It’s no secret that Android tablets haven’t exactly been flying off the shelves. While phones that run Google’s operating system dominate the marketplace, tablets have lagged behind Apple’s iPad in marketshare and mindshare. Outside of some inexpensive tablets practically given away by carriers, they just don’t sell in huge numbers.
Maybe Acer’s got the right idea in narrowly focusing on the hot gaming market. Outside of Nvidia’s Shield Tablet, Android tablets aren’t really marketed specifically at gamers.
The Predator 8 tablet will launch in November at $299, and for that price you get pretty good specs. The 8-inch tablet has an IPS display with a resolution of 1920x1200, an Intel Atom x7 processor, 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi, and up to 64GB of storage.
Then there are all the extra technologies given excessive branding. It’s got a very precise touchscreen, which Acer calls “Precision Plus.” High color gamut? That’s “ColorBlast technology.” Four speakers with virtual surround? “Quadio.” Tactile feedback? “TacSense.” It’s as if Acer thinks we haven’t heard multiple speakers or felt rumble technology before.
Acer is proud of the device’s 8.7mm thickness and 350-gram weight, but that doesn’t sound special to me—the iPad Air 2, for example, is 6.1mm thick and the Galaxy Tab S2 is 5.6mm thick. Those are heavier because they’re 9.7-inch tablets, but the Shield Tablet is about 8 inches and weighs 390 grams (and it’s not especially lightweight).
The story behind the story: The real issue with an Android gaming tablet is that of all Android tablets: lack of proper app support. Too many Android tablet apps are poorly optimized phone ports. When Android does get a hot game made for tablets, like Hearthstone, it often comes months after the iPad version. Nvidia pushes the ability to stream PC games to the Shield as a way to counter this lack of truly tablet-optimized Android games, but Acer is going to have to go further to convince gamers that they wouldn’t be better off picking up an iPad.