Most of the tablets and MIDs we see come out of China tend to emphasize their value aspect with tempting low prices rather than cutting edge original design or hardware. Most manufacturers use older ARM9 and ARM11 processors running Android 1.6, and most designs are either uninspiring or copying established manufacturers, with numerous Apple clones a well known phenomenon.
A company called Zenithink is looking to address at least one of these issues with its range of new products including two tablets and a smartbook. From the image above, it should be easy to tell it's not the styling aspect! Ignoring the iPad-esque design and looking under the surface reveals some impressive hardware like 1GHz Cortex-A8 processors running Android 2.1. The tablet comes in two sizes, a 10-inch WSVGA model and a more portable 7-inch WVGA model. Apart from the difference in size/resolution, both tablets have identical specifications with 512MB RAM, 2GB local flash storage, a capacitive or resistive touch screen, and a 2400mAh battery. Pricing and availability are currently unconfirmed, but the word is that these MIDs should hit the market around mid-June.
But Zenithink hasn't stopped at tablets. It has also revealed that a 7-inch smartbook is in development that also runs Android on the 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU. The smartbook currently has two variations, one with a standard clamshell and one with a rotatable screen. Final specifications have not been disclosed yet, but there has been some talk of an even faster 1.2GHz processor and the possibility of a model running Google's Chrome OS when it is released later this year.
It's refreshing to see some Chinese manufacturers starting to implement more powerful hardware and newer software in their devices, and I hope this is the start of a trend rather than an exception. I'm also hoping to see more interesting original designs from the region as the industry develops and matures.[Shanzhaiben 1 & 2]