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Acer to ship more than 1m Chrome netbooks

E-book readers and Apple-inspired tablets too

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Acer has narrowed its Chrome OS netbook release window from H2 2010 to the third quarter. It’s also preparing to launch an e-book reader and – guess what – a tablet too.

The e-book reader’s due to be announced in the June, the company has told Bloomberg, and feature a 6in monochrome screen – an E Ink job, we’d guess.

It’ll be aimed initially at Europe and Asia Pacific, the better to allow Acer to work up content deals with local publishers while the likes of Amazon and – we’d say – Apple focus on the US market. Jim Wong, head of Acer’s IT products division, said the company is talking to periodical publishers.

Wong didn’t say whether Acer’s Chrome-based netbook will be a single-OS device, but he certainly indicated it will appear in dual-boot machines alongside Windows. Acer re-released its Aspire One D250 netbook – reviewed here – in October 2009 with Android on board as a fast-boot secondary OS, and it will presumably do the same with Chrome.

Single-boot Chrome machines remain a possibility. Wong said the Google OS was being adopted, in part, so there is “a change to the Microsoft-Intel environment”. Possibly that means the Chrome-only netbooks will be based on ARM processor technology.

Maybe, but Wong said only ten per cent of Acer’s netbooks will feature Chrome after its appearance in Q3, though he later said the company will ship 12-15m netbooks in 2010, but only a million or so will incorporate Chrome – rather less than ten per cent, we note.

Lastly, we have the tablet, a device Wong admitted will be inspired by whatever Apple may come up with on Wednesday this week. ®

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