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Elonex eTouch is a toy-shop tablet for a ton at Toys 'R' Us

The Android-powered Elonex eTouch is sharing shelf-space with Transformers, Lego and Barbie at Toys 'R' Us. Is it a top-notch gadget or just a toy?

Cynics argue tablet computers like the Apple iPad are just expensive toys. The Elonex eTouch, on the other hand, isn't expensive, but it is on sale at a toy shop. The Android-powered tablet costs less than £100 and shares shelf-space with kiddie classics like Transformers, Lego and Barbie at Toys 'R' Us.

A 7-inch version costs just £90, while a 10-inch model is priced at £150. Both pack 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and 2GB of solid-state memory, and come bundled with an extra 2GB microSD card. The larger model runs Android 2.1, powered by a 1GHz ARM 11 processor, with a USB and mini-USB connection. The smaller model makes do with Android 1.6, one micro-USB port and an ARM 9 chip.

The touchscreen is, sadly, of the resistive variety. That means the tactile experience is less smooth than the capacitive screens of devices such as the iPhone.

The eTouch is also available with different branding from smart trouser-vendor Next, but not as cheaply as this. Other bargain-bin options include the £85 Morgan and Disgo tablets, while Dixons has its own Advent Vega and Amico budget slates in the pipeline.

Toys 'R' Us may seem like an odd venue for buying a tablet computer, but it turns out today's yoof are big fans of expensive gadgets. Honestly, they don't know they're born. The eTouch is so simlarly styled to the iPad you might be able to slap an Apple sticker on the back and pass it off as an iPad, with its sloped silver back and black bezel. Your kids will never know.

If you need a more expert opinion on which tablet to buy than from a giraffe called Geoffrey, take a look at our round-up of the best Android tablets.