Acer's new Windows 8 tablet matches iPad with $499 starting price

The Iconia W510 will have a 10.1-inch screen, Intel's Clover Trail processor, and will become available on Nov. 9

Acer on Tuesday assigned a starting price of US$499 for its new Iconia W510 tablets, which will have Windows 8 and Intel's Atom chip code-named Clover Trail.

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The tablet will have a 10.1-inch Gorilla Glass screen, weigh 598 grams and offer up to nine hours of battery life. The $499 model will come with 32GB of solid-state drive storage, and the $599 model will come with a 64GB SSD.

The Iconia W510 will become available on Nov. 9, shortly after Microsoft ships Windows 8 in PCs and tablets starting on Oct. 26. The W510 models will have 2GB RAM, a 2-megapixel front camera and an 8-megapixel back camera, Acer said in a statement.

The tablet was initially announced at the Computex trade show in June, but Acer did not announce the price at that time. At $499, the tablet is in the same price range as Apple's iPad, which also starts at $499. The price is also lower than the Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2, which will start at $629 and include Windows 8 and Intel's Clover Trail chip. Analysts have estimated the starting price for Windows 8/Clover Trail tablets to be between $500 to $700.

However, the W510 won't compete on price with Android tablets such as Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD, which have smaller screens and start at $199.

The 64GB Iconia W510 will be priced at $699 with a keyboard dock, and $799 with a dock and a two-year warranty. The dock has a built-in battery that will add an extra nine extra hours to the tablet's run time, totalling 18 hours of battery life.

The Acer tablet will come with a dual-core Atom Z2760 processor, which Intel has designed for tablets. The Acer tablet will also compete with Windows 8 tablets from companies like Dell, which has announced the 10-inch Latitude 10, and other Clover Trail products from ZTE, Asus, Fujitsu, LG Electronics and Samsung. Pricing for the other tablets has not yet been announced.

The Clover Trail chip is capable of handling high-definition video, and the tablet will have a micro-HDMI port for TV connectivity. Also included are micro-SD cards and micro-USB slots.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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