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Everyone from HP to Polaroid to Alcatel takes aim at Google's 7-inch tablet
Google's Nexus 7, which came out in November 2012 and sells for $199, set the bar for small, inexpensive tablets. But several competitors are coming out with 7-inch tablets at a cheaper price point. We're comparing only tablets that run at least Android 4.1, code-named Jelly Bean, and have been permitted by Google to include the Google Play store pre-installed. Here's how they stack up.
Lenovo A1000 and A3000
WHY IT BEATS THE NEXUS 7: Lenovo announced these two tablets at Mobile World Congress 2013 late last month with very few details. Looking at the official PR images, we can assume that the A3000 has a rear-facing camera. The A1000 will have front-facing speakers and incorporate Dolby Digital Plus audio technology. Both have microSD slots.
WHY IT DOESN'T: The resolution of both models is a disappointing 1024-by-600.
WHY IT BEATS THE NEXUS 7: This tablet comes with a microSD slot, a feature that many still wonder why Google never put into the Nexus 7. And it's less expensive.
WHY IT DOESN'T: The screen resolution is one level below that of the Nexus 7's 1280-by-800 pixels. There's no HDMI-out, so you cannot connect the Iconia B1-A71 to your TV to watch video that you play on this tablet.
WHY IT BEATS THE NEXUS 7: The MeMO Pad comes with a microSD slot, and you can choose to have this tablet in one of three colors: "Sugar White," "Titanium Gray" and "Cherry Pink" Otherwise, except for its price, this tablet has nothing over the Nexus 7.
WHY IT DOESN'T: Asus, which also manufactures the Nexus 7 in partnership with Google, is cranking out a greatly scaled-back version of the Nexus 7 that has a lower screen resolution, slower processor, and no HDMI-out connector. The MeMO Pad also lacks Bluetooth and GPS, so you won't be able to use a Bluetooth keyboard and probably won't be able to effectively run most mapping apps on it.
WHY IT BEATS THE NEXUS 7: If Polaroid can actually deliver the M7 for the projected $129 price, it could be one of the cheapest tablets with a 7-inch, 1280-by-800 pixel screen running Android Jelly Bean. Otherwise, it only beats the Nexus 7 by including a microSD slot.
WHY IT DOESN'T: The M7 lacks an HDMI-out and a rear-facing camera -- but we say it should have one. After all, if you can't use this tablet to take pictures with it like an instant camera, then is it worthy of the Polaroid name?
WHY IT BEATS THE NEXUS 7: Besides a microSD slot, the only other plus going for the Nextbook 7GP is its rear camera, though the official specification sheet didn't note how many megapixels it is.
WHY IT DOESN'T: Everything else, frankly, is lacking about the Nextbook 7GP: no Bluetooth, GPS, and a resolution of just 1024-by-600 pixels. At $130, it is one of the cheapest tablets featured in this slideshow, but it's up against other options at this same price with better tech specs or more features.
One Touch Tab 7 HD
WHY IT BEATS THE NEXUS 7: The One Touch Tab 7 HD has a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera, and microSD slot.
WHY IT DOESN'T: There's no GPS and HDMI-out connectivity. Alcatel also plans to sell a non-HD version of this tablet with a lower-resolution screen, slower processor, and even less on-board storage (4GB) for $129. We don’t think they should bother.
WHY IT BEATS THE NEXUS 7: The Slate 7 is available in two color choices: red and silver. It has a microSD, back camera, and boasts Beats Audio, which is a proprietary technology for mobile devices and auto sound systems.
WHY IT DOESN'T: The price difference between the Slate 7 and Nexus 7 is just $30. Yet if you spend a little more for the latter, you get a device with a higher-resolution screen, 16GB storage, longer battery life and more.
WHY IT BEATS THE NEXUS 7: The Titanium 70 has an aluminum back casing, and the entire tablet is notably thinner -- at 8.6 mm -- than the Nexus 7 (which is 10.45 mm thick). It comes with a microSD. Lastly, it's the cheapest tablet featured in this slideshow that has a 7-inch screen and runs Android Jelly Bean.
WHY IT DOESN’T: The Titanium 70's screen resolution is the standard minimum of 1024-by-600 pixels, and the tablet lacks Bluetooth connectivity and GPS.
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