Is your phone not quite big enough for comfortable Web browsing? You really don't want to splash out on an iPad? Perhaps Alcatel has the solution for you.
The OneTouch Pixi 7 is a 7-inch tablet running Android 4.4 KitKat and it can be yours for the ludicrously low price of £70. Although first shown off in February earlier this year, it's finally made its way into UK stores, courtesy of Three. While that is incredibly cheap for a tablet, there are some sacrifices to make. Foremost of which is its horrible 960x540-pixel resolution -- and its 0.3-megapixel camera really isn't worth bothering with at all.
Design and display
With a 7-inch display stuffed inside, the Pixi is immediately more portable than 10-inch tablets like the iPad Air. It has rounded corners and, from the supplied images at least, looks like it has a fairly slim bezel. Hopefully, you won't need to push too hard to cram it into a jacket pocket.
To look at, there's no question that it's a budget device. Its rounded plastic back is very plain, with none of the elegance you'd see on more expensive devices. Still, if you're expecting bleeding-edge design for 70 quid, more fool you. It's all plastic and comes in "bluish black" -- oddly unspecific, but at least Alcatel didn't make up some awful name like "Midnight Emperor" or "Ocean Shadow".
The power and volume buttons are tucked into the sides, where you'll also find an infrared port. This enables the tablet to act as a remote control for your TV, so there'll presumably be some TV-based software on board as well. It has a meagre 4GB of built-in storage, which won't last long, but thankfully it has a microSD card slot to let you expand it.
The 7-inch display has a 960x540-pixel resolution, which is low even for a budget phone, let alone a large tablet. It results in a pixel density of only 157ppi, which is really dismal. Do not expect the tablet to excel at displaying text or images, although as long as Twitter is readable, it should suffice.
The tablet runs Android 4.4 KitKat, which isn't the most bang up to date version, but very much recent enough, given the price. Alcatel was pleased to announce that it comes with "a selection of pre-installed apps". That's something of a warning, however, as many companies load their devices up with so much pre-installed software that they're immediately quite bloated and confusing. I'll wait and see what's on board in the full review.
It's running on a 1.2GHz processor, which Alcatel says is "triple-core", rather than dual or quad-core. This is something else I'll be testing thoroughly in the full review. Super-budget devices never have masses of power, but it should at least be able to handle Web browsing and social networking without too much worry.
A 2,840mAh battery provides the power for the tablet and 0.3-megapixel cameras sit on the front and back. Don't expect the camera quality to be suitable for anything more than basic video calling.
From its display to its processor, the Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 7's specs are all at the absolute bottom end of what I'd expect on any device. Its saving grace, however, is its price which is low enough to make it a casual purchase for anyone who simply wants a screen larger than their phone for Web browsing on the sofa.
I'll be putting it to the test to see if this rock-bottom slate is worth even that meagre sum in the full review.