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Chip maker to take on iPad with $99 tablet

Apple-beating mini Marvell?

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Chip maker Marvell - the company that acquired Intel's ARM-based processor portfolio back in 2006 - is to pitch a low-cost tablet to students.

Dubbed the Moby, the device will provide 1080p video playback, always-on - Wi-Fi rather than 3G - internet connectivity, gaming-capable 3D graphics, e-book reader software and support for Adobe Flash content.

And it'll only cost you $99 (£65), Marvell said.

Aimed squarely at the education market, Moby will major on offering textbook downloads, the semiconductor firm said.

But it said little about Moby's technical specifications beyond the fact the tablet will run on a Marvell Armada 600 processor clocked to a "gigahertz-class speed". The company said Moby will also contain Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, have an FM radio receiver and a GPS pick-up.

Versions will be available based on Google's Android, but Marvell will also offer Windows Mobile-powered Mobies too.

"Actual size and weight vary by configuration, but Marvell's ultra thin and light Moby tablet is expected to hold a full year's worth of books but weigh less than half of one typical textbook," it added.

Marvell said it will donate one Moby for every child in the US District of Columbia Public School system, but it gave no timescale for the programme - or for Moby's wider release. ®

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