Asus and Google’s Nexus 7 provides arguably the best bang for the buck in the 7-inch tablet niche, but what if you want something a little cheaper? The Acer Iconia B1 is definitely a good choice, but let’s face it – it doesn’t even come close to the N7 hardware-wise.
How about the Scroll Excel 3 from Storage Options? What do you mean, you’ve never heard of Storage Options? They’re the guys that brought the £120 Scroll Evoke back in December 2012.
Well, the Excel 3 looks a lot like the Evoke, only it’s even cheaper – £110 in the UK, or $167 in more familiar currency for our American readers. Granted, this thing’s chances of ever landing on US soil are slim to none, but just for fun let’s see what the Excel 3 packs for that uber-low price tag.
First of all, it sports a 7-inch 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution display. That’s a lot poorer than N7’s 1,280 x 800 pix res panel, but right on-par with the screens on the Iconia B1 and Asus MeMo Pad 7.
Moving on, we have a dual-core 1.6 GHz Cortex A9-based Boxchip CPU, quad-core Mali-400 MP graphics and 1 GB of RAM. That again doesn’t fare well against the Nexus 7, but it most likely blows the rest of the competition away.
Okay, what else? Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – check. 8 GB of on-board memory, expandable via microSD – check and check. All the standard connectivity options (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), plus mini HDMI – double check.
There are even dual 2 MP/0.3 MP cameras on the thing, although the 3,000 mAh battery sounds pretty meager (yet still better than Iconia B1’s 2,710 mAh “ticker”).
All in all, is the Scroll Excel 3 worth your attention – and hard-earned money? Yes and no. Yes, if you really can’t afford the Nexus 7 or the MeMo Pad 7. No, if you want a solid tab from a company whose name is familiar to more than 10 people. Your choice.