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Kmart Briefly Offers $149 Android Tablet

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the attention-shoppers dept.

Android 245

pickens writes in with word that Kmart put an Android tablet on sale for $149 — and quickly sold out. "A Kmart circular came out last week with an uber-geeky product that perked up a few ears in the gadget community. Augen's 7-inch Gen-78 Android tablet which runs Android 2.1 is on sale for $150 (normally $170). The tablet is as bare bones as it gets, but it does work and has some features which may interest those who can't reconcile the $500+ price of Apple's iPad. Features include Android 2.1 (no skinning), 7" 800x480 Display, WiFi 802.11G, 2GB of storage +SD card slot (up to 32GB), 256MB of RAM (same as iPad), HDMI out for 720P viewing on an external display, an eBook reader, YouTube app, and Maps. ... 'I'll be honest,' writes Seth Weintraub. 'I don't trust my toddler with an iPad but this thing will be great for watching Gumby (don't ask) at home and Sesame Street in the car.'" It seems that Kmart offered rainchecks to those who found the item sold out at their local store — up until July 31. It is not clear whether after the retailer restocks the pipeline, they will stop at fulfilling the rainchecks, or will offer the Augen tablet again to new buyers. An update to the article notes that Augen does not have a license for Android from Google, and therefore the Android Store is not supported on it.

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More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182116)

From LaptopMag [laptopmag.com] Google said:

Augen included proprietary Google software in their product via an unauthorized vendor. Google only licenses its software to partners and OHA [Open Handset Alliance] members directly.

And Augen's CEO responded [laptopmag.com] saying it was unintentional:

the Google Mobile Service and Android Apps were pre installed during the development process on our tablets for testing purposes, and were not removed unintentionally before releasing the products in the market place. Google and Augen came to a mutual understanding that the Google Mobile Services Application Suite pre-installed on the GENTOUCH/ GENBOOK Series; could not be removed due to technological constraints for the products that were sold, shipped, or already produced. For future production runs and deliveries, Augen will block and remove the Google Mobile Services Application Suite from the current devices until further notice.

Augen is not listed as a member of the Open Handset Alliance [openhandsetalliance.com] . Augen's website [augenus.com] still says:

The GENTOUCH78 is a sleek Android powered tablet with a 7” touch screen that connects you with hundreds of your favorite applications from the App Store.

But does not indicate which "App Store."

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (-1, Troll)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182248)

So does this mean that Android is not truly open source, i.e. available to anyone without right holder approval? I never realized that one had to a member of fruity club to develop Android hardware. I thought that was the point, anyone could innovate without corporate approval. It is just a gimmick to sell phones with promise of multi vendor support 'open apps', like MS?

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182318)

The Android Market Place is a proprietary application owned and licensed by Google. Android is an Open Source Operating System.

Link to Source (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182324)

So does this mean that Android is not truly open source, i.e. available to anyone without right holder approval?

You can browse the source right here [kernel.org] . All of that code should be Apache 2.0 license [apache.org] . I think the issue at stake is that they took a module of code that connects to Google's Market place for Android and they're not supposed to be doing that unless they are a member of the Open Handset Alliance. It's not like Google's launching a lawsuit against them but I'd imagine Google doesn't really appreciate that. Hosting that sort of thing can't be cheap (look at how much Apple claims it loses distributing apps) and maybe that's why your membership is needed -- to support that and keep it going.

I never realized that one had to a member of fruity club to develop Android hardware. I thought that was the point, anyone could innovate without corporate approval. It is just a gimmick to sell phones with promise of multi vendor support 'open apps', like MS?

You can get the source yourself and do whatever the hell you want with it. Carriers and phone vendors are demonstrating that they can even lock down Android so "open" doesn't mean f-ckall to the end consumer. You want to get down and dirty and hose up your own version of Android? Go ahead and pull it from that git repository linked above and do something fancy with the sqlite phonebook tree [kernel.org] or whatever you want.

It's open source as can be but how do you "open source" a centralized app store with tons of traffic? I guess you're free to make your own app store and as far as I know, more are emerging. With sideloading you could make it as simple as a file download as long as the user's Android supports sideloading.

Re:Link to Source (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182796)

Carriers and phone vendors are demonstrating that they can even lock down Android so "open" doesn't mean f-ckall to the end consumer.

Thus providing a very widespread example of why the EFF released the GPLv3.

Wake Up (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182892)

Carriers and phone vendors are demonstrating that they can even lock down Android so "open" doesn't mean f-ckall to the end consumer.

Thus providing a very widespread example of why the EFF released the GPLv3.

Let me tell you something (and sort of answer this other confused post [slashdot.org] ), the people who decide which operating system gets put on a phone are not you and me. The end consumer doesn't get to decide that. You don't get to go through a checklist when you select your carrier then model of phone then operating system for it. We would all like that but we know that you select a carrier then they have a sub-selection of phones and each of those phones is stuck with a single operating system. For instance, I cannot get a Verizon plan on an iPhone 4 running Android 2.2.

There are big bucks at stake when it comes to mobile programs being sold to huge swaths of customers and the CEOs and jerkfaces that run the carriers and phone manufacturing plants aren't about to let that chunk of change slip through to the people who actually write those apps. So by sacrificing openness, they know they can lock you into a certain market application or operating system with a built in validation routine for marketing applications. This ensures you do business through them and their affiliates. "Oh, you can't uninstall the NASCAR App that sells you NASCAR crap? Too bad, NASCAR gave me five million to put that piece of trash on all my customer's phones! And honestly, we both knew that wasn't a dealbreaker on your purchase. "

Google knows this. If Google released Android and went to the carriers and phone makers and said "Look, I think you should use Android but when you release it on your device it has to stay open and you can't do this and you can't do that because that harms the end user experience." What do you think the carriers and phone makers would say? You think they'd line up to join the Open Handset Alliance? Nexus One would be the only phone running Android.

So Google makes an open mobile operating system and who's it open for? The people that decide it gets used. It's not you and me, it's not the customer, it's the people running the show.

So what would you rather have? Situation A where we're all running the traditional locked down Symbian/iOS/Microcrap Mobile operating system with no ability to see the kernel source? Or Situation B where parts of the phone are locked down like you can't install a different operating system on most of them and you can't install any marketplace app and some of them have programs you can't remove BUT you can see every line of source code for the underlying kernel!

This isn't perfect but this is progress. Any other attempt at open source and the who party would have walked away from Google. You're out of your goddamn mind if you're going to criticize the current scenario. After Android mops the floor with iOS and other mobile operating systems, we might even edge closer and closer to true openness where I can install whatever Android ROM I want on my phone the second it comes out of the box and my carrier isn't breathing down my neck when I do it. Until then, you gotta take what you can get.

Re:Wake Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182978)

Speak for yourself. I always buy the phone that I want first (with the OS being part of the selection criteria) and then go get a SIM card from whatever carrier I want.

Re:Wake Up (1)

baka_toroi (1194359) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183130)

Well, you are in the minority :(

Re:Wake Up (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183164)

Technically, that's not legal. Hell, it's not even legal for fixed-line telephony.

You have to check if your handset is allowed on their network. The reason "otherwise the whole network could crash".

It's not because no-one checks that something is legal.

Re:Wake Up (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33183446)

Well, I certainly don't know of a law against it. AFAIK, FCC approval is all that's needed. Since you're claiming illegality, I suppose you could point me to the relevant law?

Re:Wake Up (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183214)

Also ...

Customer roms are SO much easier to make for these phones [xda-developers.com] (try the $phone_model android development forums, they're well worth it). Personally I'm gathering courage to try this out on my hero : Froyo for Hero ROM ! [xda-developers.com] .

Given what happened last time it'll take a week's time to pick up the pieces, but hey.

De-facto these are (more or less) open phones. Lots of them. Fuck GPLv3.

Re:Wake Up (1)

Unoti (731964) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183444)

Personally I'm gathering courage to try this out on my hero

A great way to turn a Hero into an Hero [encycloped...matica.com] !

But kidding aside, sounds like a fun project.

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (4, Informative)

Troed (102527) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182326)

Google's applications are not part of Android.

Android is truly open source.

Google's own applications aren't.

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (0, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182548)

Android is not truly open source. Most android phones are locked down and cannot be modified by the user thanks to tivo-ization. GPL 2? might as well be BSD or closed source as far as the end user is concerned. Only GPL v3 is truly open source. It's funny to see companies locking down linux and the slashtards thinking that's a "win" somehow.

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182620)

Only GPL v3 fits my re-definition of open source.

FTFY

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182874)

Well, I can agree that software licenced with GPL v3 is one kind of open source software but I would never call anything with GPL free software.

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183172)

Let's restart the whole BSD vs GPL discussion ! You know, because there are so many unexplored avenues of discussion !

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182826)

Android is not truly open source. Most android phones are locked down and cannot be modified by the user thanks to tivo-ization.

The phones are locked down, not Android. You can download the source code for the kernel, the virtual machine, and the Java frameworks, and do just about anything you want with them.

GPL 2?

Apache license, actually.

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (4, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182908)

Except the Android source is freely available. Your PHONE might be locked down, but Android's source code is not.

Do you even know what "Open Source" means?

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182990)

You are the only slashtard around here. Android is completely open source. Google's proprietary apps such as Google Earth, Google Marketplace, etc. are not the same thing as Android, the operating system. Certain hardware handsets are not the same as Android either, and not all handsets are open, for business reasons.

If you want a completely open handset, get the Nexus One, and you get the full benefit of the open source operating system that is Android. Or get any rootable, unlocked handset, just don't expect the carriers to subsidize a truly open handset for you.

The whining about this drives me nuts - you can have open handsets, or you can have carrier-subsidized handsets, but you aren't likely to get both in the same device. The market has spoken - 95% of people in the US at least want the cheap, carrier-subsidized handsets. The other 5% of people buy the Nexus One at full freight. This topic has been hashed and rehashed, and everybody should know all of this already. Whining about how Android isn't truly open source just makes you look like a fucking retard.

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183046)

But with the Nexus 1 discontinued, and Eric Schmidt having announced there will be no Nexus 2, where does that leave people going forward into the future?

Re:More Details on the Unauthorized App Store Code (2, Insightful)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183394)

But with the Nexus 1 discontinued, and Eric Schmidt having announced there will be no Nexus 2, where does that leave people going forward into the future?

Queuing up to by the Nokia N900. Yes, it runs Linux.

Cheers!

Uber geeky? (5, Informative)

LordBoreal51 (1085741) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182118)

For those unfamiliar with this ultracheap Augen tablet, I'll do my best to sum it up: it's an unusable POS that somehow made it into production (apparently in limited quantities). It has a *resistive* touchscreen (hello 2004), a buggy and nearly unusable implementation of Android 2.1, and mediocre hardware specs which make the G1 feel like it's from the future. I hoped this would make a decent device to play around with for Android hacking and some kernel development, but it's a huge disappointment in nearly every respect. Really, it's not worth it, no matter how cheap it is. You'd have better luck buying an old HTC Magic (MyTouch) from ebay if you want a device to play around with (even with a substantially smaller screen, it's a better experience all around).

Re:Uber geeky? (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182182)

it's a huge disappointment in nearly every respect

Sounds like exactly the kind of merchandise I would expect to see sold at KMart. For that matter, it is a pretty good summary of the KMart shopping experience.

Re:Uber geeky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182246)

So the fact that a shitty retailer offered a $20 discount (the price of a sushi roll or bottle of wine) on a shitty device is frontpage news? Incredible.

Re:Uber geeky? (2, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182292)

So the fact that a shitty retailer offered a $20 discount (the price of a sushi roll or bottle of wine)

That's one hell of a special sushi roll you've got there! Either that, or they really rip you off for sushi wherever you live.

Re:Uber geeky? (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182340)

Ah, the futility of attempting to equate money with any kind of tangible object.

Re:Uber geeky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33183060)

That's one hell of a special sushi roll you've got there! Either that, or they really rip you off for sushi wherever you live.

Sounds like you've never been to a really good sushi place. That price isn't exactly uncommon for top-quality sushi. Of course, that's the kind of stuff that's generally reserved for special occasions.

Re:Uber geeky? (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182278)

I think this is why it is selling. It's a ropey cheap piece of junk that is "good enough" to give to the kids for them to play with and ultimately break.

Re:Uber geeky? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182308)

For those unfamiliar with this ultracheap Augen tablet, I'll do my best to sum it up: it's an unusable POS that somehow made it into production

Just wonderful. Another bottom feeder to poison Linux sales in big box retail.

Re:Uber geeky? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182334)

It may be junk but don't criticize resistive touchscreens. I am used to using resistive screens on PDA. I have recently switched to a smartphone with a capacitive screen and can tell you resistive is the way to go. You have no precision with a giant finger on a capacitive screen. The software tries to overcome the limitations by giving you Fisher Price sized buttons but it still isn't enough.

Re:Uber geeky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33183250)

Indeed, I used to have a Nokia with a resistive screen and could be very precise, specially with use of a nail or stylus. now I have an iphone and precision is lost. hopefully it just takes getting used to.

Re:Uber geeky? (3, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182416)

It has a *resistive* touchscreen (hello 2004),

Don't believe the hype about capacitive. If you intend to take notes on a device then capacitive by itself is absolutely fucking useless. To take notes you have to finger paint like a child rather than write properly with a stylus. Any device pitched at students / ereaders really should have resistive functionality. Apparently there are hybrid screens that offer the best of both worlds.

Re:Uber geeky? (2, Interesting)

LordBoreal51 (1085741) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182482)

I've owned touchscreen devices since the Palm III, and I have to say, I can't stand resistive touch screens any more. I would sacrifice stylus input for no-pressure-required screen interaction any day.

Re:Uber geeky? (4, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182754)

That's why I suggested hybrid devices. There is no doubt capacitive is more responsive for finger gestures but for writing it stinks badly. Capacitive devices including the iPad are useless for note taking. The best of both worlds would be something that handles a light touch via capacitive but allows pressure based sensing too for handwriting.

Re:Uber geeky? (3, Informative)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182952)

Like this [youtube.com] ?

Re:Uber geeky? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183442)

No, nothing like that. I mean built in, not some crappy pen emulation that tries to work around capacitive screens.

Re:Uber geeky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33183284)

Really, it's not worth it, no matter how cheap it is.

As long as it inflates Android Phone marketshare numbers, it is worth it.

That won't get me into KMart... (2, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182152)

The KMart closest to me is such a dump it makes the local Wal-Mart look like Macy's. Even if the local store was giving them away for free, I probably wouldn't be able to find them in the store, nor would I be able to find an employee in the store who could find it for me. The last time I went into the store not only did it look like a small tornado went through the store, the only "employee" (using the term very loosely) I could find was the rent-a-cop security guard at the front door, who was old enough to be my grandfather. The store had neither a cashier nor a customer service employee at the front went I left (after abandoning my purchase on the cash register belt).

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (1)

Soilworker (795251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182230)

(after abandoning my purchase on the cash register belt).

Yea sure.

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (5, Funny)

emj (15659) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182236)

Visiting KMart in Left4Dead 2 doesn't count as going outside.

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182396)

Which is why Walmart has been eating Kmart's luch since the 80s. You describe the two kmarts near me (seperated from each other by 10 miles) down to a tee. There have been instances where I thought one or other has been closed down, because the parking lots have never seen a repaving or resealing in 30 years, lack of cars, and general run-down appearance but no, for some reason they are still open. But no life in them and just expensive relatively.

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (2, Interesting)

Dee Ann_1 (1731324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182404)

That's exactly what happened to the K-Marts in this area (SE Texas) just before they shut them all down about 9-10 years ago.
They got trashy and you couldn't find anyone to help you with anything. It was really sad to see that happen.
I liked having an alternative to Walmart, as those were really the only two department stores in the area.
The other option is to drive way out to the extremely over-priced mall where they sell the same quality imported crap, just at greatly inflated prices and snottier sales people.

The local Walmart is deteriorating just like the old K-Mart did. The theft problem is so bad that they quit bothering to stock a lot of basic things and I have to drive out of town to another Walmart to find just about anything.
I don't know about electronics but clothes and shoe? Nothing. All they sell now are warm up pants and flip flops.
I'll bet the electronics dept is stripped clean. I expect the local Walmart here will shut down within 5 years.

I would have liked to have one of these little things to read e-books in bed.

Now there are no K-Marts in Texas. :-(
You have to drive out of state now. :-(

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182422)

The store had neither a cashier nor a customer service employee at the front

Many years ago, I had a similar experience in a J.C. Penny store in New Jersey. I had just moved, and was buying an armload of bedding, curtains, and towels the middle of a weekday afternoon. So I had a stack of merchandise about three feet high. I couldn't find any store staff anywhere on the floor. So I went to a checkout, picked up the phone behind the counter, and dialed 0. I told the store operator "I'd like to speak to the store manager. This is an unhappy customer." The store manager was put on, and I told him I was in linens, ready to pay, and unable to find a store employee.

About two minutes later, five people show up. One was the store manager. He wasn't the senior person present. Higher management was visiting the store that day. The oldest, a distinguished looking man in a very good suit, quite possibly the CEO of the chain, personally unlocked the register and competently handled the sale. The others stood there silently, looking very uncomfortable. One was sent off to find the missing retail staff.

By now, there were three other customers lined up behind me with merchandise ready to check out. The person sent off to find the sales staff returned from some back rooms, reporting that he couldn't find anyone. Visible annoyance from the senior management. Fear from the store manager.

The senior manager turned the register over to one of the junior people (not a clerk, part of the corporate group) to handle the rest of the line, and the management group departed, taking the store manager off to his fate.

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (1, Offtopic)

vcgodinich (1172985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182816)

That was a really well written, engrossing story, and only at the end did I realize that it really has nothing to do with technology, news, or TFA.

I mean, i enjoyed it, but its funny that it gets modded up when it is really, really offtopic.

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182954)

in a threaded discussion you don't need to share a topic with the root post to be on-topic. all you need to do is share a topic with the parent post

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182956)

Hehe, no kidding, me too. I was about to write a snarky reply when I realized the GP was talking about J.C. Penny, not K-Mart.

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (2, Interesting)

mjblecha (411716) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182478)

You're far too kind.

The KMart I walked into could have been used as a set for a dystopian future reality "Escape from New York" style movie. There was neither customer nor cashier in any of the check out lanes. The woman behind the counter at the service desk had the demeanor of someone waiting for a bus.

Once I got her attention I gave her the SKU. She told me they did not carry that item. I asked if a rain check was possible and she told me they don't do rain checks. I informed her she was standing under a sign that proclaimed a "Rain Check Policy" but she held her ground and told me rain checks weren't done there.

By this time we had attracted the attention of several individuals wearing smocks similar to hers. I walked out before they decided I was threatening one of their own.

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (1, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183162)

The KMart I walked into could have been used as a set for a dystopian future reality "Escape from New York" style movie. There was neither customer nor cashier in any of the check out lanes. The woman behind the counter at the service desk had the demeanor of someone waiting for a bus.

After reading your comment I realized that I forgot to mention that the local KMart I described, on top of all the things wrong with it that I already mentioned, had half their lights off when I walked in (during normal business hours). Allegedly they had half the lights off "to save on energy consumption".

I'm pretty sure that was just the publicly stated reason, and the lights were as they were for one (or more) of:

  • To find out how many of their customers are too blind to notice (after which they'll turn off even more lights)
  • To mask the fact that their store is a total dump
  • To reduce the cost of replacing lights
  • Because they no longer have an employee who knows where the other light switch is

By this time we had attracted the attention of several individuals wearing smocks similar to hers. I walked out before they decided I was threatening one of their own.

Perhaps you should buy some zombie outbreak tape [tshirtbordello.com] before you venture in there again (if you ever do).

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (1)

leamanc (961376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182656)

While my local KMart isn't quite the dystopia you describe (there are usually cashiers at at least half the checkout lanes), it does appear to have been hit by a tornado, with the shelves having not been stocked since 1987 or so. New merchandise is there, but just randomly strewn about. And don't bother asking anyone where anything is.

It's just so depressing to walk in the place. I've just been there in the last couple of years to find Wii games that my kid wanted and were sold out elsewhere. Sure enough, they were there at KMart--as long as I didn't mind going through boxes to find them, or looking at a long shelf of games that had no organization at all. I was "Dad the hero" for finding the only local copy of Wii Carnival Games around Christmastime a couple of years ago, but I felt the need to pop a couple of Prozacs afterwards.

I was thinking of going back to check out this Android device, but the thought of trying to find it in that mess (I sure as hell wasn't going to ask any of the "associates"), and the overall poor reviews online, made me change my mind.

Re:That won't get me into KMart... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182864)

That's the opposite of where I live. K-Mart's (specifically the "Super" K-Mart's) are so much nicer than any Wal-Mart around.

The local Wal-Marts (there are at least 3, maybe 4 within 10 miles) all suck. The stores and the people in them are trashy as all hell, kind of like a mix between a leper colony and a prison.

K-Mart's on the other hand are nice despite the oldest store being at least a decade older than the oldest Wal-Mart and the people in them are so much nicer than Wal-Mart.

Probably depends on where you live. I won't go in a Wal-Mart around here both on principle and because of the uncleanliness and urchins that lurk at them.

Rock Around The Clock (0)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182242)

It seems that Kmart offered rainchecks to those who found the item sold out at their local store up until July 31

Due to this month being August, the rainchecks are good until 2011? Although by then a better alternative should be.

Maybe that was supposed to be Aug 31. Whatever. The price is good, but why do they always tease like this and not have enough for everyone? Of course that has to do with trying to not make too many etc etc. Make a portable tablet that can give high-performance VNC into a real computer, pretty please.

Re:Rock Around The Clock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182650)

July 31 was correct. This is from the week of July 25, in other words old news.

How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182250)

This would be news if it had showed up ahead of the 7/31 deadline for getting a rain check. Now it just comes across as recycling last weeks weather report.

If you really want news on this, check SlateDroid (I'm not gonna link to it as they've already got enough bandwidth problems). The latest rumor I've heard is that CyanogenMod 6 will be released for this device: That would bring the new, uber-fast Dalvek VM
to the GenTouch.

Re:How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182544)

here's a link [slatedroid.com]

Tell 'em, Ray... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182252)

n/t

Truth from TFA: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182280)

"It is also a great way to start out with Android for people curious about the platform" - yes, yes it is. Also a great way to discover that Android crap is utter shit.

Stop making tiny tablets! (4, Interesting)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182286)

I would love a tablet computer. but not a really tiny one. Vendors: Start making tablets that have an unlocked bootloader, run android, and are at least 10" (ideally 12" or bigger). If you make that at a reasonable price, I will even locate and visit a local K-Mart to get it.

Re:Stop making tiny tablets! (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182942)

The 7" tablet is not a terrible size. It's bigger than Dell's 5" "tablet". While a 10" tablet would be nice, most of these Chinese knock-offs use a cheap LCD screen that only does 480x800. That would be a criminal resolution at 10" but is workable at 7".

However, bigger/better Android tablets (with capacitive screens!) from reputable are coming. They're just 6-12 months out right now. At the moment, the options are limited to cheap Chinese crap. You're not going to get a good tablet for $100-150, 7" or otherwise.

Re:Stop making tiny tablets! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33183328)

Get a touchbook. Only 9", to be sure, but a 10" tablet is practically guaranteed to be the same 1024x600, so IMO the 9" is better. (Still waiting for an 11-12" 1280x800, though.) Bonus points for the (optional) keyboard attachment to make it a netbook.

Well, it would help if they were selling them... they've been out of stock for months, but if you preorder now, you get the option when their Big Summer Release hits of upgrading to it for a few dollars more. I suppose discontinuing production and letting them sell out while you develop the next model does prevent lost sales due to the Osborne effect, but it begins to look like the stopped cash flow has vaporwared the whole company. Sad, really.

Some new kind of kink ... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182288)

this thing will be great for watching Gumby (don't ask) at home and Sesame Street in the car.

I'm not sure if I know what that is supposed to mean

I'm not not even sure that I want to know, but, "have fun with that."

Remember the first law of 'merikan sex . . . "Do it in the dark . . . with your clothes on."

Re:Some new kind of kink ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182550)

Here [data] you [wikipedia.org] go [youtube.com]

iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (4, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182320)

Someone is trying to make the cost seem psychologically higher - the retail price for the cheapest iPad is $499, not $500+.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (1, Insightful)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182414)

Plus taxes, shipping and recycle fees. Which will raise the cost to well over $500. Add a case for another $40 whack and that $499 iPad is fast approaching $600.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (1, Informative)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182598)

Thought the iPads had free shipping. You're going to be paying taxes either way and I don't know about a recycling fee but that sounds like a state/local thing.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (1)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182700)

I checked the receipt and you are right about shipping. But on the $729 for the 32GB + 3G I still paid well $114 for a case, taxes and fees. Scaling down to $499 for the taxes would give a final cost of about $588.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (0)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182652)

iPads have free shipping, and a case is not part of the iPad, so adding its cost to it is disingenuous, unless you add a similar case to the product you're comparing it to.

The base iPad costs $499, not "$500+".

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (1)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182928)

So get one by legally paying less than $500.

Go ahead.

Oh, wait. You can't.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183030)

If I wanted one (I don't) I could go to the local Apple Store here in Oregon and pick one up. No shipping, no tax.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183080)

If I wanted one (I don't) I could go to the local Apple Store here in Oregon and pick one up. No shipping, no tax.

And in Oregon gas is free! :p

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (1)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183120)

And no availability.

I actually called them. All three Apple stores in Oregon: They do not have the 16GB+WiFi $499 model in stock currently. They did have the 64GB+3G in stock. For "slightly" more.

Good luck finding that model in stock in the local Apple Store. Or in any store, for that matter.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33183372)

And good luck driving there without a car to pick it up. And don't forget that pesky monthly fee to power it.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183044)

I know someone who did just that.

They are enjoying their base model iPad as we speak.

Adding taxes? Then why is the Android tablet $149 (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182780)

Plus taxes, shipping and recycle fees.

Then the new android tablet isn't $149 either as per the headline, is it?

I would fully accept someone saying something like $500 (plus taxes). But insteda you get an article saying the Android tablet is $149 (not even $150) and the iPad is "$500+". Do you not see the bias at work there? Sure it's only a minor difference but it's illustrative of the poster trying to influence your opinion by making the Android tablet seem as cheap as possible and the iPad as expensive as possible.

I was going to point out you could buy the iPad tax free on Amazon but apparently Apple is still supply constrained, as the $500 iPad on Amazon is $600+ (and that really is a plus there). Generally though, that is the case and will be eventually for the iPad.

Re:Adding taxes? Then why is the Android tablet $1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33183158)

Do you not see the bias at work there?

I see sloppy editing, not a deliberate attempt subconciously influence readers.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182420)

$499 + tax = $500+

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182428)

Someone is trying to make the cost seem psychologically higher - the retail price for the cheapest iPad is $499, not $500+.

1. That's still WAY too expensive.
2. The iPad actually IS more expensive than $500. http://www.amazon.com/Apple-iPad-MB292LL-Tablet-16GB/dp/B002C7481G
The cheapest may be around 500 dollars, but there are iPads with more internal storage, these are more expensive. So $500+ is the correct notation.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182476)

Same AC here.
I just noticed the incredible irony.
"the retail price for the cheapest iPad is $499"
"Someone is trying to make the cost seem psychologically higher"
Seems to me that Apple is trying to make the cost seem psychologically LOWER. $499, why not just $500? The answer: it SEEMS lower.
Stop trying to defend Apple from stuff they do themselves. Also like I said before it's more expensive than $500.

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182458)

Someone is trying to make the cost seem psychologically higher - the retail price for the cheapest iPad is $499, not $500+.

Way to split that hair! Must be an Apple FanBoi!

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (0, Flamebait)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182968)

And you're an idiot for buying into the "99" bullshit. The cheapest iPad is, for all intents and purposes, $500, and it only goes up from there (hence the "+").

Would it really make you feel better if they had said $499+ instead?

Are you really that locked into the consumer mindset?

Re:iPad is UNDER $500, not $500+ (0, Flamebait)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183156)

You're an idiot for thinking he buys into it. He never indicated that he did, or even that it bothered him. He merely suggested that whoever wrote the article or article summary has a marketing agenda that may involve making people "feel" that an iPad costs more by quoting it at $500 instead of $499.

Like you, he understands that the "99" gimmick is just that, a marketing gimmick, a not-so-subtle attempt to make something seem cheaper when it isn't. By deliberately not using this gimmick, the author may be trying to achieve the OPPOSITE effect.

I wouldn't have called you an idiot, but you deserved it for calling him one.

Even less - just as bad (1)

andyh-rayleigh (512868) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182366)

The Eken M001 - also an Android tablet can be easily obtained on eBay for just over $100.

But I don't recommend it, either. The hardware ought to be capable of reasonable response - but the software is so slow as to be ~unusable.

Android tablets on ebay for less than this (3, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182388)

Ebay is filled with auctions for android tablet devices circling $99. Most seem to be something called an Eken aBook running Android. Charitably it looks functional, less charitably it looks cheap and nasty. There are a few models one which looks gaudy, another which is an iPad ripoff shell and another somewhere in between. Despite being pitched as an iPad knock off it does demonstrate one thing - there is no reason that tablet devices should cost $500 upwards.

I expect when bigger players come along that we'll see some decent Android based tablets for $200 offering comparable functionality to the iPad with none of the downsides.

Re:Android tablets on ebay for less than this (4, Interesting)

willy_me (212994) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182584)

I expect when bigger players come along that we'll see some decent Android based tablets for $200 offering comparable functionality to the iPad with none of the downsides.

No, quality components simply cost more then the cheap ones used on those garbage devices. I would guess that quality Android devices will retail in the $300 to $400 price range. When this happens, Apple will drop their prices accordingly. The outrageously high price for the iPad is simply due to a lack of competition.

Once more manufacturers start producing quality components for such tablets, the prices will come down. This requires high demand for such components - something that is starting right now thanks to Android. Well, Apple also helps in this regard but they limit the number of component suppliers (as all companies do) thereby making it harder for other manufacturers to enter the market. Android opens up the market giving manufacturers the required incentive to compete. This helps everyone - even Apple.

Oh, and eBay will always have cheaper devices. They generally ship from Hong Kong, offer no warranty or support, and illegally bypass local tariffs and taxes. They usually ship as personal mail with an outrageously low declared value. Legally, you are supposed to declare such purchases but nobody does.

Re:Android tablets on ebay for less than this (3, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182804)

No, quality components simply cost more then the cheap ones used on those garbage devices. I would guess that quality Android devices will retail in the $300 to $400 price range. When this happens, Apple will drop their prices accordingly. The outrageously high price for the iPad is simply due to a lack of competition.

I see no reason that this should be so. I see no reason at all that something with better build quality and performance than a $99 tablet shouldn't occupy a price slot considerably less than an iPad. After all netbooks manage it and have as many, if not more components & costs to worry about than a tablet.

Re:Android tablets on ebay for less than this (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182682)

Perhaps not $500, but you are at the very least getting a known-quantity for the quality of an iPad - you said it yourself, the $99 tablets look cheap and nasty, even if they are functional. Quality Android devices are going to be more than $99.

I'm sure the price will fall somewhere in between as the products mature, and we see the second gen iPad.

the kmart tablet pc is cheap .. (1)

xunling (743216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182582)

but i think most customers wont buy any netbooks soon, also netbook are good value notebook for children and cheap tablet pcs running android are not a good help if you need it for work, productivity and speed.

Review on Youtube (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182648)

Saw a review of it on Youtube. It looks like a piece of crap. It's a shame, I hope they come out with a quality one soon. With at least a Snapdragon CPU in it.

I got one of these (5, Informative)

Osty (16825) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182668)

I put in a rain check with my local KMart early on during the sale, and I just got mine yesterday. Therefore they must be filling the pipeline, albeit slowly (I was told only five units came in). Out of the box, the device has a number of problems:

  • No Windows 7 drivers at all. There are XP/Vista drivers for 32-bit that may work, but there are no drivers for 64-bit. Flashing does work when you put the device into "fastboot" mode, but for standard connecting it might be a while before there are drivers.
  • There's an update to add screen calibration and a working recovery mode, but see above about drivers.
  • Market doesn't work. The device is missing an Android ID with no way to create a new one from the device itself. This is fixable [slatedroid.com] .
  • Once Market is working, you'll often find that it doesn't want to start any downloads. The problem is that the cache for Market is too small, so once you've downloaded a couple of apps there's no more room for it to download more. This is fixable by frequently clearing the Market cache.
  • Every device has the same MAC address. This is not really an issue until you get multiple devices on the same network. This should be solvable with a software MAC change, but it's indicative of Augen being forced to release this early to satisfy KMart's sale. Augen wasn't planning on shipping until later in the fall, when they would've had time to sort out a lot of these problems.
  • There is no HDMI output despite claims to the contrary, no accelerometer for orientation changes, the headphone jack is a 2.5" jack rather than the US standard 3.5", and the MicroSD card slot is poorly design such that it's very possible to push the card into the body of the device rather than getting it into the socket. Not a whole lot that can be done about these hardware flaws with a software update.

I spent a fair chunk of yesterday getting everything working on my device. After rooting, adding shortcuts to manually rotate, changing the launcher since the default won't rotate to portrait mode, getting Market working, etc, the device is in pretty good shape. There's no way someone's parents or grandparents should buy this device, but for a geek who's reasonably comfortable following instructions from hackers it's a neat little device with decent hardware for a good price.

Too bad the resistive screen sucks. But that's not Augen's fault. All resistive touch screens suck once you've used capacitive.

Win7 drivers???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33183370)

Why the hell would anybody with a brain expect an Android based cheap tablet to have Windows 7 drivers.

FACT: It is an Android tablet. NOT A WIN 7 DEVICE.

Excellent review (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183454)

Thanks for the excellent review.

Final analysis: Wait for version 4, when more of the problems will be fixed.

Android Store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33182786)

The correct term is Android Market [android.com]

He's right (1)

qe2e! (1141401) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182898)

Gumby's fluid motions only aggravate motion sickness. Stick to sesame street in cars and boats.

Rainchecks available until July 31? (1)

davev2.0 (1873518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182906)

Seeing as it is now August, it seems this story is a bit late. I don't see how it does anyone any good now besides being a slashvertisment for this tablet and K-mart.

DealExtreme has several Android tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33183104)

DealExtreme has several Android tablets all for less than $150. I'm not certain if they have comparable specs to the one mentioned in the article, but they are all POS (including the one mentioned in the article) anyway so what does it matter. DX Android Tablets [dealextreme.com]

No App Store a deal breaker! (1)

DadLeopard (1290796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183108)

I have one of the mentioned Rain Checks, but I am glad that it was mentioned that there will be no app store for this device! I had planned on using it to keep the Grand Children occupied while on a car trip! No app store equals no games or other diversions for this thing. That means that I have one rain check that will not be used! After checking out the videos at various places on the Web, it also seem that even if you could install the games on this thing they would be a PITA to play on that resistive touch screen. No thanks I don't need two aggravated children in the backseat on a long trip!

Awful expensive (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183194)

$149 is expensive for a 7 inch picture frame. And that is all this piece of sh!t is good for. To under powered for web or video and the screen is unacceptable for ebook reading.

iPad is toddler friendly. (-1, Offtopic)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 3 years ago | (#33183376)

My two year old (26mo) daughter has claimed my iPad 3G 64GB, or "big pod" as she calls it, and I barely get to see it anymore. She has about four pages of just her apps and most of the space is full with kids shows I put on there for her. She'll carry it around with her everywhere and she leaves shows running in the background while she plays (Ni hao Kai-Lan and Max & Ruby are her favorite shows right now). She pretty much starts demanding it as soon as she wakes up in the morning and goes to sleep next to it at night. Her favorite app right now is Drawing Pad http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/drawing-pad/id358207332?mt=8 [apple.com] . Many of the toddler games are excellent and affordable which is not what I've found with games for Wii or PC. Monkey Preschool Lunchbox http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/monkey-preschool-lunchbox/id328205875?mt=8 [apple.com] and Fish School http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fish-school-by-duck-duck-moose/id367567459?mt=8 [apple.com] are probably the best. The interactive books are also great and very affordable. Green Eggs and Ham http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/green-eggs-and-ham-dr-seuss/id380751745?mt=8 [apple.com] is $4. It costs more than that for the paper version that would get destroyed. My daughter knows exactly how to use the iPad as she was already an expert user of the iTouch which she's been using since she was six months old. Adults may complain that it's to heavy, or at least non-users do, but my two year old will lay on her back holding it over her head for a half hour at a time while she watches a show.

Like the iTouch, the iPad holds up very well to toddler use. I have a Zagg skin on it but no case. It handles being dropped and banged against stuff. It even handles being used as a drum. It is resistant to small spills and my daughter knows that if it gets wet to wipe it off and bring it to me right away. Sticky dirty fingers don't harm it at all and it's super easy to wipe off. The sound quality and volume are very good. Under constant use the battery lasts most of the day. She also has a kids portable dvd/tv player and the iPad is better in every way. The only issue I'm running into with it is that 64GB isn't enough space (although that is dozens of hours of video).

I have worried that she spends to much time playing with a computer and watching shows but she is very bright and imaginative and spends a lot of time playing pretend and blocks and such things. We also try to go to the park for a couple hours a day so she is getting exercise. From her shows and games she has picked up some sign language, Spanish, and Chinese. If anything I think the iPad is a great edutainment device and she is getting a leg up without having to go through unnatural drills to learn the stuff.

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