Wedging the gap between traditional 7 and 10-inch tablets is E Fun's new 9-inch Android 2.3 tablet, which will hit stores next week on December 20th for $279. The Nextbook Premium 9 will feature a capacitive touch screen, an A8 Cortex 1GHz processor, and 4GB of built-in memory with room for flash upgradeable to 32GB.
The specs certainly sound attractive for a mid-range price, but we're hoping things will turn out a little better than the last E Fun product we reviewed. The Nextbook Next 5 was a pretty abysmal experience, suffering from poor performance, battery life, comical touch screen ability, and just about everything but the virtual sink. The virtual pen was cool, though, so hopefully Nextbook has extended that creativity to other realms with the upcoming Premium 9.
In their defense though, there are several tablets available from E Fun that we haven't reviewed. And on paper (.docx), the Premium 9 looks good. Running on Gingerbread, the device will have Wi-Fi capability, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, Kobo eBook store, and a mini USB sport. Though "built-in speakers" isn't quite a boon, the device will play 1080p video, and OfficeSuite will enable viewing of various files, a must for this price bracket
And a tough price bracket it is, indeed. Tablets braving the no man's land between sub-$200 reader's tablets and $500 iPad and Friends have had a rough time finding the sweet spot. Just ask the ViewBook 730, Vizio 8-inch, Velocity Micro Cruz T408 or Archos 80 G9, all of which failed to break the 2.5-star rating boundary.