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Sub-$100 Android 4.0 Tablet Coming Soon

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the mips-shall-rise-again dept.

Android 278

jfruhlinger writes "One of the reasons the iPad has stayed at the top of the tablet heap for so long is that — in contrast with the story of the Mac and PC 25 years ago — the iPad has remained competitive with its rivals on price. That may be starting to change, with cheaper tablets like the Amazon Fire coming to market. And now, the sub-$100 Novo7 is on sale in China, sporting Android 4.0. It promises to arrive in the U.S. for a similar price point soon." The official press release from MIPS has a bit more detail. Of interest is the use of a MIPS SoC designed by Ingenic.

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Capacitive screen (5, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278598)

The problem with the other cheap android tablets has been the resistive screens. If the article is correct and this has a capacitive screen it could revolutionize the tablet market.

Re:Capacitive screen (5, Informative)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278712)

That one is capacitive. I actually bought their earlier effort, the $150 Novo8, and was pleasantly surprised: 8", 1280x800 capacitive TN, HD video playback with HDMI, OK build quality. What spoiled that was the 3hr battery life, but I knew that before buying it.

Re:Capacitive screen (5, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278730)

It will never work. It has a rectangular shape, rounded corners and a flat screen with narrow borders. How could they so blatantly rip off someone elses design like that!

Re:Capacitive screen (1)

jefe7777 (411081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279032)

I like mine with fat juicy borders anyway...

Re:Capacitive screen (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279208)

I have a cheap EUR 140 Dropad with a capacitive screen. Cheap quality (the power connection broke after half a year), but unlike the article suggests, it does have Android Market access.

Not really... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278608)

The reason the iPad is successful is because it isn't sluggish. If the Kindle Fire is sluggish at $200, I doubt this will be an iPad-killer at sub-$100.

Re:Not really... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278630)

Progress marches on...

...no, really. (3, Insightful)

biscuits1978 (2499858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278666)

My co-worker's iPads are sluggish. The real reason why it is successful is because people are stupid enough to think all Apple products are top shelf. Not always the case... Even if the lower priced tablets are just below par, it still perks the attention of people not wanting to fork over their wallets for an iPad.

Re:...no, really. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278718)

Nigger faggot

Re:...no, really. (0)

Wild_dog! (98536) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278852)

My kids ipad2 is quite snappy. I wish I had one.... just playing around with it gives me lots of ideas of what to do with one. As far as I can tell the iPad 2 is really really well built and the 10+ hour battery life allows for a couple days use away from home without lugging that bulky wall wart.

I don't think I would want to pay a couple hundred bucks for something that is sluggish. In fact I don't want to pay $30 bucks for something that is sluggish.
Sluggishness is a pet peeve of mine though. Perhaps you are right and you or other people would rather pay very little for something which starts out sluggish.

Can't wait until they pass it down to me. It may be sluggish after a couple years by the time I get it.

Re:...no, really. (1, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279244)

and the 10+ hour battery life allows for a couple days use away from home without lugging that bulky wall wart.

10 hours over a "couple days" is appropriate for a toy, but not an expensive tool.

Re:...no, really. (1, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279290)

An expensive tool? How many people buy iPads and think of them as expensive tools? Furthermore, what other available tablet offers much better battery life?

How many days battery life do you get with your table saw?

Re:...no, really. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279330)

Can't wait until they pass it down to me. It may be sluggish after a couple years by the time I get it.

Unfortunately by this time your non-removable battery will probably be holding around 1/3 of its original charge level.

Re:...no, really. (-1, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278966)

Head in the sand much?

Ipad has the apps. Android tablet is only now becoming a reality at a cheap pricepoint. Maybe if you had actually touched them for the past year you would have known that.

People go where the apps are. MY daughter and her husband just bought iphones instead of android for ONE reason. facetime. Few androids have front facing cameras, and those that do are the same price or more than the iphone. this will change, but right now for that app, apple is the cheapest at $99.00 phone for a iphone 4.

Re:...no, really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279016)

You're ill informed. Most Android phones have both front and rear cameras and had them before the iPhone did.

Re:...no, really. (-1, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279096)

Please show me how MOST have front and back cameras. Because that is a bold faced lie. I can find 4 that do an all of those are the newest top of the line ones.

Re:...no, really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279148)

Bald-faced.

Re:...no, really. (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279314)

L I E

Re:...no, really. (2)

rikkards (98006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279152)

My 6 month old Atix has it, it's also old enough that I got it "free" for a contract renewal

Re:...no, really. (1)

lordbeejee (732882) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279236)

You have to make an effort to not have one. Even my xperia mini has one and that's only a 200€ machine

Re:...no, really. (5, Insightful)

edmicman (830206) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279226)

The problem with Facetime is you're locked in to Apple products. I really with Google would push Google Talk with video chat or Google+ Messenger via mobile a lot more. The tech is there and it works, across platforms, but hardly anyone knows about it it seems.

Otherwise I've found that for pretty much any mainstream app there's parity between the iOS and Android phone apps. Tablets may be a different story but I'm sure that'll get closer, too.

Re:...no, really. (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279166)

The original iPad, if given the latest possible OS update, sure.
The iPad 2 is far, far, faaaaaaaaaaar 'snappier'/smoother and has a generally more refined user experience than any Android tablet on the market right now.

Which is odd, because some of the Android hardware out there is pretty close to par, if not better.

Blame Java?

Re:...no, really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279334)

There is nothing sluggish about an IPad. Blatant Troll

Re:Not really... (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278792)

I just bought a couple of these, though the current versions still have Android 2.3. They're remarkably well made for the price, and also remarkably responsive to use. They're not an iPad killer in that they're only 7" and 800 x 480 screens, but that doesn't mean they won't find their own niche.

Re:Not really... (2)

Wild_dog! (98536) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278950)

It is really nice to have devices that work well and like you said...there are lots of niches to fill because people use devices differently.
A 7" tablet would make a much much better media control center than either an iPad (a tad big) or iPhone (a tad small).

Re:Not really... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279122)

Given that a fair few slightly bigger named vendors(like the oh-so-adaptive-to-the-times Kodak; though hardly them alone) are selling mere digital photo frames, often with screens of only 7-10 inches(not infrequently of really shoddy pixel density) for 30-60 dollars, a fully functional small computer for $100 has all sorts of potentially interesting uses.

Heck, the 7inch USB display/touchscreen units from MIMO, which contain only enough logic to serve as a displaylink video device, go for north of $100...

Re:Not really... (3, Interesting)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279248)

I don't know what you mean by "iPad killer" but, to me, a large tablet is a huge turn-off, as is a pharaonic price tag for what' essentially a simple discount computer used as a secondary machine. To me, a 7-inch tablet selling for 100 euros beats a 10-inch selling for over 500 euros in every single meaningful comparison point. I believe I'm far from being the single one thinking like this, as this is essentially the same argument which pins the iPhone Vs android phones, and currently Android leads the smartphone market with a market share which goes well over 50%.

Re:Not really... (3, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278808)

I don't know, until we see it we won't know much on the performance levels of it, but I do think there is a market for even a slugish cheap tablet. Durring the tablet craze, I got myself an netbook for $99, it's a cheap piece of crap, barely can handle flash games, but for basic utility purposes, reading, browsing the web etc... I still cannot wrap my head around the tablet craze or what makes them worth $500, to me they seem to be a fairly comfortable device, that can do almost as much as a low end laptop, almost the same size as middle end laptop, at the price of... a middle of the line laptop, but hey you can get a keyboard for it for only $20-$80 extra and make it even closer to a laptop!

Nonsense (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278894)

"sluggish" is not only a subjective experience, its also one sported mostly be tech snobs, where for most people the price is more important.

Snob:"Look there is a fraction of a hesitation when you turn the page!"

Normal guy: "Who cares, the page turns in less than a second!"

Re:Not really... (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279054)

The iPad can definitely be sluggish - regularly I have to wait more than 10 seconds for iBooks to display the book pages on opening, or go to swipe twice to turn a page because I thought it hadn't registered the first swipe only to have it turn two pages when the first swipe is eventually carried out.

Also, the iPads Safari has a tendency to reload pages when you switch between "tabs" - which can be fucking annoying when you are swapping between pages to cut and paste information or filling out a form... Even though I haven't added any new applications recently, it does seem to have gotten worse. Safaris UI can also lag a lot, with attempts to click on the bookmarks or "tabs" icons taking several seconds to register some times.

And thats without any other apps lingering in the background...

I love my iPad, I use it every day and its my primary browsing tool for on the couch or out and about, but it does have its foibles.

Re:Not really... (1)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279106)

I's that an iPad 1 or a 2?

Re:Not really... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279138)

iPad 1

Re:Not really... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279306)

The iPad can definitely be sluggish

Since upgrading to iOS 5 (i.e. 2 major version upgrades from its original OS) I've noticed my iPad 1 becoming a bit sluggish - but not to the point of seriously spoiling the experience... and we're talking about an 18-month old tablet which is like, wow, 10 years old in dog years :-)

And thats without any other apps lingering in the background...

That's what you get when you listen to the Fandroids and allow 3rd Party Apps to multitask.

Re:Not really... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279196)

I don't find the Kindle Fire sluggish at all. Maybe you got a bad one.

Re:Not really... (5, Insightful)

dmmiller2k (414630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279308)

If an Android tablet actually comes out in the US for $100 or less, it won't matter whether the iPad is snappy or sluggish. What will matter is that for the cost of the cheapest iPad, one could buy five (5) of these. Heck, I'd buy one for each of my two teenaged boys (my wife already has an iPad2, a gift from her father) AND one for myself. Plus, two more to keep on the shelf as backup gifts for people.

Had I managed to get any HP Touchpads at $99 before they ran out I would have bought as many as I could get my hands on.

For me at least, at $100 these are practically disposable.

At last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278620)

A market changing price that will force all the competition to adjust.

The game is afoot.

Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278632)

I just got a $70 smart phone with Android, capacitive touchscreen, GPS, 3D compass, accelerometer, the lot. It could use a little more RAM and of course faster would be better, but I really don't see any show stoppers. It's time for the hype to die down and let exponential performance increases bring the prices down to impulse buy territory.

No you didn't... (5, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278818)

You made a $70 dollar downpayment and will be paying off the phone over the next two years.

Re:No you didn't... (3, Insightful)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278880)

You made a $70 dollar downpayment and will be paying off the phone over the next two years.

Yeah. Had he only bought an unlocked phone instead, he wouldn't have a bill every month over the next two years by way of contract. He'd just spend a lot more up front and have a bill every month. The carriers are going to get your $50 to $120 a month. It's the only way they will let you on their network.

Re:No you didn't... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279322)

The carriers are going to get your $50 to $120 a month

Are they? I bought my phone for about £50 and I'm on a pre-pay plan where I typically pay £2-3 each month. For £5/month I can get a light-use data package (enough for email and IM).

Re:No you didn't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278940)

The phone didn't come with a contract and is not locked to any SIM or network. I'm using it with my existing pay-as-you-go SIM. Data is currently Wifi only, but I can pay about $13 per month and get 3G data too if I want to.

Re:No you didn't... (2)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279092)

In the UK, you can get Android phones on pay-as-you-go for fifty quid. Some even come with ten quid credit.

$70 sounds about right.

Re:No you didn't... (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279206)

You made a $70 dollar downpayment and will be paying off the phone over the next two years.

Maybe not.
http://www.mobileciti.com.au/huawei-u8180-black [mobileciti.com.au]

I paid $77 for mine, and I've heard there are discount sales where you can get them cheaper.

Not a competitor (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278636)

The Fire is only 7 inches. It's not really the same category as an iPad or any of the 10 inch Android tablets. I think it's stupid when people compare the two. There is an element of overlap for sure, but I don't see this eating significantly into the larger tablet market.

Experience: I've got a 5 inch tablet/phone, tried some cheap 7 inch chinese tablets and also have a 10 inch Xoom.

You can watch movies on 5 and 7 inch screens in a pinch, but I'd probably prefer just to read instead.

My Kindle (Keyboard version) is 7 inches and it's just big enough to be comfortable for reading in portrait orientation. When I've used my phone for reading, I've needed to switch to landscape to read comfortably.

I probably wouldn't even use my Xoom for watching movies, but I'd definitely choose it over a 7 inch tablet for web browsing and watching YouTube. I also like it for reading.

Re:Not a competitor (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278744)

Keep telling yourself that. Despite all the promises, even the iPads are still computers with many typical computer problems. Anyone I know who actually got one instead of just marveling about it has felt the enthusiasm over the managed experience fade. It's still a novelty market, and while there are many people who strongly desire a tablet, that is mostly a testament to the failure of the PC platform, not proof that tablets can do what people want. As the insight that tablets are not the solution to all domestic computer problems seeps in, the pressure on the price will increase. Nobody wants to spend that kind of money on something that ultimately does not deliver and ends up as a glorified universal remote.

Re:Not a competitor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278874)

There is a reason why tablets are an iPad-only market. Apps is the first thing. Android tablets might have a port of Angry Birds, but until there are word processors, Exchange support, or other basic functionality, Android tablets will be considered at best a novelty.

The fact that Android tablets have to have a significant CPU lead over Apple's chips just to support the overhead of the Dalvik machine creates a cost margin that makes them not competitive.

Finally, there is device security. There has yet to be a single piece of malware on an iPad in the wild. Shows you something doesn't it?

Re:Not a competitor (4, Insightful)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278998)

Finally, there is device security. There has yet to be a single piece of malware on an iPad in the wild.

Apart from carrier IQ obviously....

Re:Not a competitor (1)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279134)

Apart from carrier IQ obviously....

The iPad is not a phone.

Re:Not a competitor (2)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279008)

Umm, I have an office suite on my Xoom. With WP, Spreadsheets, graphics.

It wasn't *free* mind, but it was £5, which is a hell of alot less than MS Office.

As for malware, it's been proven that malware can and has gotten past the ios app store filters. http://www.tomsguide.com/us/iOS-Apple-iPad-iPhone-malware,news-13122.html [tomsguide.com]

All your post shows is that you're complacent.

Re:Not a competitor (1)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278892)

Keep telling yourself that. Despite all the promises, even the iPads are still computers with many typical computer problems. Anyone I know who actually got one instead of just marveling about it has felt the enthusiasm over the managed experience fade. It's still a novelty market, and while there are many people who strongly desire a tablet, that is mostly a testament to the failure of the PC platform, not proof that tablets can do what people want. As the insight that tablets are not the solution to all domestic computer problems seeps in, the pressure on the price will increase. Nobody wants to spend that kind of money on something that ultimately does not deliver and ends up as a glorified universal remote.

Funny, I sold my iPad to buy the iPad 2. You don't know ANYONE who still enjoys it? PS: It's an awfully large novelty market. Tens of millions and all. Funny, the one thing I don't use it for is as a glorified universal remote.

Re:Not a competitor (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279046)

I do use mine as a glorified universal remote. I control my crestron processors for the theater, whole house audio and home automation daily on mine. It's great to simply enter the crestron app and turn on the lights, open the garage door, turn on the sirius radio to Octane her in the den, etc...

it works fantastic for home automation.

Re:Not a competitor (2)

Wild_dog! (98536) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279018)

Strange, my kids have one and I get to use it at night. I don't think my enthusiasm has faded because there is so much to do on it and I keep discovering more things to do.
Oddly it is more functional than lugging our netbook around.
The netbook has more flexibility, but is a hassle to use by comparison. Computers have their place. Tablets have their place.

BTW these are great educational tools for kids. I suppose if you are a programmer or developer of some sort it might not fill your needs, but then one wouldn't buy it for some of these production tasks. This is more of a consumer appliance.
Enthusiasm is continuing to grow.

Re:Not a competitor (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279020)

You dont know many people then. I know hundreds in business that use their ipad daily. for notes, PDF's Cad drawing review, presentations, etc... IT's used far more than laptops in the 20+ businesses I support. And everyone I know that has them for recreational uses them constantly. In fact I know that many people look to buy a second one to keep in the bathroom.

The iPood.

Re:Not a competitor (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279342)

Telling myself what, exactly? Who said that tablets are meant to be a replacement for computers? I have a desktop, ultrabook, netbook, tablet, PS3, Xbox 360 and a phone. They have a hell of a lot of overlapping features, but all of them save the 360 get used regularly. My tablet is the only one that I'm guaranteed to use every day of the week.

I used to think that tablets would be crap too until I got my first capacitive screened phone with a 5" screen and realised that a touchscreen keyboard might be acceptable after all.

Re:Not a competitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278762)

I have an iPhone (3G) that I've watched feature films on. It's not the best viewing experience (especially for 21:9 aspect films) but it does well. Watching widescreen tv content was pretty good too (I watched the first series of Fringe on it quite happily). I've recently bought an android tablet (Asus EeePad Transformer) and found that it's great at playing back films or tv content. It's still no substitution for a proper home cinema setup, but its a heck of a lot more portable and is great for using on public transport.

Having both the Fire and iPad2 (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278764)

I purchased the Fire on the idea it might make a good present for parents to use while camping (free WIFI is almost always found in the campgrounds they visit) for simple email and browsing. It also want to see how it performed versus the iPad for the same.

The experience is certainly not up to the standard set by Apple but I find it very acceptable when one factors in the price point. The price point is important because for me a loss of a $200 device is far easier to take than losing the $500+ iPad. The Fire has already done the bounce test on the carpet, something I hope the iPad never tries.

Web browsing, hands down better on the iPad. The Fire just doesn't have the oomph. So will knock offs have the same problem? It might be related to Amazon's browser but I am not wholly sure on that. Mail reading is fine, it could be better, but it works and I tend to leave the Fire on the counter and one hand hold it while eating so I can check up on mail. Something that the iPad form factor is not good at.

I hope the seven inch size takes off, it really is much more portable without losing too much screen to make it just worth sticking with a phone. There are rumors Apple may head this way too which should push prices down.

I find I can treat a seven inch tablet more like a tablet than the 11 inch iPad, with the iPad I just felt I needed an external keyboard, possibly because after use it certainly loses the feel of portability. You don't one hand an iPad.

Re:Having both the Fire and iPad2 (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279028)

My iPad has hit pavement from 2-3 feet up without loss of functionality. Granted, the corner that hit is a bit roughed up, but luckily the cover I keep it in hides that and protects it from moisture (the seal between the screen and case is broken).

I'm with you ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279098)

I have a 10.1" Android tablet, a netbook, and a 4.5" Nokia "Internet Tablet". The 10" tablet is fine for around the house, but it is too large to be considered a portable computer. Further, since Android is so limited, I take a netbook with when traveling, not the 10" tablet.

The 4.5" Nokia is perfect, except the screen size and lack of a hardware keyboard. It runs a version of Debian/ARM, so it "feels" like Linux. I added a BT keyboard which makes responding to email possible, but still less than ideal due to the screen size. Bought this in 2007 and still love it. I use it whenever I leave the house.

With the 10" Android tablet, I also have a keyboard. The OS is simply too limiting. If I owned this tablet (it is owned by the company, not me), I'd wipe Android and load debian/ARM. At this point the only real use for the 10" Android tablet is reading books and extremely light web surfing. It is too large to take out of the house. I have hopes that Debian/ARM on this device will be able to replace the netbook.

When I was shopping for Android tablets, I picked up the 7" versions in retail stores and decided against them due to the form factor. If I knew how limited Android was already, I would have gotten the $150 7" model instead to read books and have a more modern, portable, device. Sadly, the 7" devices and my 4.5" device have the same screen resolution.

Re:Having both the Fire and iPad2 (1)

eric_brissette (778634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279182)

I tried a friend's Kindle Fire, and was a bit disappointed with the performance.. I don't know if it was just me, but the interface felt laggy and failed to register presses about 1/4 of the time. Amazon's launcher is garbage, and the rest of the hacks to the OS likely are too. I think performance will improve quite bit once someone gets an AOSP build of Android good and stable for it.

Re:Not a competitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278962)

Yes, they aren't in the same category. The Fire will just barely fit in my pants pocket, whereas if I bought an iPad it wouldn't be able to leave the house unless I decided to buy a manpurse.

Ok, except there is no 7" Kindle (1)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278978)

Ok, except there is no 7" Kindle. Sony has 7" e-ink readers (Sony PRS-900, Sony PRS-950)
Sorry for nitpicking.

Re:Ok, except there is no 7" Kindle (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279224)

Oh yeah I guess my Kindle Keyboard has a 6" screen now that I looked it up. The form factor overall is about 7" though once you account for the keyboard.

The Fire, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279052)

The Fire is only 7 inches.

...yes, it must be at least 10 inches so that fucker of an iPad burns to death!
Burn, motherfucker! Burn! ;)

P.S.: Although I heard a "good" battery can also solve the problem. :P

As a person who just took a mips assembly class (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278654)

I'm getting much more enjoyment out of this story than I should.

Re:As a person who just took a mips assembly class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278688)

You might get more enjoyment out of developing on Android in Java tho.(Seeing as that's where the toolchain is)

Re:As a person who just took a mips assembly class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278946)

I took MIPS assembly in college about 10 years ago. I've never used that knowledge, but it's neat seeing an article about something that I pretty much forgot about until now.

Re:As a person who just took a mips assembly class (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278988)

As far as assembly goes I haven't had to use it in 10 years of professional work but some of the concepts learned help out. Some of my test questions were also questions asked in job interviews, also when you make a doubly linked list or an array in assembly you know that data structure inside and out.

Is "sub-$100" supposed to be a selling point? (0)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278672)

Considering we all know that inexpensive Android tablets suck bad, I just can't fathom the pile of poop this sub-$100 tablet will be.

Re:Is "sub-$100" supposed to be a selling point? (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278696)

Considering we all know that inexpensive Android tablets suck bad, I just can't fathom the pile of poop this sub-$100 tablet will be.

Has there previously been a sub $100 android device running an OS actually designed for tablets, with a 1GHz processor and capacitive screen?

If not, you're comparing apples and oranges.

Re:Is "sub-$100" supposed to be a selling point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278826)

If not, you're comparing apples and oranges.

Which is a perfectly fair comparison to make. I like apples. I don't care for oranges. What's your problem?

Similarly, you might not compare a Bugatti to a G5 or a luxury yacht. But, I would and I'd choose the plane.

So far, EVERY EFFING tablet that has come down the pike has been held up against the iPad/iPhone by the manufacturers, media and consumers alike. So far, every one of those tablets has been a boatload of suck in comparison to an iPad. It's just that simple.

Re:Is "sub-$100" supposed to be a selling point? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279068)

No there hasnt. All of them have been really old versions of Android which makes them crap. Hopefully this china company did not phone it in like the rest of them have and has created at least a useful tablet that does not suck.

That is the problem with sub $200.00 tablets. the suck level get's up there because of the hardware being cheaped out on.

MIPS based...that's going to be a slight problem.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278706)

If it's MIPS based, you should take care to note that at least part of the apps out there in the store are NDK apps and will need recompilation to run.

I think there is some misremembering of history (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278716)

Price was not the only reason Apple lost out to the PC, not by a long shot. Gates seemed to be the only smart enough to figure out the whole familiarity factor to computing, people who use X computer at work will be much more likely to buy X computer for use at home as well. Knowing "how to use" such a computer puts the buyer at ease, and of course they can always take stuff from work home. Furthermore, there was a lot of stagnation in Mac OS after Jobs' ouster, pre-Mac OS sucked even worse than Windows, as hard as that is to believe.

If price was the only thing consumers considered, we would be seeing Linux everywhere and Apple wouldn't be gaining market share every year....

Re:I think there is some misremembering of history (3, Interesting)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278916)

My memory is of people wanting me to build 10 PCs for the cost of buying 3 macs. True I was basically a cheap hardware whore; but the fact remains, it was significantly cheaper to build then buy. Add to that the way free copies of DOS popped up out of nowhere. It was if Microsoft was making the OS as available as possible so people would buy software made for it instead of their competitors. wink wink nudge nudge.

Re:I think there is some misremembering of history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278996)

As if there was any difference between any of OS X, Windows 7/8, Gnome 3, KDE, etc, that is relevant, or even noticed, by the end user.

In 1980, your argument would have made sense. But nowadays people that drive cars, operate heavy machinery, repair electronics, organize complex projects, etc, just seem to go into full drooling-retard mode when they so much as smell something related to computers. "Ugga! Click! Button! Color! Wooga! App! Window! Icon! Brezaaaablarglx!"
They can't tell the difference! In fact they couldn't tell their hands from their feet at that point!

If you don't believe me, take a laptop with any running OS, stand next to somebody who is not a computer pro and doesn't know you are, and look like you want to ask him a question about a problem with your computer. Don't actually ask. Just look like you will in a few seconds. Now watch for how he changes when he notices you and realizes your situation. Just look at his eyes! You will feel sorry you doubted me. ;)

I could say that it's like a sudden impact of Down syndrome. But that would be insulting to this group of people who can't help their situation. And I mean the Down syndrome people!

Mostly (Totally.) ARMless (3, Informative)

oPless (63249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278720)

Interesting, but it's MIPS, not ARM

There goes a load of games, and whatnot ... but on the plus side they're paying license fees to MIPS, which prior to this they weren't, which is nice.

Re:Mostly (Totally.) ARMless (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278856)

Phone games are not exactly built to run on a specific hardware arch like in the PC world. Most are just Java/Flash applets.

Re:Mostly (Totally.) ARMless (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278922)

Phone games are not exactly built to run on a specific hardware arch like in the PC world. Most are just Java/Flash applets.

Yes and no. I've heard a fair number of them use the NDK, which means the .so loaded by the Java part will be for ARM, maybe x86 as well if they used the current NDK. MIPS is not part of the official toolchain, though there is a 3rd-party NDK for it. As of 2.3 it is possible to make a game entirely natively.

Flash certainly isn't going to be built for MIPS.

Re:Mostly (Totally.) ARMless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279090)

On iPhone they are compiled to native executables; so yes they are. On Android, most games which push hardware hard via OpenGL do so via native executables via the NDK; so yes they are. To support non-ARM platforms, the developers must bundle native binaries for EACH target platform to be supported. So if MIPS isn't one the developer targeted, the game is simply not playable and/or available.

Re:Mostly (Totally.) ARMless (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279132)

Phone games are not exactly built to run on a specific hardware

Absolutely correct. No developer in their right mind would use any of the NEON vector instructions available on ARM CPUs. I mean come on, who could possibly want to process 4 floats in the time it takes to process 1? Especially when that code works on all of the ARM android phones too. I mean, what is the point in bothering to write scalable efficient code for a platform with a finite battery life? I can see absolutely no point to it at all. As a game developer myself, I can say with some authority that the entire iGaming industry has adopted the approach of running an SQL server on your iDevice, and then we simply fire an SQL query for every pixel when we come to rendering. It sure as hell beats using that crappy parallel computing language GLSL to render pixels....

Isn't that like comparing laptops with netbooks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278750)

If a smaller, cheaper product is better, then why aren't we all doing everything on netbooks? Sure they look similar, but that's about it.

come on... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278752)

do you really think the majority of apple customers care about price? they'll fork out $2k+ for a 17" mbp w/ a 5400rpm hdd... i highly doubt a cheap chinese co's tablet is going to put a dent in their thinking.

I'm quite enjoying my Archos G9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278786)

Although I paid £200 (which, when you account for VAT is a better price), and you can get it for about $280 or so if you look around.

http://store.archos.com/archos-p-5016.html

8 inch 4:3 tablet running honeycomb. Plays pretty much any video that I've tried so far. Has Android market, gps, front camera (no back camera) and a happy kickstand. Same chipset (so to speak) as the Kindle Fire, but it's proper Android and nice extra goodies.

Compared to an Ipad you can tell it is a budget tablet, but at half the price (for the UK) I thought it was worth it.

Re:I'm quite enjoying my Archos G9 (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279202)

My dad just surprised my by dropping by yesterday and saying he'd just ordered one of these. My immediate reaction was "ah, no, what pile of inventory-to-clear has he picked up?" but the specs actually look pretty decent. I guess this is the point where we have functional tablets at a significantly cheaper price.

Price is China only (3, Informative)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278794)

USD 99 is price in China: US version estimated at +USD 50 = USD 149

Got root? (2)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278848)

This reminded me of a post regarding [yellowdog-board.com] thoughts on Yellow Dog Linux [ydl.net] being ported to velocity's stuff. It made me wonder if a more X11 friendly version of Linux could be ported to another inexpensive tablet running MIPS [amazon.com] . Maybe more tablets like these will help make that happen. I'm getting to like the idea of running a phone inside Xnest.

still (0)

arnodf (1310501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278860)

sub-$100 and still won't buy a tablet meh...

Price vs Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38278864)

(Posting AC because I'm at work)

It's not just a price issue - it's a price versus (perceived) quality. With the Mac vs PC issue, the (perceived) quality did not support the price. That, however, has changed (radically) which has resulted in Mac sales surging compared to PCs over the last few years. For the iPad, bluntly, nothing comes close to it's price versus (perceived) quality. People who are making a purchase choice based solely on price are doing so knowing they are getting a sub-par product but "it's all they can afford" (similar to people who buy truly crappy PC laptops simply because they're cheap). When it comes to competing with the iPad, a $100 tablet isn't competition. Heck, Amazon's Fire isn't competition. Until their quality approaches an iPad (and they are both woefully sub-par compared to an iPad), their price doesn't matter.

Now, things like the Motorola Xoom 2 or the Samsung Galaxy Tab are in a similar range so price becomes a consideration and, in most cases, the iPad still wins out because of a higher (perceived) quality. Some people still do choose to buy a competing tablet (obviously) but those purchases are usually done for specific reasons (often related to "I don't like Apple").

Long ramble short - a $100 tablet isn't competition for an iPad. That's like saying a Hyundai Accent hatchback is competition for a BMW 5 series. Yes, they're both cars but they aren't vaguely going for the same market and they aren't vaguely of the same build quality.

Re:Price vs Quality (3, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279264)

If you're on a budget and have a family, "six of this one" or "one of the other" can be a pretty compelling argument. Not having to share is kind of nice too.

The problem with cheap tablets.... (1)

Xenious (24845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278866)

The problem with cheap tablets is that they are cheap tablets. The same issues carry over from cheap notebooks. When lowering the entry price point you also lower the quality of the components and build of the item. I get frustrated by these "races to the bottom."

Re:The problem with cheap tablets.... (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278938)

I bought a $400 laptop last boxing day, which is pretty much bottom of the line for notebooks. There are a few cheaper models, but most of those are just last year's left over stock (I actually just saw the same laptop I bought last year for $300). It's actually built pretty well. There's no reason that a quality tablet should have to cost $500. Maybe sub $100 is a little low, but we should easily be seeing the price get to $200 for a really good tablet. There's only so much processing power you need on these things. As long as you can play a movie at full resolution, and play some simple games, you are pretty much set. A tablet isn't a device for editing videos, or running a database server on. It is a media consumption device.

Re:The problem with cheap tablets.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279076)

I think the 'lower the price the lower the quality' is utter hogwash and lets a lot of manufactures off the hook. There is no reason for a case to be coming apart, HDs to fail faster, screens to fail faster, etc... The parts used should be 2-3 years ago top of the line parts. Yet now they are falling apart and failing in weird ways?

That sub 500 notbook should be the 2500 notebook from 3 years ago... Yet we do not see that. They are fopping off crap parts on us so they can boost their margin at the cost of their brand name.

It will have to perform decently to be worth using (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38278994)

I've seen low-end tablets from China. I have one. At least the ones that were available 2 years ago are unusably slow. The next time I get one, I'll pay careful attention to the specs. A $90 tablet from china running ICS is garbage if it takes a full second for it to respond to any fingertap.

Not first, not best (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279002)

The HP touchpad was sub-100 for a while, and maybe soon will be able to install ICS on it. Anyway, comparing on it WebOS and CM7, i prefer the WebOS user interface, not sure how much things will improve in ICS.

Source Code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279066)

Where are the GPL source code parts?

Re:Source Code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279178)

OK, there is a 2.6.31.3 kernel for the Jz4770 at ftp://ftp.ingenic.cn/3sw/Jz4770/01LinuxBsp/20110729/source/, but did they use that one?

Depends on useage (2)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279120)

For me, no tablet exists that will really change how I live.

I'm not going to get a data-plan with one because I object to paying $50 a month to carry a device around with me.

I simply don't have that much desire to access the internet on the go... sure, it would be cool- but not $50 a month worth.

I'm not going to use it to watch videos often. I have a television with a larger screen and better resolution at home.

If I'm not at home- I'm driving somewhere, I'm busy, or I'm at work. Yeah- there may be occasions- waiting at the doctor's etc- but rarely get enough uninterrupted time to watch anything at those places.

Some people have use of a tablet- some people it is all they need- but I know there are plenty of people like me.

For us, if we got a tablet (or if we already own a tablet)- it is a toy more than a functioning device. For us (and I suspect we're the majority of those 30 and over)- price matters- because we don't want to throw money away on a toy that will be available half the price in 18 months.- then half the price again in another.

So price matters. Even if it isn't as good as an iPad. You need to get a device that is low enough to be worthwhile just being the "occasional" toy that connects to our wifi.

Expensive Samsungs and iPads have their market- kids and executives who have $50 a month to throw on data plans. (yes, and geeks who like electronic toys- and don't balk at the idea of shelling money for them- which is probably a lot of people on here- which makes this not the average representation of the planet earth)

To get the rest of us- you need to make the devices cheaper- OR get the cost of data plans to be low enough that we consider it worthwhile.

Re:Depends on useage (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279216)

Perhaps the devices themselves are just premature?
I'm not sure about manufacturing costs, but a large part of their purpose - consumption of media, particularly online, on the go - would be massively benefitted by nationwide/'global' wifi access.

Chineese crap nothing but crap all of it, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38279218)

Everything you buy from them is to make you think communism is not bad so more communist laws can be passed on you.
No other reason to endorse communism over you for a job.

I am seeing it unfold with my own eyes not all at once you would backlash them politically but as long as it is inch by inch you will never say a word.

Look around 7 year olds sexual harassment really you thing this would have been possible the communismifacation of America.

Every school in America think they are the thought police to the child and they have no rights this way they expect none as adults.

Be as they were unable to teach they had to do something right.

You buy communist products this is what you are really buying..

Tempting as a lower price might be you can built it better and cheaper here in America if you want to if you demand it.

If not you have not only given away your job but your rights and freedoms too.

Theres no Comparison (3, Insightful)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38279296)

Comparing an iPad or Galaxy 10.1 tablet to these cheap 7" Tablets is like comparing an i7 Laptop and a cheap netbook. Some people at first will buy cheap but when they realize it's limitations they'll opt for the better tablet. I purchased a cheap 10" Epad awhile back for $150 and was sorely disappointed with its performance, and lack of features. Most of these cheap tablets are slow and don't respond well to your touch, leading to misspelled words when you type and frustrating web browsing experiences.
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