Dixons Climbs Aboard Santa’s Slate

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Dixons Retail is the latest big name to swallow the tablet hype and test the market

Dixons, the parent company for the Currys and PC World store chains, has two of its own-brand Advent tablets ready for launch.

The Advent Amico and Vega models will go on sale on 1 November to try to make a killing in the lucrative Christmas market. At £129.99 and £249.99 respectively, the price is about right to satisfy the large market of consumers who crave an iPad but lack the budget. The question that remains is whether these models will stand out as the other shops fill up with competing tablets.

Getting The Christmas Stock In

Both machines run the Android operating system. The Amico, with a seven-inch screen, runs version 2.1 and the 10-inch Vega has version 2.2.

The cheaper Amico will serve as a junior Wi-Fi tablet for viewing videos, images and playing music. It will also act as a web browser and game playing slate. Dixons has not yet said if the touch screen will be multitouch but the price would imply that maybe is not the case.

The Vega is the more serious contender with a larger multitouch screen and 4GB SD memory card included. This will afford ample opportunity for tying in larger capacity cards as an up-sell.

The capacitive screen is driven by Nvidia’s 1GHz Tegra 2 graphics chip. Popular sites such as BBC iPlayer, gaming sites, Facebook, webmail and YouTube are just some of the web services that will be accessible, Dixons said. It also claimed that the Vega is more powerful than some of the netbooks it sells.

Storming the computer market?

Both models are about 15mm thick and sport a 1.3 megapixel webcam and Wi-Fi connectivity. Battery life for the Amico has not been revealed but the Vega has a 10-hour span, said Dixons.

“We expect tablets to take the computing market by storm and become one of the most popular gifts this Christmas,” said Jeremy Fennell, category director at Dixons Retail. “While top-of-the-range tablets may be all singing and dancing, the Advent Amico is a great, no frills, starter product. The Advent Vega meanwhile offers those who want more from their tablets a quality, performance product at a very affordable price.”

Dixons joins Next in what looks like becoming a high street glut of iPad clones. The price point will surely make Android tablets the must-have gadget for Christmas.

Let us know which tablet you’re hoping for in your stocking by voting in this week’s eWEEK poll, displayed on the left hand side of the site.

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