Acer has chosen a different approach to the all-in-one PC, installing Android instead of Windows on its upcoming DA241HL, but the problem is that Google’s operating systems isn’t a desktop OS.
Since the arrival of Android, vendors have been experimenting with running the OS on devices other than smartphones and tablets. Now, Acer is set to come out with the DA241HL, an Android-based, all-in-one PC that has a 24-inch full HD touchscreen and is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor.
There is nothing wrong with the design or overall the performance of Acer’s product, although a slightly higher screen resolution would not have hurt. But the real problem is that Android’s user interface is designed for smartphones and tablets, not for a large display controlled with keyboard and mouse.
Maybe Acer has realized that as well, because in its booth at IFA the product was demonstrated without a mouse and keyboard. Instead, the DA241HL was standing on a shallow table, making it easy to reach the screen. But reaching forward across a desk to swipe, start an app or open an email is far from ideal. On a laptop, which is usually situated closer to the user, it’s easier. Purely from a usability point of view, choosing Google’s Chrome OS, which is less touch-centric than Android, would have made more sense.
One thing that Acer’s all-in-one has going for it is the price. In Europe it will cost from €429 ($570), and for that users get a product that doubles as a display for a Windows 8-based laptop or desktop computer. It will start shipping in mid-October.
Updated on September 9 with a video report from IDG News Service.