Five Nexus 7 alternatives: 7-inch Android tablets under £200

Five Nexus 7 alternatives: 7-inch Android tablets under £200

Summary: The Nexus 7 has rapidly become the hottest tablet around - but if you don't want to put your cash towards the Asus-manufactured Nexus 7, then what else can you get for your £200?


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  • The Versus Touchpad 7

    The Versus Touchpad 7 (not to be confused with HP's now defunct TouchPad) is even cheaper than the Kobo Vox tablet, at just £99, but manages to deliver a generally better spec list.

    Spec-wise the Versus Touchpad 7 delivers a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory, with support for an additional 32GB via microSD.

    Given its name, it should come as no surprise that the tablet also has a 7-inch screen 800 x 480 (WVGA) multi-touch display.

    Like the Nexus 7 the Versus Touchpad has a forward-facing camera for video calling, unlike the Nexus 7 the resolution of the camera maxes out at 640 x 480 pixel (VGA) resolution.

    With a selling price currently at £100 or less, the Touchpad costs less than half as much as the Nexus 7, and brings with it the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) 4.0 version of Android and access to the Google Play store.

  • The Ainol Elf II

    With a price tag (£90- £115) closer to the Versus Touchpad's than the Nexus 7's, the Ainol Novo 7 ELF II delivers a lot of tech for the cash.

    Under the bonnet it has a 1.5GHz dual-core AmLogic ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which can be bolstered by a microSD expansion card.

    The resolution of the 7-inch display (1024x600 pixels) also delivers more than some of the other tablets on this list, though not the Nexus 7.

    Like the others, wireless data connectivity is omitted but the ELF II does come with Wi-Fi, and is the first on the list to offer a mini-HDMI out port for connecting to external devices for big screen playback. It also has a 2-megapixel front-facing camera that bests the Nexus 7's 1.2-megapixel affair.

    Unlike some other budget, non-Google certified Android devices, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS also brings access to the Google Play store.

  • The Archos Arnova G7

    The Archos Arnova 7 G3 offers the smallest amount of internal storage at 4GB but like every other device here — aside from the Nexus 7 — it will support high-capacity microSD cards.

    Display resolution is comparable with other devices on the list, but falls far short of the Nexus 7's, or even the Novo 7 ELF II, at just 800 x 480 pixels.

    Hardware-wise the Arnova 7 fares better, with an ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processer, 1GB RAM and a mini-HDMI output.

    While the Arnova 7 G3 can be applauded for including a current version of the Google Android operating system (ICS), it is somewhat hampered by not including certification for the Google Play app store, meaning that app downloads on the Arnova G3 come from the AppsLib marketplace.

    Nevertheless, priced at less than £100, the Arnova 7 G3 is a tough one to leave out of a bargain Android tablet round-up.

Topics: Tablets, Android, Mobility

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Umm yeah

    I guarantee you I will not be using a tablet whose name is the phoenetic spelling of "Anal Elf II".
    • None are alternatives

      They are just buggy tablets that no one really needs or wants. And if you make the mistake of purchasing one of these, it will only collect dust and you will regret it.

      Please don't be naive enough to compare non Jelly Bean tablets with one that is. Its comparing Apples to nails.

      And specwise, not one tablet even comes close to compete.
      • References

        Please provide references to your detailed reviews (I assume from your blanket condemnation that you are an experienced technologist who has done detailed reviews of the machines mentioned).
        What, no data?
        Then admit you are talking out of that which you should be sitting on.
        Or better yet, keep your stupid comments to yourself.
  • Agreed

    Pretty much all of the budget no name tablets out there that I've seen are the tablet equivalent of netbooks. And to be clear, in my opinion, that's about as far from a compliment you can get.

    I'm not saying everyone needs to go out and drop $500 on an iPad, but if you're in the market for a tablet, pay the extra $50 - 100 and get something from a reputable, known OEM. $50-100 isn't chump change, but it's worth the peace of mind. If you're that tight for cash, wait an extra month or two and try to save an extra $10-15 a week towards your tablet.
    • Hey leave off Netbooks, they're not all as useless as cheap tablets.

      Its a myth that all netbooks are cheap and nasty. I've had a Samsung NC10 netbook for 3 years and its a superb highly portable small laptop that's I've carried all over the place and it punches way above its weight. However a friend of mine asked me to see if I could fix his Asus (or was it Acer) netbook recently. It was one of the early ones with a 7" screen and a 32gb SSD - now that was a piece of grindingly slow junk - I promptly handed it back saying, sorry life's too short to waste time on it. Actually, I kind of fancy a tablet as my throw in my bag computer but actually I would probably be able to do more on a dual core netbook particularly when one takes into account connectivity - how many tablets have 3 USB ports for example.
      • USB ports

        Since a single gleaming USB port can support many, many devices, why would you need more than one, except if you need high-speed devices on separate hubs.
        Spend the $10 for an external hub and you only need one on-device port.
        That was the whole promise of USB in the first place.
        • usb

          sometimes a hub doesn't supply enough power e.g. an external hard drive, but connect it straight to the pc port and it works.
  • Elf II is the best bang for your buck

    I am not certain that "Ainol" is pronounced as "anal" rather than "i-nol", but no matter. I own one and it is (IMO) the best value in Ben's list. Jelly Bean is on the way, there is an excellent custom ROM called Dark Elf that allows three different CPU speeds, battery life is phenomenal, micro-SD card storage is definite plus, and the mini-USB supports OTG storage natively (unlike the Nexus 7).

    The Nexus beats the Elf II's display resolution, but you're paying on average another $75 for that. The actual performance numbers for the Elf II actually best the Galaxy Tab.

    You want a Nexus? Buy a Nexus. But don't start this "my tablet can beat up your tablet" junk. It's fruitless one-up-man-ship that serves no real purpose for those looking for decent performance on a budget. I fit that niche, and I wouldn't swap even for the Nexus 7 at this point. I want the flexibility that my Elf gives me right out of the box. Others might not care about that, and good for them if they don't. One size does not fit all.
    • I had an Ainol Aurora and now I have a Nexus 7

      When the Aurora was released, it was definitely the best deal around. I got mine as a throw in when I was trading phones with somebody but it was selling for around $150. It had an IPS screen and was snappy running ICS.

      Price was/is a big factor in my decision to buy the Nexus 7. When tablets were selling in the $350-$400 range (or more for iPad), a "china tablet" for $150 was a real bargain. At $250, the Nexus 7 seems like a better value to me because it will get at least one more major OS update and it is running a non-hacked version of Jelly Bean which is the best mobile OS I have used (sorry iOS, I like you but you are falling behind). I guess it is a decision each tablet buyer has to make for himself/herself.
  • What about the Lenovo Ideapad A1 Tablet?

    I've been very happy with the A1 tablet, and it offers a lot of features not found with many of the other tablets such as front/rear cameras, micro SD card slot, 16GB storage. The OS is only Android 2.3, but for $169 on Amazon this tablet is more than adequate for my needs.
  • BlackBerry Playbook

    Am I the only one that wonders where the BlackBerry Playbook is in the list? From what I understand, it's fairly popular in the UK.
    John Hanks
    • Playbook has no fanboys at ZD

      For the price of Kindle Fire you can get a Playbook. The Fire is a piece of junk by comparison, but you would never know it by reading ZDNet.
    • Blackberry don't pay ZDNet as much as Apple.

      If you actually look through the blogs and articles on ZDNet you'll see they have no basis in reality for the most of the time.

      Most of the blogging staff here said Android was going to be a failure a good while back and still pretend to themselves that it is. Any sly dig they can get about android and they will. Hardly any of the tech staff here have actually any tech credentials, just tired hacks who like gadgets but couldn't make the grade for their local rag.
    • Blackberry- It's Over

      Perhaps due to the fact that RIM lost all their marketshare, all their capital, and all their stock value? Maybe when the Playbook is updated to Blackberry 10, they can.. they can... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... sorry, I couldn't keep a straight face.
    • Not Android

      The Blackberry Playbook is NOT an Android device.
  • No Comparison

    None of the tabs have a comparable screen, processor, or operating system. Sure, a memory card slot is nice, but wifi is everywhere I go... meaning cloud storage.
    • Cloud storage ... don't make me laugh

      Some people might want to use their tablet for more than just playing games and keeping the kids quiet with movies. Those people might also just want to keep their data private so the cloud isn't an option.
  • then you will regret on androids

    buy those androids,dreaming you got the thing you used to with laptops or macs. then you will cry= i cant download that encrypted excel file, or that ms word file=with out schooling for one year or more.

    some jpeg files wont open. long filenames not supported on androids compared to windows or macs, specialy loong directory roots.

    get the expensive slate pc or the cheap netbooks. it has productivity office tools fully compatible with upload/download nets.
  • no window also

    on slates and netbooks and macs=you can see as many window as you can. on androids=its not yet there(at least natively with out DANGERS OF BRICKING =YOUR device is dead= as piece of brick).

    if you want to support funding android designs=go then.