A giant, tethered tablet: Acer shows its Android Display

Acer's hybrid screen runs Android on its own processor, but can also display Windows or MacOS when plugged into a laptop

Acer's DA220HQL looks like a giant Android tablet, with its 1920 x 1080 pixel, 21.5-inch touch screen -- but you wouldn't want to carry it around.

That's because the All-in-One Android Display weighs 4.8 kilograms and has no battery, so needs to be plugged in to operate.

The display has three main uses, Acer spokesman Manuel Linnig said at an Acer event on the sidelines of the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany.

The first is as an information kiosk. Propped up on its built-in stand at an angle of 75 degrees, it can be used to surf the Web or view videos. Folded down to a 20-degree angle, the display finds a second role, as a giant tablet, allowing the user to interact with it more easily without the risk of "gorilla arm," the sensation of heaviness felt after a few minutes of operating a touch screen with one arm raised out in front of the body. Finally, with a laptop computer connected to its micro-HDMI socket the display can be used as an additional or external touch-sensitive screen.

In addition to the HDMI socket it has an Ethernet port, three USB ports, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, a 1.2 megapixel webcam, stereo speakers and a socket for micro-SD cards up to 32GB in capacity.

Inside the display is a 1GHz dual-core ARM processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of ROM holding an almost-vanilla version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

The main addition Acer has made to the standard Android interface is the Acer Ring: Touch a glowing green circle in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen and a circular menu pops up offering quick access to a browser, gallery, screenshot tool and settings, with shortcuts to open applications fanning out around the circle. Other apps, including Skype and YouTube, can be added from the Android App Store.

Acer aims to keep the interface as similar as possible across all its Android products so that users feel at home with them, according to Linnig.

The device will go on sale this month in Germany, France, Scandinavia and the U.K., priced at around ¬399 (US$519) excluding VAT, he said.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

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Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
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