news Optus has widened the range of tablets available to Australians, in time for the Christmas gifting season, with its launch of the Acer Iconia Tab A501 and the Dell Streak 7 on its 3G network. This adds to the current array of tablets offered by Optus, which includes the Motorola Xoom.
Optus intends its tablet range expansion to provide its customers with more flexibility, portability, easy sharing and improved performance in video streaming, web browsing and game playing.
In a statement, Optus consumer marketing director Gavin Williams highlighted the versatility of both newly launched tablets. “The Streak 7 is a great device for portable use as it’s just so light and nimble, while the Iconia showcases an impressive host of design features along with practicality,” he said. “We’re excited to range these two excellent devices in the lead up to Christmas to maximise the choice for customers looking to treat themselves or others.”
Optus is offering the Dell Streak 7 for $0 upfront on the $29 Optus Tablet plan over 24 months (total minimum cost is $696). For $279, the prepaid plan includes the tablet and a SIM card with start-up credit. The Acer Iconia Tab A501 is also on offer for $0 upfront on the $39 Optus Tablet plan over 24 months (total minimum cost is $936).
The Dell Streak 7 features the NVIDIA Tegra T20 dual core processor and Android Honeycomb 3.2, a 7” WVGA capacitive screen, a 5MP auto-focus camera with LED flash, 16GB internal memory and SD Card slot supporting expandable memory up to 32GB. Weighing 450g, the Streak is designed as an ideal travel companion. It has a built-in 3G HSPA+ compatible modem and the Dell Stage user-interface for uninterrupted access to web content.
The Acer Iconia Tab A501 promises a rich gaming, multimedia and web experience. It features a 10.1” multi-touch, high-resolution screen and several connectivity options including USB, mini HDMI and Micro SD. The tablet is available in both 16GB and 32GB storage capacities. Powered by a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and running on Android Honeycomb 3.2, the tablet is designed for superior web browsing through Flash 10.2 support and its 3G HSPA+ module which offers 21Mpbs downlink. The Iconia has an ultra-sensitive gyro meter to enhance portable gaming.
Just what, precisely, is Optus smoking? I’m not sure I’d like some of the same. Android tablets in general are facing a very difficult future in Australia at the moment. There wasn’t any evidence that the first Dell Streak (a smaller model) sold very well when it launched through Optus in September 2010, and the same can be said for Acer’s mediocre Iconia Tab line. Why would you buy a mediocre Dell or Iconia Tab tablet through Optus, when you could buy an iPad, iPhone or large-screen Android phone from anyone?
The devices which Optus has launched this week have neither the innovative features or low prices required to differentiate them from the competition. My prediction: They will not sell very well at all.
Image credit: Acer. Opinion/analysis by Renai LeMay