Is $99 a magic figure, especially for a tablet computer? Several months ago, Hewlett-Packard company sold its WebOS-based tablet HP TouchPad with the price of $99 in a firesale (and it did sell like hot cakes). And now, reports say the HP TouchPad will hit the shelves again this weekend and will carry the same price tag - $99.
According to TechCrunch, HP TouchPad will make a comeback in two versions: 16GB and 32 GB and will be sold for $99 and $149 respectively, starting December 11 at 6:00 p.m. Central time. The TouchPads will only be available on HP's eBay store.
And, that's not all - the Internet is also abuzz with the news that the world's first Ice Cream Sandwich-powered tablet - Novo7 - has a price tag of $99. Novo7, the result of a joint effort by MIPS Technologies and Ingenic Semiconductor, is expected to hit the U.S. market in the upcoming months.
Both HP TouchPad and Novo7 seem to be valuable tablets (read: something to get your paws upon) as they are selling for only $99. So, the $99 question is - which tablet will you buy?
The HP TouchPad, which features 9.7-inch multi-touch, 1.2GHz dual-core and WebOS operation system, makes a wonderful Christmas gift. But be warned - the TouchPads, which may go on sale this weekend, are refurbished versions with a 90-day limited warranty and HP will no accept any returns unless they arrive defective.
Novo7 has very good features too, including the latest Ice Cream Sandwich operation system that combines the best of Android OSes for the smartphone (Gingerbread) and the tablet (Honeycomb), two cameras (front- and rear-facing), 3D capability and 1080p video decoding. But If you decide to buy one, you have to wait for several months as the exact U.S. launch date is not known.
However, for the sake of convenience, we have listed some important things below that could help you make a good choice:
|OS||WebOS||Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)||Ice Cream Sandwich OS is obviously more popular than WebOS. Unlike ICS, WebOS may not see any updates.|
|Processor||1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core APQ8060 processor||MIPS XBurst 1GHz CPU||HP TouchPad's CPU is faster. MIPS XBurst 1GHz CPU hasn't been put to acid test. So no comments.|
|Storage Capacity||16/32GB||Unknown. The makers claim it supports exFAT storage format (over 4GB capacity)||TouchPad has the advantage here.|
|Price||$99/ $149 for 16/32GB||$99||A draw|
|Display||9.7-inch multi-touch (capacitive) 1024x768||7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen||TouchPad has the bigger display. Meaning less eye strain.|
|Battery||Rechargeable 6000 or 6300 mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery8.5 hours for video playback||8 hours for video playback||A draw. But note that TouchPad's battery powers a bigger screen and faster processor. So technically, TouchPad's battery is better.|
|Available||Dec. 11||In the upcoming months. Basically unknown.||A draw. Depends on what you want.|
|Camera||a front-facing 1.3MP camera||A front-facing 0.3MP camera and a rear-facing 2MP camera||Novo7's cameras are better than TouchPad's|
|Others||Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth|| 3D capability, 1080p video decodingGreat WiFi support (802.11 b/g/n)|
Ports for USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3 and microSD
|Novo7's supports 3D graphics.Novo7 is also a sheer delight for gamers and its manufacturers claim: Using Vivant GC860 GPU graphics core, support for OpenGL ES2.0 and ES 1.0, OpenVG1.1 and operating frequency 444Mhz, games run smoother and they're more realistic.|
Another thing to note is that TouchPad doesn't support 3G. However, Novo7 supports external 3G.
|Conclusion||Get the TouchPad if you're a fan of HP. If you're more adventurous, wait for the Novo7. Apparently, even Google's senior vice president of mobile, Andy Rubin, has lauded the device.I'm thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low-cost, high-performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android's openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world. Rubin reportedly said in a statement.|
What do you think? Which $99 tablet appeals to you? Leave your comments below.