Top 10 Upcoming Low-Cost Android 4.0 (ICS) Tablets for 2012

February 22, 2012
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Can there be such a thing as a good cheap Android tablet? Has Ice Cream Sandwich really leveled the playing field so that cheaper hardware can run it smoothly? Ever since the “tablets” have become a must-have item, it seems as if every electronics manufacturer on the face of this earth is trying to get their hands on some of the market share. That’s right, Sony, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Lenovo and even Amazon have stepped up and produced Android tablets. However, no matter how many Android tablets the manufacturers push at us, they all seem to fall very short of the iPad. So why do people still buy them and why are they still being made you ask?

Price!

Both iPads have been set at a $500 starting price, and that is just for the most basic model. Android tablets have come out with price tags as low at $79! In response, Apple would probably say something along the lines of “you get what you pay for”. But we tend to look at the price difference the same way Amazon does:

So without further ado, here are your top 10 Ice Cream Sandwich tablets of 2012 that won’t break your piggy bank:

Don’t forget to pick your favorite and let us know why in the comments at the bottom!


NOVO7 Paladin

Ainovo took the world by storm last year when it was announced they were releasing a sub-$100 tablet. And if that was not enough, it would be one of the first tablets to run Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0). However, the tablet was no where to be found until now. The tablet that made an in person appearance at CES will only cost you $89 for a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich.
Note: Upon purchasing the Paladin, shipping to the Eastern United States turned out to be around $60. This brings the overall cost of the tablet up to $149. Additionally, it has a MIPS processor inside, so many apps in the Android Market will not function properly.

Price: $89
Screen Size: 7″ HD LCD
Resolution: 800 x 480
Processor: 1GHz Ingenic JZ4770
Memory: 512 MB RAM
GPU: GC860 core with 3D rendering upgrade
Storage: 8GB/16GB
Camera(s): No Camera
Battery: Built-in 4000 mAh lithium-polymer battery (8 hours of Web Surfing)
Release Date: Buy Now!


Viewsonic Viewpad e70

Now that the creators of the Novo7 have snuck a $60 shipping fee in, the sub-$100 ICS tablet isn’t so sub-$100. On January 10th, Viewsonic announced that they would be making the ViewPad E70. This 7″ tablet is aimed at consumers who want the ultimate value while still being able to attain Google’s latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Although the device has been shown off in public, some of the specifications are still up in the air or remain unknown.

Price: $169.99
Screen Size: 7″
Resolution: 800 x 480
Processor: 1GHz processor
Memory: Still Unknown (Most likely 1GB of RAM)
Storage: 4GB (Up to 32GB Micro SD slot)
Camera(s): Front-Facing Camera
Battery: Still Unknown
Release Date: Late Q1 (Late March?)


Archos 80 G9

When you think of tablets, you probably don’t think of Archos. However, even before the “low-cost” tablets came into play, the Archos 80 G9 had always offered the same incredible specs for a fraction of the price of the other guys. And now, to sweeten the deal even more on the almost unknown tablet, Archos is upgrading the G9 tablets (80 and 101) to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Price: $299.99
Screen Size: 8″
Resolution: 1024 x 768
Processor: OMAP™ 4 smart dual-core ARM CORTEX A9 from 1GHz to 1.2GHz
Memory: 512MB
Storage: 8/16GB (Additional microSD slot)
Camera(s): 720p front camera
Battery: Internet navigation time  up to 10 hrs
Release Date: February to March

A full chart of the Archos G9 tablet variations thanks to arctablet.com.

Archos Generation 9 devices
Model Screen size
Aspect ratio
Storage CPU Memory Price Availability
Archos 80 G9 8 “
4:3
8 Gb TI OMAP 4430
at 1.0 GHz
512 Mb €249
$299
September 20th
16 Gb TI OMAP 4
at 1.2 GHz
512 Mb €279
$329
Early December, 2011
250 Gb TI OMAP 4
at 1.2 GHz
512 Mb €299
$369
January, 2012
16 Gb TI OMAP 4460
at 1.5 GHz
512 MB
TBC
TBC Christmas, 2011
Archos 101 G9 10.1″
16:10
8 Gb TI OMAP 4430
at 1.0 GHz
512 Mb €299.99
$369
September 20th
16 Gb TI OMAP 4
at 1.2 GHz
512 Mb €349
$399
End of November, 2011
250 Gb TI OMAP 4
at 1.2 GHz
512 Mb €399
$469
Unknown
16 Gb TI OMAP 4460
at 1.5 GHz
512 MB
TBC
TBC Christmas, 2011

 


Asus Memo 370t

Out of all of the cheap tablets that will be running Ice Cream Sandwich, I have to say that this tablet is by far the best deal. It is blazing fast and half the price of the other quad-core Ice Cream Sandwich tablet (Transformer Prime). If you are looking for a smaller sized tablet of the 7 inch variety, want some serious power under the hood, then this is definitely the one to hold out for.

Price: $249.99
Screen Size: 7″
Resolution: 1280×800 Super IPS display
Processor: Quad-Core Tegra 3 (Unknown Speed)
Memory: 1GB
Storage: 16GB/32GB
Camera(s): 8-megapixel  rear-camera
Battery: Still Unknown
Release Date: Q2 2012


Coby MID 7042

Coby has been in the cheap tablet market for a while now. However, almost every single one of their tablets have been sub-par. Now, with the addition of ICS and upgraded specs, Coby might actually have a chance at some market share (Maybe!).

Note: Be careful, rumor has it this tablet will have access to the GetJar marketplace instead of the Android Market.

Price: $179
Screen Size: 7″
Resolution: 800 x 480
Processor: 1Ghz ARM Cortex A8 processor
Memory: 1GB
Storage: 4GB (microSD slot up to 32GB)
Camera(s): Front facing camera of unknown quality
Battery: Still Unknown
Release Date: Unknown (but soon)


Argos Skypad Alpha2

Argos SkyPad is the latest cheap tablet manufactured by Skytex. Once again, this is not really a high-profile company that is a household name. In addition, the tablet will have access to the 1mobile market instead of the standard Android Market. But as noted in the picture above, the Alpha2 will have access to a lot of the big and famous Android apps.

Price: $199
Screen Size: 7″
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Processor: 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A8
Memory: Unknown
Storage: 8GB
Camera(s): At least a rear-facing camera
Battery: Removable Battery of Unknown Size
Release Date: Early 2012


Ramos W6HD

The W6HD is the newest Android tablet from Ramos, a Chinese tablet manufacturer. The only reason I mention their location is because the tablet is not being sold directly to US customers. However, you can find the tablet online with 3rd party dealers, but you may also find that they are selling the W6HD at a higher price.

Price: $148.99
Screen Size: 7″
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Processor: AMLogic Cortex-A9 2nd generation core
Memory: 512MB
Storage: 8GB Storage
Camera(s): 0.3Mp front + 2.0Mp rear
Battery: 3300mAh (4-5 hours of video)
Release Date: Buy Now!


X10 AirPad 7p

Although once again we are looking at a “no name” manufacturer, the Airpad is being sold at an incredible $150 and offers features that appeal to many users. After all, some of us just don’t need a quad-core or rear-facing camera. If that person is you, the Airpad might be the way to go.

Price: $149.99
Screen Size: 7″
Resolution: 800 x 480
Processor: 1.2 GHz Allwinner A10 Cortex A8 processor + 395 Mhz DSP
Memory: 512MB
Storage: 4GB (microSD slot up to 32GB)
Camera(s): 1.3 MP front-camera with video recording and playback
Battery: 8.5 hours movie, 30 hours music, 8.5 hours WIFI Internet access
Release Date: Buy Now!


Samsung Galaxy Tab 2

Samsung did pretty well with their first round of Galaxy Tabs (minus all of the patent infringement cases). And now that they have announced that Ice Cream Sandwich will not be given to any of their older tablets, they have decided to produce another round with ICS.

Price: $350
Screen Size: 7″
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Processor: Dual-core 1GHz
Memory: 1GB
Storage: 8/16/32GB (and microSD)
Camera(s): Front facing camera of unknown quality
Battery: 4000 mAh, with up to 30 hours of music playback
Release Date: Q1 2012


Xvision an4

Electronics manufacturer WSL Japan will release the Xvision an4 in April of 2012. With a supposed low price tag and a big screen, this is a combo that many tablet “wanters” have been looking for. In addition to the average processor, the an4 will be packing 16GB of internal storage for all of your apps, pictures, and music.

Price: Consistant with others ($200-300)
Screen Size: 9.7″
Resolution: 1024 x 768
Processor: 1GHz CPU
Memory: 1GB
Storage: 16GB
Camera(s): 0.3 MP front-facing
Battery: Unknown
Release Date: April 2012


Our Picks

Budget:


If you’re really looking to get the best deal on an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) tablet, the NOVO7 Paladin is definitely the way to go. Coming in at just $89 the 800 x 480 7″ screen and 4000mAh battery should suit you well.

Performance and Overall Winner:


After taking a look at all of the tablets, if you are looking to get high-performance while not breaking your bank, the Asus Memo 370t is right up your alley. It is the only low-cost quad-core tablet and only costs 1/2 of the Asus Transformer Prime at $249. Although it is just 7″, the Asus Memo 370t packs 16GB of internal storage and an 8MP rear-facing camera.

And how about you? Would you opt for a lower priced tablet? See anything you like? Let us know in the comments below!

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