Google's new Nexus 7 tablet may be garnering attention in the tablet industry, but there may be an unlikely competitor. An Indian company will be offering a tablet running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean that will only cost $125, PCWorld reported.
Known as the Smart Tab 1, this device is the second to receive the Android 4.1 update after Google initially unveiled it at the end of June. This is a significant price cut compared with the Nexus 7 tablet, which costs at least $199. The Smart Tab 1 is available in India, and it features a 7-inch display powered by a single-core MIPS processor at a speed of 1.2 GHz.
It also includes a 2-megapixel front camera, 3G support, and seven hours of battery life while surfing the Internet and eight hours of battery on video. Karbonn Mobiles, the manufacturer of the device, said on its website that the tablet has 32 GB of expandable storage space, and the extra space is likely to come through a micro-SD slot.
The technical specifications do not measure up to those of the Nexus 7, but it is the first Android tablet to feature a processor from MIPS. Karbonn Mobiles said that an over-the-air update would be delivered to Smart Tablet 1 customers, but it did not specify when the upgrade would take place. The company hopes to sell 200,000 units per month, according to PCWorld.
MIPS competes against ARM, the processor that powers many tablets on the market such as Apple's iPad. Tablets powered by MIPS are typically cheaper than those with ARM and cost about $150, but despite this lower price they have not been popular.
The reason for this is that most application development is catered toward ARM-powered systems, which is an issue that has drawn complaints by MIPS users. MIPS said it is working to solve this problem by working with partners, and popular Android applications such as Fruit Ninja are now compatible with MIPS.
Samsung's line of Galaxy Nexus-branded smartphones are the first devices to get the upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and the Smart Tab 1 is second to only the Nexus 7 in the tablet race to get the upgrade. Manufacturers such as ASUS have said the upgrade will roll out in due time.
Google unveiled the Jelly Bean operating system at its I/O developer's conference this summer. The new OS boasts the following features:
-- A smoother interface known as Project Butter.
-- Android Beam, which lets users share content through near field communication, or NFC, by tapping devices to another compatible device.
-- An overhauled notification system that allows users to respond to certain alerts directly from the notification tray.
-- A New and improved keyboard.
-- Google Now, which learns a user's regular behavior on the device and provides information even before a user searches for it.
It has been recently reported that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is now present on 0.8 percent of Android-powered devices, according to new Google statistics. The OS has also been rumored as being tested for Samsung's Galaxy and S2 and S3 smartphones, but this has yet to be confirmed.