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Thursday, July 29, 2010

An iPad competitor for $150! No. Wait. Really?

Yep. Well- kinda. Sort of. Not really...well OK, it kinda is.

The Augen Gen Touch is a 7" screen that is loaded with Android software (Google's answer to Apple's iPhone software) and it retails for about $350 less than the Apple. This means that you could buy 3 Augens for the price of ONE iPad. It has a few basic apps pre-installed and allows you to go to the Android apps store and browse/buy more than 60,000 additional apps (some free, some cheap, some pricey).

How can they do this? I don't know, but the screen is smaller and Android is pretty much free to developers. I originally saw this in a Kmart Sunday ad on my kitchen table and thought it would be a joke, but there is a video review of the product over at Engadget and it seems to have a fairly positive opinion of the device. The review isn't written by Engadget staffers, but by a Engadget reader who submitted his own video. He turns on the Augen, performs a web browse and even shows his iPad next to it for comparison's sake.

Does it work? It seems to work just fine, but with the caveat that $150 won't buy you the same speed and battery life of an iPad. But for the money, it seems to be a decent buy. Don't expect grantite-like build quality or a glass screen- that costs money, my friend. But, if the video review is any indication, $150 might just get you something that works OK.

And for many of us, that's money well spent.

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