iPad beware! Chinese tablets with “retina” displays up for grabs for under $300

October 10, 2012
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Whether we like it or not (and we don’t), Apple’s iPads are still dominating the global tablet market, despite the rise of the 7-inch budget-friendly Android tabs. But with rumors going on about a Google-Samsung co-branded 10-inch slate sporting a 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution display, we should finally start talking soon about a real “iPad killer.”

In the meantime though, we already have two Android-based tablets released that can compete with the new iPad at least in terms of the screens’ resolutions. The Cube U9GT 5 and Chuwi V99 are as exotic as they are hard to find, but if you’re not fazed with the possible poor build quality of Chinese tabs coming from no-name companies, you should be happy to hear about their existence.

We’re unsure of the exact ties between Cube and Chuwi, but the two new 10-inchers look almost identical, both on the inside and on the outside. The two tabs are also both marketed as sporting “Retina” displays, despite that being an Apple copyrighted brand name.

We don’t expect Apple to sue very soon, though (after all, we’ve seen much more insolent “clones” in the past), so get your financial ducks in a row, because a sales ban is improbable.

Chuwi V99

The Chuwi V99 can be had from PandaWill, a Chinese online retailer that does not exactly have a great reputation. But if you’re willing to take your chances, you’ll only be asked to pay $289.99 for the tab. The 9.7-incher sports a 2,048 x 1,536 pixel display and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, so it sounds like it really brings the best of both worlds together.

Powered by a Cortex A9-based dual-core 1.6 GHz Rockchip RK3066 CPU, the V99 comes with 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of on-board storage, dual 2 MP cameras, microSD support, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a battery supposedly capable of running for 10 hours between charges.

All in all, there isn’t much you can bitch about when talking about the tab’s specs, and best of all PandaWill throws in worldwide free shipping with the V99.

Cube U9GT 5

As for Cube’s U9GT 5, you might remember us talking about it just a couple of weeks back, when the tablet was first introduced to the public. In the meantime, Cube has listed the 9.7-incher on its website, and will take pre-orders between October 18 and 30.

The U9GT 5 should start shipping as soon as October 31, and, while it comes with basically the same specs and features as the Chuwi V99, it’s more than 20 bucks cheaper (available for $265.99).

We can’t stress how important it is to think hard before ordering any one of the two tabs, but if you end up buying the Chuwi V99 or the Cube U9GT 5, do come back to us and let us know what you think of them. Exactly what is wrong with these gadgets that they are available for such low prices? Do they fall apart on touch? Or are some of those breathtaking specs made up?

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