AT&T will offer the Acer Iconia Tab A501 for $329.99 on Sept. 18, with a two-year data plan. The data plan is $35 a month for 3GB of service.

The A501 will run on AT&T's 4G HSPA+ network and with feature the Android Honeycomb mobile operating systerm.

That price brings the Acer, with a 10.1-in. display, well below the A501's full price of $479.99, which is more in line with other popular tablets, such as the iPad 2, which starts at $499 for Wi-Fi only service or $629 for Wi-Fi + 3G wireless.

With the discount on the A501, AT&T could be responding to widespread reports of a coming Amazon tablet at $250 or $300. Analysts are also predicting a surge of lower-cost tablets this fall.

AT&T described the A501 as "designed for both consumers and small businesses," with a 1 GHz dual-core processor, the Nvidia Tegra 2.

If customers don't pick the 3GB plan for two years, they can still pay $15 a month for 250 MB or $25 for 2GB, either post-paid or pre-paid.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

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