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Two low-cost Android tablets take on U.K. market

Oct 5, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Irish consumer electronics manufacture Disgo has begun selling a seven-inch, 1GHz Android 2.1 tablet, called the Disgo Tablet 6000, for 180 U.K. Pounds ($285). The release follows the announcement from British fashion retailer Next that it has begun selling a 10-inch, 1GHz ARM11-based “Next 10″ Tablet” running Android 2.1 for the same price — but an early review dubs it “dreadful.”

Amazon UK, Play.com, and HMV have all begun taking orders for the seven-inch Disgo Tablet 6000 tablet, which will ship this month, says Disgo.

The Disgo tablet runs Android 2.1 on an iMAPx200 processor, which is listed as a 1GHz SoC with 16KB of L2 cache. The processor is also said to have a 266MHz operating frequency, which may well refer to the memory bus. The iMAPx200 offers a 2D/3D graphic accelerator and "full HD capabilities" at "up to 1080p" says Disgo.


Disgo Tablet 6000

According to several forum posts around the web, an iMAPx200 is the same as an IX200 processor used on Zenithink's Linux-based, 10-inch Zenithink ZT-180 tablet. According to one post on AndroidTablet, the IX-200 was wrongly claimed by Zenithink to offer an ARM Cortex-A8 processor. The 1GHz processor actually runs on an ARM11 core, says the post.

The Disgo Tablet 6000 tablet is further equipped with 256MB of DDR2 memory, as well as a 2GB microSD card that fits a slot than can expand to 32GB, says Disgo. The seven-inch TFT touchscreen offers 800 x 480 resolution, says the company.


Disgo Tablet 6000 in portrait mode

The Disgo tablet ships with 802.11 b/g/n, and offers two USB 2.0 ports, with one a mini-USB port and the other a standard OTG port, says Disgo. Other features are said to include a mini-HDMI port, a 2.5mm earphone jack, and dual 0.5 Watt speakers.

The tablet is said to have a thickness of 0.57 inches (14.6mm) and offers a DC jack and a 1500mAh rechargeable polymer battery.

The Androidi 2.1 tablet supports Android Marketplace, says the company. Preloaded applications are said to include YouTube, the SlideMe Market apps downloader, the wowBook eReader, and the Skyfire web browser.

Stated Luke Noonan, purchasing director of Disgo, "We believe that the Android OS gives the Disgo Tablet 6000 the flexibility needed to tailor every unit to the users' own distinct interests."

Next 10" Tablet

If 180 Pounds ($285) may seem like a pretty good deal for a seven-inch tablet, it may be even more appealing for a 10-inch model. U.K. retailer Next has begun selling just such a beast, although if one early review is to be believed, it may not be worth a farthing (see farther below).

Next 10" Tablet

The Next 10" Tablet runs Android 2.1 on another 1GHz ARM11 processor, in this case, the LNX Code 11. This appears to be an ARM11 cousin to Chempros Limited's Xburst-based LNX Code 8, which in turn appears to be related to the Ingenic Xburst processor.

The LNX Code 11 is backed up with 256MB of DDR2 memory, as well as 2GB of internal flash and an 8GB microSD card, says Next. The 10.1-inch resistive touchscreen offers 1024 x 600 resolution, says the company.

Next 10" Tablet in portrait mode

The Next 10" Tablet is further equipped with 802.11b/g, two USB 2.0 ports, and an Ethernet cable via an optional adapter. Additional features are said to include accelerometers, a 3.5mm headphone port, and stereo speakers.

The Next 10" Tablet measures 10.63 x 7.05 x 0.63 inches (270 x 179 x 16mm) and weighs 24.5 ounces (695 grams), says the company. The lithium-ion battery, meanwhile, is said to last only three hours.

Port detail on Next 10" Tablet

After reviewing these specs, a reviewer at PDA-247 had high hopes for the Next tablet. These were quickly dashed, however,  as the device was found to offer build quality described as being "frankly appalling."

Performance, meanwhile, was said to be very slow. "Every screen scroll is juddery and slow, every screen tap is imprecise," says the review. The reviewer also found that one in three apps crashed, and attempts to play YouTube videos failed.

The screen is said to be okay, but colors are washed out when viewed at an angle, says the review. Battery life, meanwhile, is said to be 30 minutes, not three hours.

Finally, the software mix is limited, and there is no Android Market access, says the review. The OfficeSuite app, meanwhile, was said to be available only in Chinese.

In conclusion, writes the PDA-247 reviewer, the "dreadful" Next 10" Tablet is "the worst product I have ever had the misfortune to review."

Availability

The Disgo Tablet 6000 is available in the U.K. for 180 Pounds ($285) this month from Amazon.co.uk, Play.com, and HMV, off a standard price of 200 Pounds. More information may be found at Disgo, here, as well as at Play.com, here, which lists the device as being temporarily out of stock.

The Next 10" Tablet is now is available in the U.K. for 180 Pounds, says Next. More information may be found at the company website, here.

The PDA-247 review of the Next tablet 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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