The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

Summary: There's a lot of cheap and nasty junk out there - Don't fall into the trap!

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CNet's Donald Bell makes some interesting points about the Android Honeycomb OS, but it is comments on price that caught my attention. Here's the point that Bell made about price that caught my attention:
If we're to hold up the Kindle Fire as the first genuine Android tablet success story, I think it's too easy to say that price is what put it on top. There are other $199 tablets out there. Hell, there are $99 tablets out there.
Yes, there are $99 Android tablets out there. But guess what? They're junk! CNet's own rating system classes them as such. Here's the $199 Velocity Micro Cruz T408: And here's the $110 Maylong Universe M-150: Our very own Jason Perlow got his hands on a Maylong M-150 and branded it an “awful piece of junk.

Maylong M-150 $99 Android Tablet from Walgreens from Off The Broiler on Vimeo.

What Amazon did with the Kindle Fire is make good, solid, reliable tablet for $199. There's a big gulf between some no-name brand generic Android tablet and the Kindle Fire. People know the Kindle brand, and they sure know the Amazon brand. The trick isn't to make a cheap product, it's to make a good value product. Amazon knew the difference between the two. The no-name makers didn't. This is why the Kindle Fire was a hit, and it's also why you might not have heard of the other two tablets. There's a lot of cheap and nasty junk out there produced with one goal in mind - suckering people into buying something that vaguely looks like an iPad, only built so cheap as to be utterly useless. Don't fall into the trap! Related:

Topics: Android, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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37 comments
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  • It is the eco-system.

    Amazon gets this. Apple gets this. Samsung is starting to see this.
    Bruizer
    • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

      @Bruizer

      I've actually used the Maylong M-150 above. It's more than the ecosystem, although the ecosystem is very important. But if the iPad had the same user experience as the Maylong M-150, even the best ecosystem around it wouldn't save it from failing abysmally.
      benched42
    • Kindle Fire is heavily subsidized

      @Bruizer
      Here is the difference between the 3 companies:
      Apple: makes huge profits on hardware, large profits on content
      Amazon: loses money on hardware, huge profits on content
      Samsung: loses money on hardware, no profits on content

      One of these companies is going to leave the tablet market within the next 2 years.

      As for those $99 tablets, it isn't that they don't "get it", it is that they have to cut so many corners to make a few cents on each sale that the end result is a really bad tablet. The problem is that Apple gets all of its parts drastically cheaper than any other company can get their parts because Apple has an unprecedented amount of purchasing power (called a monopsony). If anyone else tried to make a high quality tablet approaching the iPad, it would cost them $500. They would have to price it higher to make a profit but why would you buy a tablet for more than $500 if it wasn't an iPad? You would be stupid to do that.

      We will not see any real competition in the tablet market for 20 years. Apple is too strong and powerful and will leverage its various monopolies and monopsonies to stop competitors from joining the market (called "barriers to entry").

      It is a sick market. We all lose.
      toddybottom
      • get a new song

        @toddybottom
        to sing or at least take a frickin day off. you've combined the ultimate no no's. you're predictable AND boring.
        oneleft
      • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

        @toddybottom Did you miss the article showing Samsung made 4.5 Billion off of Android? Or how about the fact that Samsung has both Music and Movies that they actually sell?
        slickjim
      • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

        @toddybottom [b]The problem is that Apple gets all of its parts drastically cheaper than any other company can get their parts because Apple has an unprecedented amount of purchasing power (called a monopsony). [/b]

        And yet Apple gets the majority of their parts from Samsung.
        athynz
    • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

      @Bruizer Why do you thInk they don't get it? Seriously, are you blind to the fact that Google launched Books and Movies with Honeycomb? Or the fact that they're trying to get their music store off the ground?

      Everyone knows that the strength of Apple is now and has always been iTunes! Without the Content provided by them and largely through iTunes.
      slickjim
  • A lot of $199 tablets are better than Kindle Fire

    I can get Vizio 8 at Costco for $189. I see the Lenovo Ideapad A1 advertised on slickdeals.net for $199 all the time.

    Both of these are true Android tablets, not proprietary eReaders, that have limited functionality.
    walterbyrd@...
    • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

      @walterbyrd@... <br><br>I've played with the Vizio at Walmart and wasn't too impressed. But if I know anything about Lenovo, i suspect that the A1 is probably a nice little Gingerbread tablet. And as the owner of a different, but still nice Gingerbread tablet (HTC Flyer) I can say that these can be very nice, useful machines. Gingerbread works just fine for the 7" form factor, an dI have no regrets about buying my Flyer.
      dsf3g
  • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

    kindle fire sucks foreal i know way better tablet's for 199 i bought an old galaxy tab from verizon for 68 dollars and it out shines the kindle in every way amazon app store please they just got the android market even thou its been on there since it came out next time you diss a 100 dollar tablet can you compare this to the novo 7 the only true 100 dollar tablet running ics it puts the kindle to shame with no flash at all on it all the other tablets at this price do suck but once again i have a kindle an its biggest flaw is that amazon made it
    papatheg
    • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

      @papatheg I am copying your rant as the longest, most inane run on sentence in the world. Congratulations.
      TelstarII
      • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

        @TelstarII On behalf of other Novo7 users... I apologize. Just a reminder, hate the user, not the tablet.
        DrakkenZero
      • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

        @TelstarII He's not done yet. No period.
        ZAXDAD66
      • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

        @TelstarII He didn't get started yet. No capital "K" on "kindle".
        nikacat
    • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

      @papatheg Holy crap! I think you just hit the record books for the longest most inane run on sentence ever.

      From what I've been able to dredge from this morass of bad grammar is that you supposedly own a Kindle Fire, do not like it, bought a Galaxy Tab from Verizon (Wireless?) for $68 and feel it's better. Then you go on about the Novo 7 being the only sub-$100 tablet running ICS, babble about how the Kindle (Fire?) does not have Flash and that the Kindle's (Fire?) biggest flaw is that Amazon made it. Does that seem to be an accurate translation?
      athynz
  • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

    I agree there's a lot of bad tablets at that price point, but they're not all crap.

    My humble little Novo7 sports a capacitive touch screen, HDMI output, an SD Card Slot, USB support, front-and-rear-facing cameras, and is the first officially licensed tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich. I'm not saying it's perfect, but at $99, it does an impressive amount of asskicking.
    DrakkenZero
    • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

      @DrakkenZero Looks like that one is nixed due to MIPS processor. The successor will be the Elf at $139 with 1.5Ghz ARM Cortex A8 in February. Too bad - it looked to be an interesting little bit of kit even if it couldn't run all the market apps.

      Still, Ainol looks to be a value leader in the Android tablet space. Can't wait to see what Vizio and ViewSonic come up with.
      symbolset
      • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

        @symbolset The MIPS processor is proving to be an... interesting challenge, however the good Dev folks just released an app called "Magic Code" which has drastically increased it's compatibility with Arm-coded apps. Also, since the MIPS processor is fairly new to the game, I'm hoping as more of them pop up more apps will include MIPS compatibility by default.
        DrakkenZero
      • RE: The problem with $99 Android tablets - they suck!

        @DrakkenZero I'm looking forward to it! The $100 price point opens up lots of opportunities for geek toys. Since they're essentially disposable you can launch them on rockets, hoist them in balloons, disassemble them for robotics projects and whatnot.
        symbolset
  • Non $99 android tablets suck too. Witness the playbook.

    Havent had enough FAIL from RIM? See Playbook 2.0 at CES. Yup it's another FAIL from the company that lived and breathed FAIL all year long in 2011. Need more android tablet FAIL? Have a heaping helping of moto xyboard FAIL. God it's just awful. Still not enough. Sammy's got a couple more boatloads of galaxy fail on tap. There should be lots of future landd fill android tablet fail for everyone whatever your price point is, from $99 to $599. Google sounds eager to jump on the FAIL train too in 2012. Maybe they'll call it chrome to try to distance themselves.
    Johnny Vegas