Velocity Micro's $150 Android 4.0 tablet

Velocity Micro ups the ante in the budget tablet wars with the announcement of the Cruz T507 and T510 Android 4.0 tablets.

Photo of the Velocity Micro Cruz T507 Android tablet.
The Velocity Micro Cruz T507 Android tablet. Velocity Micro

Velocity Micro might just be the biggest tablet manufacturer you've never heard of. Its products have been found in Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Costco, and Best Buy, and have always positioned them as a low-cost tablet option.

Today, it has announced two new tablet models, the Cruz T507 and T510. As you might guess from the product names, the T507 is an 7-inch tablet, while the T510 offers a 10-inch screen. Both are said to run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

But the marquee feature of the Cruz T507 is the price tag, which Velocity Micro says will fall below $150. Pricing for the T510 has yet to be announced, as are the shipping dates on both devices, though they will be shown at CES 2012 next week.

Aside from their differing screen sizes, these two tablets share the same specs. Both are equipped with a 1.2GHz Cortex A8 processor, backed by 512MB of system RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Both include discrete ARM Mali 400MHz 3D graphics acceleration, along with Flash Player 11 compatibility and HDMI output. Both front and rear cameras are offered on the T510, but the T507 only offers a front-facing camera.

The bad news? Well, having just finished the reviews of Velocity Micro's last batch of tablets (the T408 and T410), I suspect these new models will be plagued by the same poor screen quality. The press release makes no mention of screen resolution or IPS panel technology, but only states that both devices use capacitive screens.

You're also not going to have access to Google's mobile apps, such as Gmail, Maps, or Android Marketplace, but will instead have to content yourself with Amazon's AppStore. To be fair, Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire tablet also makes use of the Amazon AppStore, but the device integration with Amazon's entire range of services (including videos, music, e-books, cloud storage, and more) can't be replicated with just a few preinstalled apps.

That said, the Kindle Fire (and its walled ecosystem) isn't for everyone, and at $50 less, the Cruz T508 could be just the budget tablet you've been looking for.

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