Ken writes: Taiwanese computer maker Acer is phasing out its netbook computers with the forthcoming release of its tablets, which are due in the first half of 2011. The move is particularly significant for Acer, given that the company saw very rapid growth and profitability mostly thanks to its various netbook offerings. Acer's upcoming tablets will begin a gradual replacement of its netbooks, in line with market demands, according to Taiwan sales manager Lu Bing-hsian. "They are aimed at phasing out netbooks," Bing-hsian said. "That's the direction of the market." Acer will keep making netbooks, adding to its millions sold to date, but the company will stick to simple models and manufacture fewer than in previous years as tablets gain popularity, he said. The company sales manager also confirmed that the tablets will use Intel's new Sandy Bridge four-core processors, will run Android, and will have 7-inch or 10-inch screens.