Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets may have turned out to be very expensive, but Android-loaded models continue as before, some shipping for a lot less than some may expect.
The newest tablet from ASUS is particularly cheap, considering that it relies on the same processing platform as most $499 / 499 Euro models.
Indeed, NVIDIA's Tegra 3 quad-core 4-PLUS-1 SoC (system-on-chip) acts as the heart of the ASUS ME301T MemoPad 10. As the name implies, the screen size is of 10.1 inches.
The specifications of the tablet are actually the same as what would have been expected from an iPad competitor last year.
The screen itself, for example, has a native resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, one step above the 720p needed for HD video playback.
The storage capacity is of 16 GB. One might say this is not much, until the realization that cheap tablets usually have only 8 GB.
ASUS also gave the ME301T MemoPad 10 support for Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, though no broadband.
The company does intend to release 3G or 4G-capable versions, but this first tablet lacks such connectivity technology.
ASUS will have the tablet on display in Las Vegas, Nevada during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2013).
Businessmen are the targeted customer segment and shipments should begin around the middle of February. According to online retailers, there will be white, blue and fuchsia color options for the back cover.
Prospective buyers should be careful where they place their orders though. Some retailers may charge more than the sum we cited above, though it will still be a fair bit smaller than the “standard” $499 / 499 Euro.
Expect other Android 4.1 Jelly Bean cheap tablets to debut over the next few months. Lower prices are required in order to sell in spite of the existence of Windows 8/RT tablets.