You know things be getting popular when manufacturers start releasing 'affordable' (that's cheap, yo) versions of them. Sat-nav/radio/regular phone makers Binatone have just jumped aboard the tablet trend with the launch of two Android tablets for less than most mid-range smartphones.
The new HomeSurf range comprises a seven-inch entry-level tablet, and a slightly more pimp eight-inch tablet. Both devices are Wi-Fi -only, and come with 2GB storage expandable via microSD, a 3.5mm audio jack with headphones, plus speakers and a built in microphone.
The seven-incher clocks in with a £129.99 price tag, and for £50 more at £179.99, the eight-inch tablet boasts a slightly longer battery life wit video playback time of four hours versus three, as well as a charging dock with inbuilt speaker.
The seven-inch tablet has a TFT LCD screen with an 800x480 pixel resolution, while its larger brother packs a wider 800x600 resolution. Both devices have resistive, or pressure-sensitive, touch-screens and will ship with styluses.
Both run on Android 1.6, and will not be upgradeable to later versions of Android, which require higher-end specs that Binatone has left out in order to keep the devices in the lower price brackets.
Doesn't sound like the Apple iPad will be facing too much competition here - but at least consumers now have a cheaper alternative to the high-end Samsung Galaxy Tab, and recently unveiled ViewSonic ViewPad 100.
The HomeSurf 7" Touch Tablet and HomeSurf 8" Touch Tablet will launch sometime in October or November.