"Budget" doesn't have to mean "Crap"
Good news, Android fans looking for a cheapo tablet/e-reader solution. E FUN has just launched a new item in the Nextbook line. The Next3 is an 8.4" WiFi Android tablet with access to the Borders online book store. It allows full Internet browsing, email, Youtube, and all the other "real tablet" features.There's 2 GB on-board, plus a microSD slot.
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The Next3 should hit retail outlets by the end of this week. It MSRPs for $299 and will be making an appearance at CES 2011.
8.4" is a weird size category, but the price is definitely right. The OS is Android 2.1, which isn't ideal but hey, these things take time. The tablet itself looks...pretty much exactly like an iPad. Right down to the fat bezel and near-seamless design. Fortunately, the Next3 still has a USB slot. It is also compatible with Win2000/XP/Vista/Win 7.
Buying a budget slate like this is always a bit of a crap-shoot. Reviews of other Nextbook products report good build quality, e-reading and decent responsiveness. The screen had some issues- and it isn't clear yet if the Next3 has a resistive or capacitive touchscreen.
I'll be fiddling with this little gem at CES to give you more detailed feedback. If you're still hung up on buying an Android tablet Now, you should look into the eLocity A7. It can be at your front-door by Christmas and packs a Tegra 2 processor and a 7" display.
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The price- $370, puts it well above a budget slate like the Next3. So, if you're on the fence about tablets and want to spend as little as possible on your first, you'd be served well by waiting a week or two until we see some reputable reviews of the Next3.