Tablet manufacturers have finally woken up to the threat that Apple poses, and are targeting the iPad with prices that actually compete. This week, Acer joins the fray with a new tablet boasting quad-core power, 32GB storage, and 15 hour battery life for under $600.

The Iconia Tab A510 – the latest version of Acer’s Iconia Tab series – sports some serious updates that bring it in-line with what the competition offers, throwing in the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor seen on the Asus Transformer Prime, WiFi, Bluetooth, a 5 megapixel rear camera, 1 megapixel front-facing camera, microSD slot, and Dolby Mobile 3 5.1 channel audio.

Acer hasn’t changed much on the screen side, with a 10 inch multi-touch screen running 1280×800, similar to the 10 inch tablets the company released last year, but least we now have the latest version of Android running on this model.

Version 4.0, also known as “Ice Cream Sandwich”, is the operating system of choice for the device, with Acer also adding the “Acer Ring”, an interface designed to offer easy access to your favourite applications without having to go very far from the home screen.

The battery also looks quite impressive, with the A510 capable of maxing out at 15 hours, what Acer says is the “longest battery life of any stand-alone tablet device currently available.” To do this, Acer has installed a huge 9800mAh battery and is taking advantage of the Tegra 3’s battery management technology.

As for the price and storage sizes, there’s only one, with Acer offering the A510 in a 32GB size with a recommended retail price of $549.