updated 02:40 pm EDT, Tue July 13, 2010
Velocity Micro Cruz to be true tablet
Velocity Micro late yesterday elaborated on the role of its Cruz Reader. Normally a designer of custom gaming PCs, the company is pitching it more as a true tablet in the vein of the iPad. It can read books and will ship with the Borders app, but its use of a full-color, capacitive seven-inch touchscreen gives it full support for media and the web. It still runs Android and may start with 2.1 at first, although eventual plans for Flash 10.1 may see it get 2.2 soon.
The Reader will have just a minimum of onboard storage and depend on SD cards for most data, but it will cost just $200. Its higher-end counterpart the Cruz Tablet will be very similar on the outside but should add 4GB of internal storage and a bundled 8GB SD card for $300. A third device, the Cruz StoryPad, will be targeted at children with a focus on narrated story books and videos; it won't have Internet access for safety's sake, but it will drop to $150 as a result.
The Cruz series may ultimately be the first Android-based tablets to reach the US and could be the first more overt competition to the iPad as a result. The ICD Ultra and Notion Ink Adam were shown at the start of 2010 but may not arrive until closer to the end of the year. Expected early challengers like ASUS and MSI have remained unusually silent, and unconfirmed rumors have suggested they were coerced into silence in order to promote Intel- and Windows-based tablets in the short term. [via Richmond Times-Dispatch]