Taiwanese computing giant Acer has decided that tablet devices is where it’s at, with rumours growing that the notebook specialist will release three tablets in the first-half of 2011, all based on Google’s upcoming Android 3.0 operating system.

A report on digitimes.com quoting sources from component suppliers says Acer will three models – a five-inch, seven-inch and ten-inch tablets. According to the report, Compal Electronics and Quanta Computer are both providing R&D to Acer although at this stage, it is not known which of the two ODMs (original design manufacturers) will reap the Acer account for the job.

For now, Acer is still to decide on which processor will form the backbone of its tablet strategy. Word is that Qualcomm’s popular SnapDragon chip is up against Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor for the role.

This won’t be good news for the likes of AMD and Intel, neither of which have a processor that’s likely to gain major support in the tablet market. Apparently, Acer will launch an Intel/Windows 7 tablet although the numbers are likely to be “small”.

The SnapDragon’s popularity is due to its performance and, in combination with Google’s Android operating system, the battery life its able to extract from tablet devices. So far, Wintel-based tablets have struggled to reach much beyond the three-hour mark but with Apple’s iPad setting the benchmark at around 10 hours, AMD, Intel and Microsoft need to come up with a different strategy or possibly miss out on the rapidly growing mobile market.

Yesterday, chip giant Intel breathed new life into its aging Atom processor, releasing a new Atom E600 “system on a chip” that it’s hoping to have picked up by the smartphone makers. It also released a higher performing Atom CE4200 aimed at the home entertainment market with support for 3DTV processing.

However, Qualcomm has the runs on the board at the moment with Snapdragon and it looks as though it will take a monumental shift for phone vendors to jump in the foreseeable future.

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