We've been watching the 10-inch Honeycomb tablets arrive faster than checked luggage, but a few of us are still holding out for a good 7-inch Android 3.0 slate. Well, Acer's Iconia Tab A100 seemed like it would be the first to hit (don't forget, the HTC Flyer is Android 2.3 at the moment), but unfortunately, its US debut will come a bit after the European launch. While it's up for pre-order in the UK for £400, Acer's US PR team confirmed that the A100 won't be hitting American shelves for a few months. It will most likely arrive sometime in Q3 (that could be anywhere between July and the end of September), although there's a slight ray of hope that it will touch down in late June. Sadly, we don't have any additional details on the pricing, but we did finally get to see the 7-inch, Tegra 2-powered tablet run Android 3.0 yesterday -- the same hardware was shown at MWC, but it was running 2.2. Hit the break for some impressions and a gallery of hands-on shots.
I have to say, Google's tablet OS looks pretty nice on the smaller screen -- it's much more than an enlarged phone now -- and navigating it with two thumbs is a breeze. Typing on the keyboard was quite comfortable in landscape mode, but unfortunately, the early unit's accelerometer was busted and wouldn't rotate the orientation to portrait mode. Still, it felt really nice to hold in one hand and we could imagine reading on the 1024x600-resolution screen would be a pleasant experience. Like with the 10-inch A500, Acer seems to be keeping Honeycomb pretty clean -- it's got its Clear.Fi (the DLNA app), SocialJogger, and LumiRead apps. The hardware feels pretty great, although I prefer the A500's aluminum back to the A100's glossy, fingerprint-loving coating. It's also got an impressive array of ports for the size -- there's a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as mini HDMI and Micro USB slots. Under the latch, there's a MicroSD card reader. All in all, the A100 is looking to be a solid 7-inch tablet. And if we know Acer, it will be priced to win, but of course, there's no telling what else we may have to choose from come Q3.