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8.4-inch Android 2.1 tablet on sale for $230

Dec 17, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

E Fun released a new version of its line of “Nextbook” Android tablets with an unusual 8.4-inch screen size. The $230 Next3 runs Android 2.1 on a dual-core, 600MHz ARM9 processor, and offers an 8.4-inch, 800 x 600 resistive touchscreen, Wi-Fi, SD expansion, and Borders eBook store access, says the company.

According to E Fun, its first commercially available Nextbook Android tablet, the seven-inch Next2, "exceeded all expectations" when it was released in November, selling out on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) in less than a week.

The new version boosts the price to $230, and switches to an 8.4-inch, 800 x 600 touchscreen, although it sticks with the cheaper, less touch-friendly resistive technology.


Typically tablets fall into the seven- or 10.1-inch camps, with the Apple iPad somewhat of an outlier at 9.7 inches. However, next year we are likely to see more tablets that blur the difference in the eight-inch area.

Like the Next2, the Next3 is built on an unnamed dual-core ARM9 system-on-chip (SoC), although one of those cores appears to be a DSP. Both are clocked to 600MHz, says the company. (One processor that might fit this description is the ZiiLabs ZMS-05.)

The Next3 doubles available RAM to 256MB, and offers the same amount of internal flash (2GB) as the Next2. It also provides an SD expansion port that tops out at 8GB, says E Fun.

The tablet features 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, as well as a USB 2.0 port, a G-sensor, speakers, and an 3.5mm earphone jack, says E Fun. Battery life is said to range from four to six hours. The 8.37 x 6.35 x 0.45-inch tablet weighs a light 1.08 pounds, and a removable case is supplied with a magnetic closure for protection, says E Fun.

Next3 in its case

The Android 2.1 bundle does not appear to include Google apps, but the Next3 does offer applications including a web browser, YouTube, music and video players, and a photo viewer. An e-reader app from Kobo Books hooks up to Borders eBook store and its one million plus titles, and the tablet ships with 25 preloaded ebook titles, says E Fun.

Other apps are said to include a notepad, calendar, alarm clock, contacts, and games. Meanwhile, "hundreds" of third-party apps can be downloaded, says the company. This would suggest, that like most Android tablets, the Next3 does not offer access to the more than 100,000 apps on Android Market, the vast majority of which are not optimized for tablets.

Stated Jason Liszewski, managing director and VP of Sales for E Fun, "Our new Next3 tablet continues our objective to provide easy-to-use lifestyle products filled with fun and functionality.


The Next3 tablet e-reader will be available through today exclusively on HSN for $230, and then will be available at various online and brick and mortar retailers, says the company. It is unclear whether the price will jump at that point — E Fun's Next3 web page shows a price of $299. A spec sheet may be found in this Next3 datasheet PDF .

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