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Alcatel Pop 7 and Pop 8 bring LTE to cheap tablets

With specs from yesteryear, it's difficult to get excited about Alcatel's new tablets, but by offering LTE at affordable prices, there remains some hope.

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Eric Franklin
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Eric Franklin Editorial Director

Eric Franklin leads the CNET Tech team as Editorial Director. A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, chauffeuring his kids around town, or absorbing every motivational book he can get his hands on.

Expertise Graphics and display technology. Credentials Once wrote 50 articles in one month.
2 min read
CES Video
Watch this: Alcatel's unveils new small 3G and LTE tablets

LAS VEGAS -- Alcatel is back with two new tablets coming to North America, but with no actual US release date. The One Touch Pop 7 and Pop 8 are both extremely modestly-spec'ed tablets that appear to focus on their LTE capability over performance. Neither price nor release date have yet been unveiled.

Alcatel One Touch Pop 7 is a colorful and customizable tablet at CES 2014

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The One Touch Pop 7 is a 7-inch tablet with a 1,024x600 resolution TFT screen. It's not an IPS screen, and its viewing angles are painfully narrow as a result. The tablet houses a 1.3GHz dual-core CPU, a 2-megapixel rear camera, and a VGA front camera.

The Alcatel Pop 7 with transparent cover. Sarah Tew/CNET

At 0.62 pounds it's fairly light, but its 0.35-inch thickness screams anything but "sexy." However, the tablet doesn't feel uncomfortable when held and actually reminds me a lot of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch with its smooth plastic backside.

The Pop 8 is a bit more impressive. It features an IPS screen with a 1,280x800 resolution and delivers appropriate wide viewing angles. It has a 1.3GHz quad-core CPU, 2-megapixel camera on the back and VGA camera on the front. It weighs 0.71 pounds and with a 0.31 inch profile is actually thinner than its 7-inch brother. The Pop 8's bezels are impressively thin, and it has the same smooth plastic finish as the Pop 7.

The One Touch Pop 8 classes it up with a more refined design than its smaller brother. Sarah Tew/CNET

Each tablet includes a measly 4GB of storage -- only 2.4GB usable -- but thankfully Alcatel outfits them with a microSD storage slot supporting up to 32GB -- on Pop 7; 64GB on the Pop 8 -- capacity cards. The tablets will ship with Android 4.2.2, but will be upgradable to 4.4 after launch.

Alcatel colors inside of lines with One Touch Pop 8 tablet at CES 2014

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Prices and release dates have yet to be revealed, but Alcatel says it's targeting "under $200" for the Pop 7 and "under $300" for the Pop 8. While the specs are anything but impressive, LTE on a sub-$200 tablet is a first. I just wish the line had more to offer.

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