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Cheap LCD tablets approaching reality

Posted By Chris Meadows On November 9, 2012 @ 9:15 pm In Android,Chris Meadows,ereaders,iPad,Linux,Tablet | 1 Comment

zeepad [1]It can be risky looking for a cheap tablet—as a woman found out [2] when she paid $200 at a gas station for what she thought was an $830 iPad but turned out to be a rewrapped mirror. (Hint: if someone offers to sell you a 75%-off iPad at a gas station, there’s probably something suspicious going on.)

But not all cheap tablets are necessarily bogus. Today a coworker told me that she paid $70 each on eBay for two brand new 7” 4-gig capacitive-touchscreen Android 4.0 tablets called ZeePads and was very happy with them. Curious, I went looking for them and found one for $90 via Amazon Prime [3], which I ordered to try out for myself. I figure I should start getting some Android experience since I’m soon going to be tasked with supporting a 10” Android tablet in my day job, and I can also let my one-armed Mom [4] give it a try to see if a 7” Android tablet would work well for her. A friend said that it’s a “cheap build” and some people have had hardware problems with it, but it had about the same computing power as his Droid so it was a decent Android learning tablet.

And meanwhile, another $99 Android tablet with somewhat better specs is trying to get off the ground. Ars Technica reports that a company called Peacock Imports is trying to fund [5] a $99, 8-gig 7” tablet or $185 10” tablet called the PengPod [6] that will dual-boot Android and Linux via crowdsourcing site IndieGogo [7]. It needs to raise $49,000 by December 2nd to make the project viable, and so far has only managed to rack up $1,349 in pledges. (I’m not sure how long it’s been since the campaign launched.)

It looks like sooner or later we’re going to see decent-quality sub-$100 Android tablets. The $90 ZeePad sounds like it’s almost there, and the FengPod (if it funds) might be even closer. I’ve already been impressed lately by just how many people I see on the bus or in the lunchroom at work using smartphones or e-readers. What’s the world going to be like when there’s a reliable, major-name two-digit-priced tablet out there?

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1 Comment To "Cheap LCD tablets approaching reality"

#1 Comment By Paul StJohn Mackintosh On November 12, 2012 @ 5:06 am

Here in Central Europe you can already get a 7″ MyAudio ICS tablet for $89, and MyAudio is a bit better than no-brand. It’s not hard to see where this is going. Low-end tablets are going to be tomorrow’s MP3 players or cheap dumphones, bottom-dollar low-margin ubiquitous consumer devices. That will spread adoption of ereading accordingly [though have a look here at how many – or few – use the devices they’ve got: [8]. Dedicated ereading devices are going to have to be very special to differentiate themselves with this race to the bottom going on. But we should worry: the tablet’s case as a mass-market reading device is clearly made.

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URL to article: http://www.teleread.com/chris-meadows/cheap-lcd-tablets-approaching-reality/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.teleread.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/zeepad.jpg

[2] a woman found out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF6wNOi5QEc

[3] one for $90 via Amazon Prime: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008VWJY8I/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00&tag=tele00c-20

[4] one-armed Mom: http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/seeking-one-handed-e-reading-solutions/

[5] trying to fund: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/11/android-and-linux-on-a-dual-booting-tablet-for-100/

[6] PengPod: http://pengpod.com/products/pengpod1000

[7] via crowdsourcing site IndieGogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/pengpod

[8] : http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/gadget/3331538/amazon-kindle-tops-list-on-unused-christmas-gifts/

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