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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite super-budget tablet confirmed

Samsung's pulled the trigger on the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, which by the look of its specs could be the company's cheapest tablet yet.

Change that light bulb to green and wind up the Official Klaxon! Samsung's pulled the trigger on the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, officially announcing the budget tablet after it was put on sale by a Polish retailer yesterday.

Glancing down the official specs list, there are few surprises, but it seems highly likely this will be Samsung's cheapest tablet yet. "Availability in the UK market is yet to be confirmed," according to Samsung, but I'd be surprised if it didn't show up soon.

Its 7-inch screen has an abysmal 1,024x600-pixel resolution, Samsung confirms, meaning it packs in little more than half as many pixels per inch as an iPhone 4. Its 1.2GHz dual-core processor was all the rage in 2011, but 1GB of RAM should mean its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software could be upgraded to 4.4 KitKat, although I wouldn't hold my breath.

A microSD card slot can add 32GB of storage to the 8GB on board. It has a poor 2-megapixel rear camera, and no front-facer, so video calls are out the window. A 3,600mAh battery promises 8 hours of video, which sounds plausible.

Like many low-cost tablets, it's pretty old fashioned looking, with physical buttons on a wide bezel rather than the disappearing virtual buttons on more modern devices. Available in black and white, it's 9.7mm thick, which isn't too chunky -- about a fifth thicker than an iPad Air.

There's no word yet from retailers as to how much the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite will cost, but I'm expecting it to be over £100. It's on sale in Poland for around £160, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't a bit cheaper here, because it's up against serious competition.

The cheapest slate we've seen in the UK is the Medion Lifetab, which Aldi was flogging just before Christmas for £80. It had the same horrible screen as the Tab 3 Lite, but a quad-core 1.6GHz chip that should be faster, in theory. It sold out in just a day, probably due to Aldi having very limited stock.

Other budget slabs include the much better-specced £119 Tesco Hudl and the £130 Asus MemoPad HD 7. It'll be interesting to see how the Tab 3 Lite compares to these cheapo gadgets when we get it in for review.

What's your tip for best slate under £150? Are you a Nexus diehard or do you cuddle your Hudl? Share the wealth down in the comments, or on our money-saving Facebook page.

Update 2.30pm: Added Samsung's availability comment.