Acer has confirmed the release date for Android 4.0 on the Iconia Tab A500 and A100 tablets, with the pair of slates in line to get Ice Cream Sandwich on April 27. The US A100 update on the 27th will be previewed in Latin America two days earlier, and then be pushed out to Canadian users on May 3; all three locations will get the A500 ICS upgrade on the same day.
Both slates are nearly identical inside, each using NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 dualcore chipset paired with 1GB of RAM. The A100 has a 1024 x 600 7-inch display, however, while the A500 uses a larger, 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 panel.
Based on previous experience – such as with Acer’s own Iconia Tab A200, which received the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade earlier this year – that combination of hardware should be comfortable running Android 4.0, even with Acer’s modifications to the UI. It’s worth noting that Acer has “no update planned” for the Iconia Tab A501, however.
Ice Cream Sandwich brings with it faster performance and a tweaked UI, along with features like Face Unlock. Acer’s mods, meanwhile, include the Acer Ring shortcut wheel, putting apps, web favorites, screenshot captures and social networking uploads front and center, along with app shortcuts on the lock screen.
Arriving with the claim of being the first from the company to house a 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core chip, it also brings in the taste of Ice Cream Sandwich for Android loyalists. Replete with an Olympics based theme, the slab dons a 10.1-inch HD multi-touch display proffering resolutions of 1280 x 800p.
The rear panel incorporates a 5MP camera with AF, and there is even a front-facing 1MP HD snapper onboard. Besides the 32GB internal storage capacity, it is supported by 1GB DDR2 memory and the chassis also sports a microSD card slot. According to Engadget, the slab arrives with options of a black or a white bezel that potential users can select from.
A peek underneath the hood reveals the presence of a 9800mAh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery which apparently breathes life into the device for up to 12 hours of video playback. This Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR enabled slate features a microUSB 2.0 port and a micro HDMI out for enhanced connectivity. It being preloaded with Kindle, Netflix and Google Music apps is something that many entertainment buffs may approve of. The device also extends support to Adobe Flash 11 while tagging along Polaris Office 3.5 for ardent photographers on the move. The Acer Iconia Tab A510 price is stamped at N80,000.
. “Investment portfolios generating low income returns, combined with the soft P&C market, have provided the impetus for many companies to look more closely at their sources of hazard losses over their entire area of geographic coverage.”
According to CoreLogic’s study of the 10 states with the highest number of tornado touchdowns between 1980 and 2009, only three tornadoes actually fell within what is traditionally considered “Tornado Alley.” Further, tornado risk extends across most of the eastern half of the U.S., with some 26 states facing extreme tornado risk at least in part.
“The Joplin, Mo., tornado and the ‘Super Outbreak’ of last spring focused renewed attention on hail and tornado risk, and the Alabama tornadoes this year are representative of the tornado risk beyond tornado alley that has many insurance companies evaluating their current risk assessment of damaging winds loss potential,” Botts says. “Many major companies have significant initiatives well underway that should result in underwriting changes, new product development and targeted marketing initiatives in 2012.”
Better insight into tornado risk can help insurers plan for the events, which are difficult to forecast and come with a lot of unknowns, according to Douglas Nadeau, a spokesman for State Farm (Bloomington, Ill.; $1 billion in 2011 net income.) “State Farm continually analyzes the effects of severe weather events, including the tornados of the past few years, to determine if there is any influence on our historical claims data,” he says. “The State Farm Catastrophe Team has the advantage of a fleet of mobile claim handling facilities specially designed to … provide optimal customer service even under challenging conditions.”
Tornadoes aren’t the only natural disaster for which insurers must be prepared this year; wildfires also present a very real risk, says CoreLogic’s Botts. “Last year was a very wet, cool year in California,” he notes. “With the weather pattern switching from La Nina to El Nino, there’s real fear of wildfire in California, and companies are revisiting their exposure there.”
Lamont Norman, a wildfire science modeling expert at Pitney Bowes Software (Stamford, Conn.), agrees that there is an increased risk of fire this year due to weather patterns, but he also notes that there is much more property at risk. “If you look at the number, 80 to 100 million properties are at risk of fire,” Norman says. “And there’s more than structural loss in danger. Traditional home properties are an attention grabber, but there are other types of properties, such as ranches.”
Pitney Bowes has updated its Fire Risk Pro product to help insurers more accurately price property that is potentially in the path of wildfire, Norman reports. “We were seeing insurers back away from underwriting properties that were in those areas,” he says. “But we feel our model will allow them to underwrite at a more profitable rate.”