Pioneer Computers DreamBook ePad N7 brings together Tegra 2 and Android

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Since nVidia unveiled its very impressive Tegra 2 chipset (officially called the Tegra 250) at CES and proclaimed it intended to power the tablet revolution with it, many of us have been patiently waiting for the revolution to start and for actual devices using the hardware to be launched. But even with news of products such as the Aigo N700, Asus Eee Pad, and upcoming devices from Compal and Toshiba, there hasn't been many other announcements, and we have yet to see the Tegra 250 gain a real foothold in the market like Qualcomm's Snapdragon and TI's OMAP series.

However, the momentum may be starting to pick up over the next few months, as another manufacturer has thrown its hat into the Tegra 2 tablet ring. Coming from Australia-based Pioneer Computers, the DreamBook ePad N7 should be instantly familiar to those of you following Tegra 2 product announcements as it appears to be another rebranded Compal NAZ-10, joining the Aigo N700. The specs are very impressive with the Tegra 250's ARM Cortex-A9 core clocked at 1.2GHz, nVidia's 3D graphics technology, 512MB DDR2 RAM, 4GB inbuilt storage, a 7-inch WVGA capacitive touch screen supporting multi-touch, b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, (optional) 3G connectivity, 1.3MP webcam, and of course the Android OS in the Eclair (2.1) variety. Connections include the usual suspects such as headphone out, USB 2.0, HDMI out, support for microSD cards, and a docking port, while the battery life from the 3000mAh li-on pack is rated at 10 hours.

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There hasn't yet been any confirmation regarding an upgrade to Android 2.2 and official support for Android Market, the latter being doubtful as is the case with most Android tablets. Although these would be notable issues, from a purely hardware standpoint, the ePad N7 is looking very good. The tablet is now available for pre-order on Pioneer Computer's site starting at AUS$499, which works out to around US$445, but this price doesn't take into account the optional 3G connectivity that costs an additional AUS$99 (about US$88). Worldwide shipping via UPS is offered for AUS$149 (US$133) with the shipping date currently listed as September 2010.

Although we've seen it before from Compal and Aigo, the DreamBook ePad N7 and its brethren are still very impressive devices on paper and look like promising entries into the Android tablet market. On one hand the price does seem a little expensive, but keeping in mind the high-end hardware and the fact you would be getting one of the most powerful Android tablets available makes it seem more worthwhile. Hopefully the question marks regarding Android 2.2 and Android Market will soon be clarified while we wait for September to come around. What do you think of the ePad N7? Anyone interested in taking the plunge for what is likely to be one of the first Tegra 2 powered tablets?

[Pioneer Computers via Carrypad]

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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.

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