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Android tablet triplets include kid-friendly model

Jul 14, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Velocity Micro announced three seven-inch, Android-based tablets. The $200 Cruz Reader and “kid-friendly,” drop-resistant, $150 Cruz StoryPad both offer resistive displays, while the $300 Cruz Tablet offers a capacitive multitouch display and other enhancements, says the company.

Virginia-based system integrator Velocity Micro says it will ship the Cruz Reader and Cruz StoryPad in August, and will follow up with the Cruz Tablet in September. The processor is not listed for the devices — which we suspect may be based on a third-party OEM design — nor does the company mention which version of Android is available.

Other specs have been detailed, however, for the Cruz Reader (below) and Cruz Tablet, although fewer information was offered on the Cruz StoryPad.

Velocity Micro's Cruz Reader
(Click to enlarge)

The Cruz Reader is equipped with 256MB RAM, 256MB internal flash, and a 2GB SD card, whereas the Cruz Tablet offers 512MB RAM, 4GB internal flash, and an 8GB card, says Velocity Micro. Both offer a seven-inch touchscreen, but the Cruz Reader uses resistive technology (with a 4:3 aspect ratio and 800 x 600 resolution), while the Cruz Tablet moves up to a multitouch capacitive screen (with 800 x 480 resolution and a 16:9 ratio), the company says.

Cruz Tablet

(Click to enlarge)

Both tablet devices are equipped with a mini-USB port, as well as Wi-Fi, but the Reader uses 802.11b/g while the Tablet moves up to the higher-bandwidth 802.11n standard, says Velocity Micro. Both offer accelerometers and standard audio accoutrement, but the Tablet also offers a built-in microphone in addition to a mic jack, says the company. The Cruz Reader is available with a docking station with higher quality speakers, an option that is apparently not available with the Tablet.

Cruz Reader in docking station

(Click to enlarge)

Both the Cruz Reader and Cruz Tablet supply removable batteries. The Reader is said to offer six hours of reading time on the spec list, but is touted by the press release as providing 10 hours of battery life and 24 hours of standby time. Meanwhile, the Cruz Tablet is said to offer six hours of video playback.

While the Reader is billed as an e-reader and the Tablet as a multimedia device, both are touted for offering high-quality audio and video playback. Specific resolutions and frame rates are not detailed, however.

Cruz Tablet, front and side views

The Cruz Tablet supports the same e-reader formats as the Reader, including ePub, as well as the Reader's 100 pre-installed e-books. It's not clear, however, whether it also offers the Reader's Borders app, which is said to provide access to some two million Borders e-books. Both devices are also said to offer access to a "Cruz Market" open content portal for apps, magazines, and videos.

The kid-oriented Cruz StoryPad

Fewer details are available on the Cruz StoryPad. The device "packs tons of multimedia features into a kid-friendly, drop-resistant package, letting children read, learn, and interact using a simple and intuitive touch interface," says Velocity Micro.

The Cruz StoryPad appears to offer the same resistive seven-inch screen as the Reader, with 800 x 600 resolution and a 4:3 aspect ratio. Capable of "high-res video and high-quality audio playback," the tablet supplies an SD card, as well as pre-installed audio book content that "reads classic stories as the child follows along," says the company. The StoryPad is said to be available in pink, blue, and green.

Specifications listed for the Cruz Reader and Cruz Tablet, with differences noted, include:

  • Memory:
    • RAM — 256MB (Reader) or 512MB (Tablet)
    • Internal flash — 256MB (Reader) or 4GB (Tablet)
    • External flash via SD card — 2GB (Reader) or 8GB (Tablet)
  • Display — 7-inch, 4:3 ratio, 800 × 600 resistive TFT (Reader) or 7-inch, 800 x 480, capacitive, 16:9 ratio multitouch (Tablet)
  • Wireless — 802.11b/g (Reader) or 802.11n (Tablet)
  • USB — Mini USB
  • Audio — mic jack; headphone jack; speakers; built-in mic (Tablet only)
  • Other features — accelerometers; docking station option with speakers (Reader only); rubberized back (Reader only)
  • Audio playback — MP3, WAV, AAC; WMA (Tablet only)
  • Video playback — MPEG-4, H.263, H.264; MOV/AVI (Tablet only)
  • Text support — ePub, PDF, TXT, HTML
  • Software:
    • Web browser and email
    • High res video and high quality audio playback with no proprietary content restrictions
    • Dictionary, notepad, calendar, alarm clock, contacts, games, other apps
    • 100+ pre-installed ebooks
    • Access to over two million ebooks via included Borders E-book portal app (possibly Reader only)
    • Access to the "Cruz Market" open content portal
  • Dimensions — 7.55 x 5.6 x 0.57 inches (Reader); 7.49 x 5.6 x 0.59 inches (Tablet)
  • Weight — Under 1 lb (Reader)
  • Battery — User-replaceable battery; 6+ hours reading (Reader); 6+ hours video (Tablet)
  • Operating system — Android

Cruz Reader
(Click to enlarge)

Stated Randy Copeland, President and CEO of Velocity Micro, "Since 1992, Velocity Micro has been dedicated to building remarkable consumer electronics. With the development of the Cruz line, we were able to take those enthusiast sensibilities and package them for the mainstream consumer to create a product that's not only amazing, but affordable as well."


The Cruz Reader (starting at $200) and the Cruz StoryPad (starting at $150) will be available "from most major retailers," as well as direct from Velocity Micro, in August, says the company. The $300 Cruz Tablet will follow on Sept. 1.

More information on the Cruz Reader and Cruz Tablet may be found here.

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