Oz firm to offer Android-based iPad rival

Summary:On the eve of the launch of the Apple iPad in Australia, local PC manufacturer Pioneer has revealed plans to launch an Android-based competitor.

On the eve of the launch of the Apple iPad in Australia, local PC manufacturer Pioneer has revealed plans to launch an Android-based competitor.

ePad7

DreamBook ePad7(Credit: Pioneer)

Pioneer issued a media release this week stating it would launch its DreamBook ePad 7. The company has billed the tablet as "a revolutionary iPad-style mobile computer" at the Computex trade fair in Taiwan, which runs from the 1 to 5 June.

The device will come in two models — one with a 7-inch screen for US$199 (AU$240 at current exchange rates), and one with a 10-inch screen for US$299 (AU$362). Both price points are significantly below the minimum price Australians will pay for the lowest end iPad — AU$629.

According to specifications published online, the Pioneer ePad has a Wi-Fi network connection, and can take an external 3G mobile broadband USB dongle to bring its networking capabilities up to speed with the upper iPad editions. It has 2GB of flash memory storage, but can take up to 32GB more with an expansion card. Like the iPad and iPhone, it has a sensor that detects which way the screen rotates, and it can take external Bluetooth and GPS connections.

The tablet will support external USB storage devices, keyboard and mice, as well as run the full range of applications from Google's software store. The LCD screen supports a resolution of 800x480 pixels, and there is a built-in headphone socket and a microphone. Currently, the tablet runs version 1.6 of the Android operating system.

The included CPU is listed as a "WM8505+" model, and the tablet also comes with an included camera, although the company didn't say what megapixel rating it holds.

Further information is being requested from Pioneer about the device's availability.

The ePad 7 is not the first tablet or e-reader device that Pioneer has launched — it currently offers a range of others, ranging in price from US$149 for a basic colour e-reader unit, up to US$499 for a fully kitted out e-reader. Its previous ePad, the B1, ran the Compact version of Microsoft Windows.

Topics: Apple, iPad

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