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Laptops

Acer Iconia Tab A500 joins the 10.1-inch Android Honeycomb party

Acer is the latest manufacturer to take the wrappers off a 10.1-inch tablet running Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb software. The Iconia Tab has a focus on video and gaming.

Fresh from revealing its Iconia Smart handset this morning, Acer has also dived into the tablet game, showing off its Iconia Tab A500. It's the latest slate-shaped device to run Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb software.

The Iconia Tab A500 has a 10.1-inch display, matching (for size at least) those of the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Acer is promising a wide viewing angle and high colour contrast for its new device, with an eye on appealing to movie fans.

As with other models of this size, a built-in HDMI port lets you stream your stuff to a bigger screen in tasty 1080p HD.

Acer has put some effort into making the Iconia Tab look stylish, too, using an aluminum casing with "laser-engraved textures". It's about time lasers made a comeback in the world of mobile devices -- remember when laser-etching was one of the selling points of the original Motorola Razr? Happy days. The Iconia Tab is also just 13.3mm thick, so it's eminently pocketable.

Honeycomb will be on board from launch -- the device is expected to go on sale in April, although no pricing has yet been announced. That's a running theme for the new tablets being shown off at Mobile World Congress this year. We suspect the manufacturers are all waiting to see what Apple comes up with for its iPad 2.

We can say with confidence (because Acer has announced it) that the Iconia Tab A500 has a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor inside, along with an Nvidia GeForce GPU for graphical oomph.

On the connectivity side of things, you'll have a choice of Wi-Fi or 3G, while there's a 5-megapixel rear camera and an "HD" front cam for video calls. Acer seems proud of the fact that the Tab can be used as a barcode scanner. We're not entirely sure why.