Acer debuted the Iconia Tab A510 at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January, and the 10-inch device is of the quad-core system variety, but it should debut for a few dollars less than the iPad 3. Four processors help deliver excellent graphics on the A510, but not necessarily a faster software system. Acer does a fair job of keeping their software overlay form interfering too much with the Android 4.0 operating system, so this device could be a good bet if the price is less than $500. Acer hasn't given any pricing or release date information yet, as many of the devices unveiled at CES are a couple months away (or more) from going on sale.
One of Acer Iconia's biggest selling points last year was its low price compared to the iPad, but since neither iPad 3 nor Iconia Tab A510 have pricing info, we just have to go by their predecessors' prices. The A500 was a $450 tablet when it debuted, and the iPad 2 is $500. That pattern could repeat itself when the A510 and iPad 3 come out; score one for Acer Iconia Tab A510 also has 1280x800p resolution and a nice rubbery coating on the back that makes it easier to grip.
Apple, on the other hand, is set to deliver the new iPad 3 in perhaps as little as a few weeks. March seems to be a popular date because some of the companies making the iPad's parts in China reported that is the time-frame they are working with. Some reports have said the iPad will debut in Steve Jobs' birthday in April. Whenever it gets here, it could feature new things like 4G connectivity, a QXGA 2048x1536p resolution display, Siri the digital voice recognition software and maybe even 3D gesture control. If iPad 3 debuts at $500 and the Iconia Tab A510 costs any more than $400, it won't be much of a contest.
If the Iconia Tab A510 comes out at, say, $300, that would be a hard deal to turn down. But, that has been the problem for so many Android tablets over the last 18 months. They just don't make people say ahh, the way they do with iPad, and if they can't do that, they have to beat the price by $200 to get people's attention. Most have debuted at $450 or higher, and people have obviously concluded it's a better deal to spend the extra money for the iPad just looking at how many more iPads have sold. Tell us in the comments if you are tablet shopping or if you are sticking with your laptop for a while longer.