With companies like Samsung getting in on the budget tablet market, there’s more competition in a field that used to contain mostly cheap, unknown brands. As a result, we’re seeing better specs on such devices, and the MarquisPad MP977 is proof of that. With a dual core 1.2GHz TI chip, 1GB of RAM, and a 768 x 1024 9.7-inch screen it’s well within its right to hover around the $250 mark, and brings a much larger screen to the game than most of the tablets in that price range. That in itself makes it an option for people who think tablets like the Kindle Fire are too small, as it’s the same screen size and resolution as the iPad 1 and 2.
The price does mean cutbacks here and there though, like with storage. 4GB is all you get, but half of that is on an SD card that you can upgrade up to 32GB. The camera is also not all that, being VGA (640 x 480, 0.3 megapixels) only, and seeing a 30 pin connector in a device like this is peculiar. Perhaps the biggest drawback is the battery, which only lasts up to about 5 hours. Still, all things considered, it’s not a bad deal for $249 when it releases later this month.[Matsunichi via Engadget]