Polaroid launches some more mediocre Android tablets for $129 and up

Polaroid may be best known for making cameras… and this year the company has a rather intriguing mirrorless camera running Android 4.1 on the way. But the company has been offering low-cost Android tablets since last year.

So far we haven’t seen particularly good tablets from Polaroid. But the company does know how to make a cheap tablet — at one point there was a Polaroid tablet with Android 4.0 selling for $100.

Now Polaroid is showing off a new line of tablets with slightly better specs and starting prices of $129.

Polaroid 7 inch tablet

The Polaroid Booth at CES is filled with tablets in a range of sizes. There’s a 7 inch model, an 8 inch model, and a 10 inch tablet.

The 7 inch is the cheapest of the bunch, starting at $129. It features a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel capacitive toucshcreen display, a 1.6 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, a 2MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front-facing camera.

When I got a chance to test the tablet, it seemed reasonably fast… but the screen viewing angles were underwhelming.

There are a few things to like about this tablet. It has an HDMI port and SD card slot. It’s a Google Certified device with the Play Store, Google Maps, and other Google software. And it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The back of the tablet also has a pretty attractive matte red and black finish.

But even if the Polaroid tablet has features that some other tablets lack, the budget tablet space is pretty crowded at this point, and it’s hard for a company to stand out or compete with major players like Amazon and Google/Asus.

Polaroid is also showing off an 8 inch tablet which looks nearly identical to the 7 inch model, but which has a 1024 x 768 pixel display.

Other models include a 10.1 inch tablet with a 1024 x 600 pixel display and a 9.7 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel model.

The best thing I can say about these tablets is probably that they all look better than the models Polaroid was showing at CES last year. That seems to be a trend as CES 2013: The crappy tablets are less crappy than they used to be.

We should see at least some of these tablets hit the streets in a few months.

Polaroid also claims to have models with higher-resolution, 1280 x 800 pixel displays, but either the spec sheets at the Polaroid booth were wrong, or the models the company is showing off at CES aren’t the final products, because most tablet had lower resolution screens.

  • monopole

    People greatly underestimate the low-end until it is too late. Low-end tablets have been slowly moving from “cheap” to “good enough” to “more than good enough”. When the default is “more than good enough” a phase transition is likely to occur.

    For example I have one of last years tablets for $50, and it gets very heavy use as a XBMC remote and DSLR remote controller among other things. While it would the ludicrous to use a $200-$300 unit for such purposes but at $50 it’s a no brainer. The one limitation of the low end has been the 800×480 resolution. In my experience 1024×600 is quite sufficient especially at 7″. While I regard the A10 to be quite sufficent for most purposes an RK3066 is more than good enough.

    Consider 6 months from now when units like this hit retail endcaps at $76 or the like.

    • John Morris

      I think you have hit on a good trend to watch. The use of cheap tablets for things that aren’t tablet tasks. Before we had lots of cheap and/or overstock hardware and dedicated hackers repurposed some of it but it took a lot of effort. Now it all runs android and you don’t have to find the exact same part number as the other guy who hacked up something interesting to duplicate the work, just grab ANY cheap Android device and load the app.

      We are seeing a disconnection between hardware and software on small gadgets like we have had on the PC for decades. The world will change in ways we won’t fully understand for a couple more years.

    • Rick Martin

      Here’s another new Tablet that stands out compared to most other Android tablets right now — this week Ainol Electronics NOVO 7 VENUS is released for only $149 and available at a site called TabletSprint – Ainol Electronics is also noted for winning Runner-Up for “Best Tablet of the Year” at CES 2012.

      The Novo 7 Venus is a 7″ tablet that offers the latest QUAD CORE processor that’s as good the the Nexus 7 processor, and features a high resolution 1280×800 IPS Display– 16GB Memory, Android 4.1 OS, HDMI 1080p to play Games on HD TV and to stream movies to a big screen, MicroSD Card memory storage Slot, Google Play installed and much more… The site TabletSprint also includes $25 in Bonus Apps – this new Tablet is worth checking out for this price & Features.

      Also available next week is the new Novo 10 Hero II – a full size 10 inch Quad Core Android 4.1 tablet packed with features and TabletSprint offers the 32GB version for $249 —

  • nards barley

    No reason to touch Polaroid’s 7″ crap tablet if the Archos Titanium 7 inch is at $119 with an IPS display and an aluminum case, but otherwise similar specs.

    • strider_mt2k

      That’s like asking which knife you wan to be stabbed with.

  • Guest008

    Not even a decent cam on these things… for a Polaroid device, really?

  • tommy

    I thought it was a good deal I got my s8 from kohls on blkn Friday Polaroid I thought Polaroid it should be good but it has HDMI and SD storage so didn’t think to look how much memory it has its slightly fast but lags and the apps you get stuck with 12 mob of cache you can’t clear so internal memory sucks wish I would have waited but sent my mail in rebate with receipt so I’m screwed craigslist here I come have a merry Xmas everyone…