A 7-inch tablet running Android's newest operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, began shipping in China this week for under $100 and will be available in the United States within several months, according to the slate's makers. The device, the first of its kind running Android 4.0, will be offered at a low price point without sacrificing quality performance, Chinese chip-maker Ingenic Semiconductor and California-based MIPS Technologies said in Monday's press release.
Available now through Ainol Electronics Co. Ltd., the tablet is powered by Ingenic's JZ4770 mobile applications processor, which utilizes a 1-GHz MIPS-Based XBurst CPU. Though the current model has a 7-inch capacitive touch screen display, 8 and 9-inch versions will available soon, the companies said. The tablet will be under different brand names from companies including Leader International Inc. and OMG Electronics Ltd. when it hits the U.S.
"The openness of Android is enabling a new level of connectedness and interaction between devices and between people across the globe," said Sandeep Vij, president and CEO, MIPS Technologies. "We applaud Ingenic's accomplishment in developing this new high-performance, feature-rich Android 4.0 tablet, and offering it at a price point that makes it widely accessible."
All versions of the slate will have WiFi support and include USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3 and microSD slots, the release said. With 3D graphics from a Vivante GC860 GPU, the device will also enable 1080p video decoding and feature both front and back cameras. The companies said the tablet will be power-efficient, providing extended battery life while drawing less than 400mA during active web browsing.