Joining Amazon as another company continuing their unlikely involvement in the tablet-making industry, English telecommunications company and mobile phone coverage specialists Vodafone have revealed their new branded device built by Lenovo.
Designed as a competitor to the likes of Amazon (Kindle Fire), Google (Nexus), and Apple (iPad Mini) in the increasingly-crowded ‘budget tablet’ market, Vodafone’s branded product for the UK-wide market has been christened with the name ‘Vodafone Smart Tab 2′.
Revealed last week, the device boasts a 7-inch screen (under dimensions of 19.2cm x 12.2cm x 1.2cm) with a WSVGA display and a comparatively low-key resolution of 1024 x 600.
Feature-wise, users of the Vodafone-branded device will be able to access front and rear-facing cameras (at 0.3 and 2 megapixel resolutions, respectively, 4GB of ‘user memory’ (expandable to 32GB with the upgrade of SD Card), Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity (which would on track record be the brand’s strongest selling point), and like all other ‘Android’ devices, full access to browse the 700,000+ apps in the online ‘Google Play Store’.
In terms of ‘under the hood’ activity, the Smart Tab 2 is powered by a 1GHz processor the Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ operating system as opposed to the newer ‘Jelly Bean’ 4.1, version, though that setback could leave them in better stead on the pricing side of the operation, as they promote the most basic version of their new product for £149 with ‘pay-as-you-go’ internet access, or alternatively for £29 + a 2-year £20-per-month contract (leading to a minimum total charge of £509) that gives users ‘unlimited’ access to 1GB of WiFi connectivity and 2GB of ‘mobile internet’.
Vodafone’s attempts to make money from ‘add-ons’ to the venture do not end there, though, as they also promote a ‘foldable hard cover’ to buy for the Smart Tab 2 at £25.
In addition, Vodafone have also revealed a larger version of ‘Smart Tab 2′ that will also be released, containing upgrades such as a 10-inch WXGA (1280 x 800 resolution) screen, a 1.5GHz dual core processor, 16GB of initial memory and a 5 megapixel rear camera, along with potential to connect a Windows Surface-style ‘keyboard dock’, offering laptop-style features such as space for USB and HDMI cables, extra battery power, and an ‘SD memory card slot’, amongst other features.
With an approach seemingly similar to Microsoft and many other companies by offering a cheaper basic product and a physical feature-packed larger version, will Vodafone be able to make an impact in a market which is not their traditional forte?