Asus Announces $150 Android Tablet, Takes On Nexus 7

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After engineering Google’s flagship tablet, Asus will start selling its own design

On Sunday, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Asus has announced a 7-inch Android tablet called MeMO. The device will cost just $149 (£93) and is expected to compete with Google’s Nexus 7 (ironically enough, made by Asus) and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

The budget tablet was absent from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, where Asus took over an entire floor, demonstrating devices such as the Taichi dual-screen ultrabook and Transformer PC that turns into “the world’s biggest tablet” when its screen is detached.

MeMo is expected to ship this month, UK price and availability are currently unknown.

Aiming low

Asus is the company that manufactures the Nexus 7 for Google, and it comes as no surprise that following the miniature tablet’s success, it has decided to launch a similar design of its own.

As far as the technical specs go, MeMO is unlikely to set the world on fire. It runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) on an LED screen with 1024 x 600 resolution and 170 pixel-per-inch density. The tablet is powered by a 1GHz single-core WM8950 CPU made by VIA, alongside Mali-400 GPU. The amount of RAM stands at 1GB, which is more than enough for a budget platform.

“Our focus for this device is on delivering excellent performance per watt and a smooth and fluid user experience at an extremely affordable price, NOT on winning benchmarks,” said Asus.

MeMO features 8GB of internal storage in the $149 model, but a microSD slot can extend it by another 32GB. Additionally, every user gets 5GB of free cloud storage with the Asus WebStorage service. The tablet is severely lacking in the camera department: its one megapixel front-facing camera will be sufficient for video calls, but little else.

The device promises seven hours of battery life, and will be available in three colours: Sugar White, Titanium Gray, and Cherry Pink.

Asus has warned it will not make a Transformer Pad-style keyboard dock for MeMO, which makes sense, considering its price point.

The tablet will be available in the next few weeks in “selected markets from authorized ASUS resellers.”

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