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Seven-inch Android tablet ships in Germany

Aug 2, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Smartbook AG is shipping a seven-inch, 800 x 480 tablet computer for the German market equipped with Android 2.1. The Smartbook Surfer runs on a Telechips TTC8902 processor clocked to 720MHz, and offers 256MB of DDR2 memory, 2GB of flash, 802.11b/g, optional GPS, and a webcam, says the company.

The Telechips TTC8902 processor driving the Smartbook Surfer has been used in a number of Windows CE-based tablets, such as the PandaWill X10, the Airis iTab7, and likely the Windows CE version of the new Infibeam Phi. (There's also an Android version of the Phi, which instead runs a 600MHz ARM9 processor.) The ARM11-based TTC8902 can apparently clock up to 800MHz, though Telechips has yet to post information on it.

Smartbook Surfer in its leather case

Smartbook AG clocks the TTC8902 in the Smartbook Surfer to 720MHz, and claims the processor is capable of displaying 1080P video. The tablet is further equipped with 256MB of DDR2 RAM, 2GB of internal NAND flash, and a miniSD slot that can hold up to 32GB, says the company.  The device's seven-inch touchscreen offers 800 x 480 resolution, although the type of touchscreen technology used is not mentioned.

The Smartbook Surfer (pictured at left) provides 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, an optional GPS module, a webcam, two USB 2.0 ports, and an HDMI port, says the company. Additional features are said to include a stereo speaker, microphone, and a 1400 mAh battery.

According to TouchmeMobile.de, the Smartbook Surfer is based on the Kinstone KMD-UMD 070NK tablet. The site posted a demo of this Kinstone tablet demo from the CeBit show in Germany this spring, with the device running Windows CE. The site notes, however, that an Android version was said to be in the works at the time (see link farther below, as well as images from the video posted below).

Screen from a YouTube demo of Kinstone's KMD-UMD 070NK tablet, said to be the foundation for the Smartbook Surfer
Source: TouchmeMobile.de

Liliputing, which picked up the Surfer story from Germany-based Ndevil.com, noted that the device is somewhat reminiscent of the Augen Gentouch78, which went on sale recently for $150. The story says the Smartbook Surfer costs 179 Euros, or about $235; however, Smartbook AG lists a $250 MSRP (about $327), making it almost twice the cost of the Augen tablet, but considerably cheaper than the Apple iPad.

Kinstone KMD-UMD 070NK from the side
Source: TouchmeMobile.de

The story also notes that the Smartbook Surfer adds a webcam, GPS, and HDMI, compared to the Gentouch78, and offers two USB ports instead of one. The Surfer's battery, however, is limited to a 1400mAh model, compared to the Augen tablet's 2100mAh battery, the story notes. 

Kmart's Augen Gentouch78 dinged in reviews

Early reviews of the Augen Gentouch78 (pictured at right) have not been exactly kind. Laptop's K. T. Bradford lays it on the line after a first-look examination by writing, "Tablets have hit rock bottom. And we're not just talking about the low, low price of the Augen GenTouch78. This K-Mart special is just that bad."

Granted, Laptop has yet to offer a full review, but Bradford was immediately stymied by a poor resistive touchscreen display technology that proved to be so sluggish and unresponsive, it appeared to be almost usable. The review also slammed the device for its placement of tiny buttons on the back of the device, inability to run YouTube videos, and a temporarily disabled Android Market.

Engadget's Joanna Stern was more forgiving, taking the low price into consideration. The review runs through many of the same complaints, including the buggy Android Market, ridiculous buttons, and poor touchscreen, but notes that the touchscreen works fine if one uses the supplied stylus.

Stern concludes, "Considering most Kmarts have been selling out of these within hours of receiving new inventory, this just may be the answer all you cheap tablet seekers have been looking for — just be prepared to put up with more than a few annoyances along the way."

Availability

The Smartbook Surfer is on sale in Germany for 250 Euros, or about $327, says Smartbook AG. More information may be found here.

The Liliputing report on the Surfer may be found here, and the TouchmeMobile.de story should be here.

The Laptop review of the Augen Gentouch78 should be here, and the Engadget review of the Gentouch78 may be found 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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