Another one bites the dust or so it seems. According to Digital Reader, budget e-book and tablet maker Augen has gone belly up. The first sign that something was amiss started when the company website mysteriously went down a month ago. Since then, consumers and reporters alike have sent emails to the company and individual employees with no response.
Augen's claim to fame was the $150 Android 2.1-powered Augen GenTouch78 and the $99 Book e-reader which made their debut at K-Mart in 2010. Thanks to the bargain basement pricetag, the 7-inch devices flew off the shelves initially. However both were panned by the critics for poor build quality and non-responsive resistive touchscreens . (See how the Augen GenTouch78 fared in our review.) It didn't take long before both products were overshadowed by better devices from big name companies.
Augen attempted to stage a comeback at this year's CES, showing off their new Espresso tablet line - a series of 7 and 10-inch tablets. Targeting budget shoppers and coffee lovers alike, Augen unveiled the 7-inch GenTouch Latte ($150), GenTouch Latte Grande ($269), GenTouch Espresso ($270), and the 10-inch Dolce ($369). Augen also displayed the Droppio, an optional keyboard dock for the Dolce that had a 160GB hard drive and a built-in 6000mAH battery. Augen claimed the Droppio's extra battery would boost the Dolce's battery life from 10 to 15 hours.
Taking notes from the GenTouch 78, Augen made some necessary upgrades including outfitting the Latte with an accelerometer and giving the other tablets capacitive touchscreens. The Espresso and Dolce/Doppio got a little power boost running on a 1-GHz Cortex-A9 processor. The tablets also received an OS upgrade, moving to Android 2.2. In a surprising move, the Dolce/Doppio dual-booted Android 2.2. and an undisclosed version of Unbuntu.
With a website that has yet be restored and no response from the company, it looks like Augen and its fantastical line of tablets that never were have gone the way of the JooJoo, and the Notion Ink Adam. We request that you join us in a 10 second moment of silence as we remember Augen -- a company with big dreams and sub-par tech.
via Digital Reader