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Kmart debuts $180 Android tablet

Nov 15, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Kmart began selling an Android 2.1 tablet from Digital Gadgets for $180 called the Sylvania 7″ Tablet. Meanwhile, NEC will soon start shipping its LifeTouch Android tablet, sales of Toshiba's Folio 100 Android tablet have been halted due to screen defects, and Lenovo is prepping a tablet for 2011, say reports.

Joining a growing number of Android tablets available in the U.S. for under $200, the Sylvania 7" Tablet is now selling at Kmart's online store for $180. (The tablet, formally known as the Sylvania 7'' MID Tablet Wireless Mobile Internet Device, was first selling for only $150, according to a Christian Science Monitor story, but today's price is $180. The story adds that the tablet will soon be selling at Toys R Us for $140.)

Sylvania 7" Tablet

(Click to enlarge)

The Sylvania 7" inch is equipped with a 1GHz IMAPX200 processor, according to a web-page from Digital Gadgets, an official licensee of Sylvania-branded products. The IMAPx200 is an ARM11-based applications processor from Infotmic (further details, here) which is said to support 1080p HD video.

IMAPX200 block diagram

(Click to enlarge)

The Sylvania 7" Tablet  is further equipped with 512MB RAM, 2GB flash, and a microSD slot that supports up to 16GB, says Digital Gadgets. The tablet provides a seven-inch, 800 x 480 resistive screen, says the company.

The tablet offers 802.11b/g, two mini-USB ports, and a six-hour, 1500mAh battery. In addition, the device is said to have an HDMI output, a 0.3-megapixel camera, and an earphone jack.

The Sylvania 7" Tablet is also said to be supplied with a light sensor and 3G dongle support. Its Android 2.1 stack provides "web browsing at your fingertips," as well as "access to thousands of apps," Kmart claims.

Digital Gadgets last came to our attention in 2008 when it announced a Sylvania-brand 8.9-inch "g netbook MESO" netbook that ran Linux. The Kmart page for the Sylvania 7" Tablet may be found here, and the more detailed Digital Gadgets page may be found here.

NEC's LifeTouch to ship by month's end

NEC announced that it will start shipping its previously unveiled, seven-inch "LifeTouch" Android tablet by the end of the month in Japan. When it was announced in June, the LifeTouch was touted for its Japanese language fonts, menus, and virtual keyboard.

NEC LifeTouch Cloud Communicator

In its new announcement, the Android 2.1 tablet is respun for the business market as a "Cloud Communicator" product that offers support for corporate client services. According to an Engadget story, the design has been altered slightly by "ditching a handful of buttons." Yet the tablet currently showcased on the NEC site (pictured above) looks pretty much the same as the original (below).

As Engadget notes, the specs "apparently remain unchanged." The only difference we can see is the trimming in weight from 400 grams to 390 grams, or 13.7 ounces.

The LifeTouch, as unveiled in June

The LifeTouch is based on an unnamed ARM Cortex-A8-based processor, and includes 256MB of RAM. The resistive, seven-inch touchscreen offers 800 x 480 resolution, says NEC.

Other LifeTouch features are said to include an SDHC slot, 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, and GPS, as well as USB 2.0 host and device ports. A three-megapixel camera is also supplied, says the company.

The LifeTouch enables corporate customers to "improve efficiency," as well as "generate new revenues through customer services," says NEC. The company is offering customization services on both hardware and software "in response to the content and business needs of corporate customers," and is providing a special development environment said to enable customers to make their own enhancements.

For more information, see our earlier coverage, here, as well as a translated NEC web page for the tablet, here.

Toshiba Folio 100 sales halted over flaws

Only ten days after its European launch, U.K. online retailer PC World stopped selling the Toshiba Folio 100 Android tablet, due to high return rates and complaints about defects, says an Engadget story.

Indeed, Engadget had given the pre-release version of the tablet a bad review, and the shipping version was even worse, according to the publication's Richard Lai.

Toshiba Folio 100

"The 10.1-inch LCD is haunted by an inferior pixel density plus narrow viewing angles; and the cheap plastic casing doesn't help, either," writes Lai in his followup evaluation. "Most importantly, the official Android Market app was still MIA, which is no doubt the biggest turn-off for the buyers."

According to the story, buyers have also complained about a buggy Toshiba Market Place app, and the lack of pinch-to-zoom support in the browser.

The tablet was set for a fourth quarter release in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, although that may slip a bit. Engadget says that the tablet has been pulled by the DSG International chain, owners of PC World.

The Folio 100 runs Android 2.2 on an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and offers a 10.1-inch, WSVGA display, says Toshiba The tablet is equipped with 16GB of internal flash, as well as a SD/MMC card reader.

Additional Folio 100 features include 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, a USB 2.0 port, and a 1.3-megapixel webcam, says Toshiba. The tablet is also said to offer a mini-HDMI port, a microphone, speakers, an audio jack, and accelerometers.

Lenovo tablets due in 2011

Lenovo will launch a tablet in the U.S. in 2011, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing offered few details to the Journal, but suggested the device will also launch in China.

The story did not reveal the operating systems that will be supported with the new tablets, but this summer, Lenovo was rumored to be working on an Android-based tablet called the LePad. At the time, the LePad was said to be due by the end of the year, a ship date that now appears to have slipped.

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