we do know what features it includes. It was announced in December, but it only debuted in the UK. It's got the 10-inch screen but with 1280x800p resolution. That's a bit better than iPad 2, so depending on the rumors, it could be about the same as the new iPad or get blown away by an all new hi-res one. Iconia Tab A200 will come in eight and 16 gigabyte versions, compared to iPad's presumed 16/32/64 gigabyte variants. The A200 has a two megapixel camera on the front, so the iPad should be able to match or beat it as improved cameras are expected.
There are a couple other things the A200 has that iPad won't likely have though, and that is a microSD card slot and support for DLNA technology. The DLNA tech is not out of the question, but don't count on any expansion memory slots on the new iPad. Apple likes to keep a closed system and by including the card slot, people could more easily sideload content or root the device. DLNA is not likely because the same functionality is included in Apple TV, and Apple would presumably want you to buy that than support a technology that competes with their own gear. Lastly, the eight gigabyte version of the A200 will be $329, so it beats the iPad on price easily. Which is better to buy depends greatly on how you plan to use it. Price is always a factor, as is the need to have the device sooner rather than later if that's the case. If you can wait for the iPad 3, you might want to wait so you can see the devices side by side before deciding. That said, there aren't many 10-inch tablets out there for around $300. Once the devices hit the shelves, it will be easier to tell which is better with a hands on demo. Tell us in the comments if you are awaiting the iPad 3 or if you are still shopping around.
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