Dixons touts tablets
Android-tastic 7in and 10in slates incoming
First Next, now Dixons. The retaill group's PC World and Currys stores will next month begin selling - yes, you've guessed it - an own-brand 7in Android tablet for the low, low price of £130.
Not as cheap as the £85 job Morgan Computers is offering, but less than the £180 Next wants for its 10in tablet.
Dixons' Advent Vega: ten-incher
Dixons' version will be released under the firm's Advent brand as the Amico, which sounds like a petrol station if you ask us. It has Wi-Fi and runs Android 2.1.
Not so the Advent Vega, a 10in tablet that will run version 2.2 of the Google OS. It too has Wi-Fi, plus a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip, 4GB of storage and a 1.3Mp webcam.
With that spec you wouldn't expect Vega to be a cheap-as-chips product, but it's not Galaxy Tab expensive - you'll pay £250 for it, Dixons said.
Both tablets go on sale on 1 November. ®
Got to say I agree on the DSG point. Even when I worked for them they thought less of me than the plastic bags they gave their products away in. Since working for them I used them about half a dozen times and was constantly let down. Despite the product looking a decent option I'll wait until a reputable dealer with a touch more appreciation of their customers starts stocking them.
I know a few people that have been eyeing the iPad and/or an eBook reader, and keep telling them not to buy anything yet as there is so much stuff coming onto the market in the next month or so.
So far from what I've seen the Archos 70 Internet Tablet looks to be the best hope for price/performance/abilities http://www.archos.com/products/ta/archos_70it/specs.html
Capacitive Screen - yes
Recent OS - yes (Android 2.2)
Fast CPU - yes (1 GHz)
Good Storage - yes (8GB flash or 250GB HD), also micro SD slot
WiFi & Bluetooth - yes
Battery - 10 hrs surfing (will probably be 7 in truth though)
Also has built in webcam.
Just need to see what their service will be like and actually get hands on time messing with one now.
Battery life is important for sofa surfers
Having bought a Chinese knockoff (resistive screen, 5 hours battery with wifi off, android 1.6 with no market), I want a tablet with 10+ hours, capacitive screen, instant on and decent speed - I mean, for fsck sake, Apple showed 'em how to make one (that's selling like hotcakes apparently) and, even tho' I dislike the Apple ethos and hate iTunes, I'm kind'a beginning to think about getting an iPad (maybe I could jailbreak it and thus maintain my philosophical anarchist bent).
After all, the best up and coming iPad beater, Samsung tab, offers maybe 7 hours (unproven) on time - (Froyo doesn't have a proper sleep command does it?), it doesn't specify how long bootup takes, and remains suspiciously quiet on price. The screen looks nice but apparently isn't as good as the iPads, and you get no android marketplace.
7 inch vs 10: personal preference, but after experiencing capacitive, it's so hard to go back to resistive, esp. when it doesn't offer anything better (like text recognition). I've been waiting for an iPad beater to turn up, but so far nothing...
It's getting there
But still a long way to go on pricing for what is in essence a digital picture frame with some higher-tech innards. In fact, when some Chinese manufacturer decides to use Android as the heart of its digital picture frame and that 'reference design' gets wide-spread cloning is when I expect to see prices tumble.
That's also an obstacle for Android tablet uptake; people know the prices will drop, so I expect many (especially techies) are holding off for now. Plus waiting for the latest Android version as it's far from clear how upgradeable or hackable any tablet is with Android still not fully evolved yet.
Chinese manufacturers seem more interested in mass-market and income rather than lock-down and DRM so the future could be promising for the best Android platform. Fingers crossed.
Now that's about the right price point
I've always said that the iPad is a great £300 gadget but sadly costs double that. The 10" Android 2.2 for £250 could well be a winner though.