Asus helped Google make the very popular Nexus 7 last year, thanks in part to its very affordable $200 price tag. It seems this year they wanted to push the boundaries even further for what it means to make an affordable Android tablet with decent performance. That’s how they came up with the Memo Pad HD7, which is a tablet that starts at as little as $129, for the 8 GB version, and goes up to $149 for the 16 GB version.
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They are apparently using a Mediatek quad core 1.2 Ghz Cortex A7 chip, which isn’t as powerful as the Tegra 3 in Nexus 7 (slightly weaker), but is much more efficient, which means the battery can be smaller to cut costs, and it will make the tablet lighter, too (Asus says lighter than iPad Mini even).
The resolution is what you’d expect from such a cheap tablet – 1280×800, but it has an IPS panel, so it should look pretty good (probably better than the one in Nexus 7). If you want higher resolution than that, you might want to wait for the 1920×1200 Nexus 7 that should be arriving later this year, from $200 and up.
The tablet also comes with a 5MP back camera, and a 1.2 MP front-camera with 720p recording, so you can do HD video calls with it. The tablet also has a microSD, so if you get the $129 one with 8 GB of storage, you can expand it with 32 GB more, for about the same $20 difference between the 8GB and 16GB model.
I also think the tablets look very good, especially for such a low price, and seem high quality. They come in different colors, too, which is something I’ve been hoping Android OEM’s would do more, and use some really nice colors on their devices. I’m getting tired of the same black and white slabs that everyone else is making. They need to make their devices more exciting. Some bold and good-looking colors can do that quickly for them.
Thanks to these low-cost tablets, and if they promote them well enough, Asus could gain significant market share in tablets this year. The tablet is supposed to launch in July, so we’ll have to wait and see.