updated 03:45 pm EDT, Tue October 11, 2011
Tablet aims to dominate budget devices
Huawei brought its new SpringBoard tablet to CTIA, where the company has invited media and analysts to try out its latest devices. Electronista had a chance to take a close look at the company's attempt to dominate the market for budget Android tablets. Considering the current range of terrible Android tablets that are available for around $200, we approached the SpringBoard with a cautious eye.
Despite our skepticism, the SpringBoard actually seems to be a decent contender. The aluminum housing feels much more solid and well constructed than many of the alternatives, while the IPS display, with 1280x800 resolution, seemed to be a great choice for running Android 3.2 across a seven-inch spread. The 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor seemed to handle the OS and apps very well, without any apparent performance issues during limited testing.
Huawei claims that it played a significant role in helping Google develop the Android specifications for a seven-inch display. That may be one of the reasons the Chinese company did not bother trying to push its own UI overlay. Whatever the reasoning, we agreed with their decision to stick with Google's stock OS rather than attempting to tweak it in an attempt to differentiate the device from the competition.
Although the SpringBoard provides an attractive set of features for a seven-inch Android tablet, the price tag remains the big question. As expected, Huawei was unwilling to disclose the cost before T-Mobile makes its own announcement, however one of the company representatives promised "you'll be impressed." Unconfirmed rumors point to $200 on a two-year contract, but we are still curious to know the retail price without a carrier subsidy.