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Velocity Micro Unveils New Android Tablets, Pico Projector, and a Souped Up Storage Drive for CES 2012

Velocity Micro's the latest company with an early-bird product announcement for CES 2012. Ahead of next week's tech-travaganza, the bargain-bin friendly gadget maker announced two new Android Ice Cream Sandwich tablets in addition to a  pocket-ready pico projector and a combination portable storage/DVD RW drive.

We'll start with the slates, which you can think of as follow-ups to the Velocity Micro Cruz T408 Android slate we reviewed last year.  The Cruz Tablet T507 will pack a 7-inch touch screen while the T510 houses a more iPad-like 9.7-inch touch surface. Other than that, the slates are more similar than different; each includes a 1.2-GHz Cortex A8 CPU, 400 MHz graphics, 8GB of internal storage, HDMI out ports, and the latest version of Android 4.0.

With those specs, we expect the newer Velocity Micro tablet family to be faster than its 1-GHz CPU predecessor. The inclusion of Ice Cream Sandwich will also help remove our disdain for the T408's poorly skinned Android 2.3 operating system. Affordable prices won't hurt either. The 7-inch T507 is slated to cost less than $150, while Velocity Micro tells us the 9.7-inch T510 is expected to limbo in beneath the $250 bar.  See a gallery of Velocity Micro's new Android tablets and learn more about other upcoming devices below.

In the imaging arena, the sub-$400 Shine Projector displays video and images at a 1280x768-pixel resolution and 300-lumen brightness. The compact image device measures 4 inches, weighs 9 ounces, and supports HDMI, so Velocity Micro is targeting smartphone and tablet owners who appreciate high-definition content on the go.

Last but far from least is the VMUltra Drive, a laptop peripheral that stacks feature after feature onto a standard 500GB SATA external hard drive. The VMUltra doubles as a DVD R/RW optical drive and, thanks to three embedded USB 2.0 ports and an SD card reader, it also triples as a port hub too. The whole kit-and-kaboodle attaches to notebooks over USB  and will cost about $180 when it becomes available later this year. Look for hands-on thoughts at CES 2012 next week.