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Android tablet offers WiFi, optional 3G

Jan 18, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Taiwan-based startup Camangi is shipping an Android-based tablet computer with a 7-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen. The WebStation is equipped with an ARM-based 624MHz Marvell PXA303 processor, and offers GPS, WiFi, and 3G USB dongle support, but a Laptop review faulted it for spotty video performance and limited viewing angles.

Numerous consumer-focused tablet and slate computers were on display at this month's CES show in Las Vegas, many of them loaded with Android, but few of them were actually shipping. Camangi announced its WebStation in October, and the device now appears to be shipping, joining only a few others in the 7-inch or larger tablet category for consumers, such as the Linux-based Archos 7.

Camangi WebStation

There are many more smaller 4- to 5-inch display models available, and the five-inch Archos 5 is now available in an Android version, but these smaller devices are generally referred to as mobile Internet devices (MIDs) instead of tablets. In addition, pricier Linux-based tablet, slate, and panel-PCs have been shipping for years to serve vertical markets such as medical practices. (For the full gamut, see our recently updated "Linux-based MIDs, UMPCs, and Tablets" showcase.)

Camangi offers some 60 Android apps for the WebStation, but no access to Android Marketplace.

The Camangi WebStation runs Android 1.5 on a Marvell PXA303 processor clocked at 624MHz. The PXA393 is one of the Monahans XScale family of PXA3x processors, such as the PXA320. Equipped with 128MB of Mobile DDR and 265MB NAND, the device ships with an 8GB SD card, expandable to 16GB, says Camangi.

The WebStation offers a stand, and can be set up as a digital picture frame.

Measuring 4.7 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches and weighing 13.75 ounces, the WebStation offers a 7-inch glass resistive touchscreen with 800×480 resolution, says the company. WiFi is the standard mode of communication, but one of the two USB ports is said to support 3G cellular dongles.

GPS and G-sensors are also provided, along with standard audio speakers, a microphone, and 3.5mm headphone jack. The battery is said to last four to five hours under typical use, with up to four days standby battery life.

The WebStation measures less than 0.6-inches thick

The WebStation supports only 3GP or MP4 video, but also supports 3GP, MP3, MP4, OGG, MID, and WAV audio, as well as a number of standard image formats which can be displayed in slide shows. The device is also billed as an e-reader of sorts, but it supports only EPUB and TXT files, not PDF files.

Specifications listed for the Camangi WebStation are said to include:

  • Processor — Marvell PXA303 624MHz
  • Memory — 128MB Mobile DDR
  • Flash — 265MB NAND (system); 8GB microSD card, expandable to 16GB
  • Display — 7-inch, 800 x 480 TFT LCD resistive touchscreen; 16M True Color
  • WiFi — 802.11 b/g
  • USB — Type A and mini-B USB ports
  • GPS — GPS module
  • Audio:
    • Speaker (80hm 2x 1W)
    • 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
    • omnidirectional microphone
  • Other features — G sensor; suction-cup stand; white color, with black and pink coming soon
  • Battery:
    • 3.7V 4000mAh lithium polymer
    • Charging via 5V 3A DC in
    • Up to 4-5 hours general use
    • Up to 4 days standby (without WiFi or GPS use)
  • Dimensions — 4.7 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches (120 x 200 x 14.5mm)
  • Weight — 13.75 ounces (around 390 g)
  • Operating system — Android 1.5

A Laptop review of the WebStation last week praised the device for its design and durability, as well as its Web browser. However, the review faulted the device for its relatively slow performance, unresponsive touchscreen, poor viewing angles, and limited support for video formats. In addition, the device lacks access to Android Marketplace, says the review, and only 60 Android apps are available at present from Camangi.

Availability

The Camangi WebStation is available now for $400, according to Laptop. However, the Camangi site says the "pre-order event" is over, and due to high demand and shortages, the device does not appear to be currently available for pre-order. More information on the WebStation may be found here.

The Laptop review of the device should be here.


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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