Cheeky Chinese punt mini Android-based iPad
'NEW Touch 7 Inch Mini Notebook Tablet Laptop PC MID Google Android OS Map Notebook Like Mini Ipad!!'
Personally, I like my iPad, but I can well see why rather a lot of folk would prefer something that's more compact, can take phone calls and runs Android. Enter Chinese knock-off merchants who this morning emailed Reg Hardware with the following tasty item.
It's a 7in, Android 1.5-based "Mini notebook tablet laptop MID" that is "like mini iPad!!"
Yes, that's two exclamation marks at the end. Other key features include an 800 x 480 touchscreen, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, two mini USB ports - one 2.0, the other 1.1 - a Mini SD card bay, 2GB of Flash storage and a 600MHz ARM-based RockChip 2808 processor.
'Qwerty' is just so old hat, claimed Jobs, introducting Apple's 'revolutionary' reverse keyboard...
The whole lot weighs 160g.
All this can be yours, it says here, for $148 (£102) for one, or $119 (£82) if you can round up 99 friends who want one too.
Does the back-to-front keyboard in the piccy cost extra, we wonder? You can buy an iPad Dock-style dock for the "Apad", and a leather cover.
The base price doesn't include 3G functionality, but we're sure the supplier will be willing to negotiate on that one. Likewise, the amount of on-board storage you want.
Mini USB and Mini SD connections included
Read more - or make an offer - with supplier FirstSing here. ®
Knowledge of a product isn't copying
There are surprisingly few identical characteristics between the Chinese tablets and Apple other than the concept which is like saying a Toyota is a knock-off of a Rolls ioyce because they both have wheels, and engine and a people compartment..
Jobs might have announced his latest box in January BUT the Chinese had product on the shelves.. Living next door to China I am well aware of their respect of IP rights so your proposition that these other products is without foundation.
I guess you are therefore implying Google knocked off Apples IpHONE? What of of RIM and Apple or Palm and Apple - following your logic Apple knocked off that product. Likewise with their computer and IBM.
That said I would concede the point that the Chinese copied the IpOD - and some are very good, in fact I have a stainless steel cased copy, as do others in my family and the quality is first class.
The bottom line is the Chinese products have superior software, very adequate displays, superlative features and a licenced OS. If you were to get the Application Notes for the RockChip 2808 you would understand the fallacy of your statement: "leeching off the R&D work of others".
The Chinese are technically very competent and without them Apple and many other US companies would have no products to sell.
Did you actually read the comment?
The majority of JaitcH's comment was a critique of Chinese pads, stating that the majority are NOTHING LIKE THE iPad, were obviously in development and available BEFORE the release of the iPad and have more innovative features.
Which side of the bed did you get out of?
Hardly 'stolen' or 'knocked off'
How can anyone steal or knock off a design months ahead of Apples iCrap? The OS is different, the PCB is different, the functionality is different. In reality Apple copied these products that have been around since 2010 JAN.
Last week I received 2 tablets from Zenzhen and they were different to each other. Both had Chinese characters in their names (one also had RK2808 in the name).
I spent the weekend in Zenzhen and picked up 5 more tablets, all different in design and feature although there is commonality in components and some of the software. None had Android v2+ and therefore I would recommend those people not in SE Asia buy from a supplier within your country so you can get warranty service but ONLY after they load V2+.
Chinese products can be crappy from a reliability perspective. For myself it is simply crossing the border. That said the units I bought had mature PCB designs with zero mods, added components or jumpers. Software can be loaded through mini-USB connectors and external screens can be run from some tablets.
Even though Apple hit the market months after these units, it failed to add the many neat features these early bloomers had working 5 months early than Jobs did. You can actually use some of these tablets as a game controller playing on an external monitor. The Apple tablet is a missed opportunity - unless you want to sell annual 'upgrades' as has happened with the crippled IpHONE.
Manuals tend to be written in Chinglish, with poor illustrations. Three units have soft manuals loaded and further copies on the InterNet. Even schematics are shown. However, the unit operations are intuitive and my son has figured out the operation in under an hour.