Tablets were considered luxury tech products once upon a time. But nowadays, these are more accessible to the masses. With Google’s uber-cool Nexus 7 going for $200 and Amazon’s new Kindle Fire available at $160, it’s obvious that virtually anyone can now afford a tab with a decent amount of oomph under its hood.
But what if you don’t care that much about performance and need an even cheaper Android-based tablet? No problem, because Gardner’s upcoming GoTab will cost less than $100. In fact, it will be available in the UK for £59, which would translate into $96, but if it were to ever come in the US, our guess is that it wouldn’t cost more than $60 or $70.
I’m sure that you wouldn’t expect much from such a dirt-cheap device, especially that it is oddly marketed as an e-book reader, but there are a couple of nice surprises. First off, the GoTab will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box with full Google Play access, as well as with a pre-loaded Gardner eBook app for buying and reading digital books.
The multitouch capacitive touchscreen display is itself not bad, measuring 6 inches in diagonal and featuring an 800 x 480 pixels resolution. While some of you might not dig the panel’s small size, which makes the GoTab look a bit weird for a full-fledged tablet, the 155 ppi pixel density is above average for a gadget so cheap.
Gardner doesn’t detail the processor inside the GoTab other than mentioning it is ARM-based and clocked at 1 GHz, but it’s pretty clear we’ll be dealing with a single-core CPU. The performance level, while certainly mediocre, should again be satisfying for such a dirt-cheap tablet, considering that the CPU is coupled with a Mali 400 GPU and 512 MB of DDR3 RAM.
Most of the other tech specs and features are also not as horrible as you might think and include 4 GB of internal memory, microSD support for expanding the storage with an additional 32 GB, a VGA front-facing camera, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and a micro USB port.
There’s no Bluetooth support or GPS on the flipside, while the 2,000 mAh battery sounds far too meager to even withstand four hours of continuous browsing on a single charge, as Gardner claims. Still, the 6-incher feels like an overall solid device for its pricing, being rather elegant and chic, with a 230 grams weight and an 11 mm thickness.
UK-based Gardner will make the GoTab available sometime in October in its native land, with no other countries being confirmed to get the 6-incher anytime soon. We’re guessing the tab will spread its tentacles across Europe eventually, but it will probably never make it outside the Old Continent.
Any British tech lovers thinking of getting the GoTab starting next month? How about those of you reading us in the States, would you ever touch such a dirt-cheap tab if it were to go on sale on your turf?