Budget consumer electronics company Coby has introduced a new line of inexpensive tablets designed to run Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. They range in size from 7 inches to 10 inches, and Coby is pricing the cheapest models at $179, with the most expensive of the bunch coming in at $299.
They could start shipping as early as March.
Update 3/27/2012: As expected, Coby started selling these tablets in the US in late March for prices starting at $150.
All of the new tablets are powered by 1 GHz Allwinner ARM Cortex-A8 single core processors and they all have 1 GB of RAM and capacitive multitouch displays. But to be honest, the samples Coby has on display at CES still feel a little sluggish.
That could be due to the fact that these are pre-production units, but it would probably be silly to expect these low-cost devices to be comparable to high-end tablets with NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, or Qualcomm multi-core processors.
That said, the tablets look pretty nice and feel pretty sturdy, and they do run Google’s latest operating system. They come preloaded with the GetJar app store which allows you to download around 50,000 free Android apps. Coby is in talks with Google about the possibility of gaining Google Certification which would allow the company to add the Android Market and Google apps such as Gmail or Google Maps.
Here’s a run-down of some of the new tablets.
This is a 7 inch model with an 800 x 480 pixel display and a $179 price tag. It has 4GB of storage, a front-facing 1MP camera, a USB port, and mini HDMI port.
This model has an 8 inch, 800 x 600 pixel display and 4GB of storage. The rest of the specs are the same as those for the 7 inch model, but the MID8042 will sell for about $229.
This 9 inch model isn’t on display at CES, but it has a 1280 x 800 pixel display and 8GB of storage. It’s expected to sell for $259.
While this 9.7 inch model is a little larger than the MID9042, it has a lower resolution 1024 x 768 pixel display. It looks an awful lot like an iPad. It will have 8GB of storage and sell for $279.
Coby doesn’t have any 10 inch models on hand at CES, but this tablet will have a 1024 x 600 pixel 10.1 inch display and 8B of storage.
The top-of-the-line Coby Android 4.0 tablet has a 1280 x 800 pixel display and 8GB of storage. It will retail for $299.
All of the tablets have microSDHC card slots which support up to 32GB of additional storage.