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ZTE Android tablets popping up everywhere

Jan 27, 2012 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

ZTE is readying a number of seven-inch Android tablets, starting with a dual-core, Android 3.2-based ZTE Optik tablet heading for Sprint Feb. 5 and a similar, but 4G LTE-equipped V66 tablet headed for Verizon, reports say. Meanwhile, a seven-inch ZTE V9A Light Tab 2 just went on pre-order in the U.K, and we're still waiting for two tablets ZTE showed at the Consumer Electronics Show: a seven-inch T72 tablet and quad-core T98.

As we head toward Mobile World Congress, which will be held later than usual this year (Feb. 27-Mar. 1 in Barcelona), the Android leak-and-tip game has heated up into full boil again.

This week, there's been plenty of talk about Android tablets coming soon from Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer ZTE, which along with Huawei, is starting to gain major Android smartphone market share. The phones are primarily on the low end, as with the recently announced, ZTE-manufactured AT&T Avail. But now, both companies are increasingly moving into Android tablets.

All the new ZTE tablets are seven-inch models running Android 3.2 ("Honeycomb"), or in the case of the T98, Android 4.0. Last fall when the T98 was first tipped (see farther below), a 10.1-inch Light Tab 3S also came to light.

Featuring a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1280 x 800 resolution, the Light Tab 3S was expected to ship in the U.S. and Europe by the end of 2011. Although the tablet is shown on this translated ZTE page, it's unclear if it has actually begun shipping.

The new tablets detailed below follow up on ZTE's flagship, Android 2.1 based ZTE Light, which was announced in Oct. 2010 with a Telechips ARM11 system on chip (SoC). Last year, the company also launched a ZTE V9 seven-inch tablet running Android 2.1.

 ZTE Optik

The first ZTE tablet to ship stateside may well be the ZTE Optik, pictured at right in an advertisement shot leaked to AndroidPolice. According to the website's Jan. 25 report, the seven-inch tablet will be available to Sprint customers online on Feb. 5, followed by a brick-and-mortar appearance on March 11.

The tablet features Android 3.2 running on a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. Additional specs include 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage with microSD expansion, and both five- and two-megapixel cameras, says the advertisement.

3G is available, along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and the device is equipped with a 4000mAh battery. The price is said to be a reasonable $100 with a two year agreement, or $349 off contract.

ZTE V66

In early December, The Verge reported on an FCC filing for a ZTE V66 tablet equipped with a 4G LTE radio designed for Verizon's network. On Jan. 26, UnwiredView published a photo (below) of the V66 originally posted by the Bluetooth SIG.


ZTE V66

Source: Bluetooth SIG

Taken all together, the specs are identical to the Sprint-destined ZTE Optik, except for the apparent lack of a 4G LTE radio on the Optik. It's unclear when Verizon will launch the V66 or under what name.

ZTE V9A – Light Tab

Yet another seven-inch Android 3.x tablet was announced for pre-order sales at Clove's online store in the U.K., as reported by TechWeek Europe. The ZTE V9A – Light Tab is a more modest affair than the Optik/V66 tablets, as it runs Android 2.3 on a single-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255, according to Clove. 

The ZTE V9A – Light Tab (pictured at left), apparently an update to last year's V9, is equipped with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal flash, and a 32GB-ready microSD slot, says Clove.

The seven-inch display offers 1024 x 600 pixels, according to Clove. The device also features both a 3.2- and 0.3-megapixel camera.

A SIM slot is available for a 3G HSPA card, and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and GPS are also said to be available. Measuring 12.6mm thick, the tablet includes a 3400mAh battery.

Now available for pre-order at 235 Pounds ($369), including VAT, the V9 is expected to ship in late February.

ZTE T72

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ZTE was said to have shown both the T98 (see below) and yet another seven-inch budget tablet. The latter, called the T72, is unveiled with full specs on PDAdb.net, which says the tablet is due to ship in February.

The tablet runs Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread") on an 800MHz Cortex-A8 processor. Featuring 512MB of RAM and 14.9GB of internal storage, the T72 (pictured) offers a microSD slot. The seven inch capacitive display is said to offer 1024 x 600 resolution.

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and GPS are all said to be available, along with a 3.1-megapixel camera. CDMA cellular support is provided, with no mention of 3G, let alone 4G, suggesting the T72 is aimed at emerging nations.

ZTE T98

All these tablets pale in comparison to the ZTE T98, which was tipped in September. At the time, it seemed as if this might be the first tablet to ship with Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 processor. That honor instead went to the subsequently announced Asus Transformer Prime, which has since gone on to ship with Android 4.0. (At CES, Asus announced two more Tegra 3-based tablets, including the 10.1-inch Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF700T.)


ZTE T98

Source: Engadget

Also at CES, ZTE showed off the T98, according to Engadget, which supplied the above photo, as well as a hands-on video. The seven-inch powerhouse was branded as a China Mobile device, and featured Android 4.0 running on a Tegra 3, with its four main cores underclocked to 1.3GHz, according to the story.

The T98 is said to be further equipped with a 1280 x 800 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, and a 4000mAh battery. The tablet offers a five-megapixel rear camera without LED flash, but provides 1080p HD video capture, said Engadget. A 1.3-megapixel front-facing cam is also said to be available. There was still no pricing or availability information.

Eric Brown can be reached at [email protected]isenterprise.com.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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