Motorola, Samsung, Apple, Asus, Archos and a few other brands are the ones that most people check out when looking for a tablet. Then you have the Chinese knock offs which most people just point and laugh at. In the middle somewhere there are a group of brands that are actual brands, but you might not have heard of them. The news this week has had quite a few tablets from such brands, so why not give them 15 minutes of fame?
Huawei is a brand I only know about because they produce most of the 3G USB modems sold in Norway. Both the Ideos S7 Pro and Ideos S7 Slim tablets are present at Mobile World Congress which is going on these days. The S7 Pro has a dual core 1.2Ghz CPU, 3G, two cameras and USB/HDMI- but only Android 2.3m not Honeycomb (3.0) which is an odd choice. The S7 Slim is an update to the existing S7 and replaces the resistive screen with a capacitive one. GPS, Bluetooth, 3G, rear camera and USB/HDMI/microSD makes it a well-equipped 7″ device which is supposedly going to cost only $300, about the same as the Archos 70. It’s running Android 2.2, which makes it yet another example of what I’ve been saying regarding the randomness of Android OS versions.
SmartDevices is a brand I’ve heard about only because I’ve spent too much time on Chinese webshops. It’s basically a Chinese brand that is an actual brand and not just one that copies other brands. They’ve had tablets on the market since before the tablet craze started and have quite a few fans because they generally have very affordable products. Their SmartQ Ten is reported to have a 9.7″ 768×1024 screen, 512MB RAM, Arm Cortex A9 CPU running at a measly 720Mhz, 8GB of flash memory and GPS/WiFi/Bluetooth.
It runs Android 2.2, which again is a couple of version behind what it should be running. Price is unknown, but we can hope that it stays around $300 to make it a viable option despite sounding rather slow for a 2011 tablet. Engadget reports that it has a pizoelectric screen which gives you multitouch input while at also working with any object (such as a plastic stylus).
A Korean company called Hardkernel also has a new tablet to show off, called the ODROID-A. It’s on the other end of the price scale compared to the above, at $749. The most interesting feature is a dual core 1Ghz Samsung CPU, which ironically is not being used in Samsung’s own tablets. The screen is also rather interesting at 1366×768, making it even more widescreen than the 1280×800 on the Xoom/Toshiba tablet/Asus tablets. Despite adding a gyroscope to the normal GPS/Bluetooth/3G/Wifi/dual cameras, it still is only an Android 2.3 device, making it pretty pointless in today’s market.