Attention Kmart shoppers: Blue Light Special in aisle nine. We have a 7" Android-based tablet for only $150. No, seriously. Kmart flyers have started advertising a $150 slate from Florida-based Augen Electronics. According to specifications posted on Augen's site, the Gentouch78 tablet has a 7" 800x480 touchscreen, an unnamed CPU running at 800MHz, 256MB of RAM, 2GB of presumably flash-based internal storage, built-in Wi-Fi, and an SD slot. A USB cable is included "for data transfers only," and there's a mini-USB port on the device.
The system runs a reasonably recent 2.1 revision of Google's Android operating system. With the included video player, Augen claims users can watch their favorite movies at 720p, suggesting some measure of decode acceleration may be present for HD video. There's no word on support for smooth Flash video playback, though.
According to the Kmart flyer, the budget tablet is only on sale until July 31, after which the price will climb to $170. The retailer is already having problems stocking the device, but it's promising rainchecks for anyone who drops into their local Kmart location with the tablet's SKU number in hand.
Obviously, the odds of such an inexpensive slate matching the iPad's overall slickness are pretty bleak. But at less than a third of the cost of Apple's tablet, the Gentouch78 doesn't need to be perfect. I'm genuinely curious to see how the device performs; it's just too bad we don't have Kmart up in Canada anymore, or I'd be very tempted to drop $150 to find out.
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