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India’s HCL launches trio of Android tablets

Mar 29, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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HCL Infosystems announced three Android 2.2 tablets for the Indian market, featuring one-button access to HCL's India-focused Touch online service. The “ME” tablets include the seven-inch ME AE7 and ME AM7, both with 800MHz processors, as well as the 10-inch, 1GHz ME AP10, says the company.

India will soon have a trio of Android 2.2 tablets built by its own Bangalore-based HCL Infosystems. The company was rumored to be behind the somewhat vaporish "$35 Indian tablet" announced by the Indian government last year, but has denied having anything to do with the project, according to Rediff.com.  (The government has recently issued an RFP for the Android-based tablet, but is apparently no longer claiming the tablet will sell for only $35.)

HCL, however, is interested in more substantial Android tablets, and is prepping a trio of second-generation "ME" models for the Indian market. All the tablets will ship with Android 2.2. According to a story in Techtree, from which we borrowed these apparently official photos, the tablets are not expected to be upgradeable to Android 2.3.

HCL ME AE7 (left) and higher-end ME AM7
Source: Techtree
(Click on either to enlarge)

According to HCL, the tablets share common features including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. They will also offer HCL's Touch feature, which is said to offer a one-touch connection to HCL's Touch online service, providing tech support as well as localized Indian content. The tablets are also supported by HCL's service network, which is said to cover 4,000 towns in India, with 500 HCL-owned and -manned service locations.

HCL ME AE7

This entry-level tablet, pictured above left, is equipped with an unnamed 800MHz processor, and offers a seven-inch, 800 x 480 pixel resistive touchscreen with a gravity sensor, says HCL. Offering 256MB of DDR2 RAM and 2GB internal flash, the HCL ME AE7 is further supplied with a microSD slot said to support up to an 8GB memory card.

In addition to the wireless features mentioned farther above, the HCL ME AE7 offers a 0.3-megapixel camera, an internal mic, a speaker, a 3.5mm audio port, and a USB 2.0 host port, with support for an EVDO USB dongle. The HCL ME AE7 tablet provides a 2400mAh battery, and will cost 14,990 Rupees (Rs), or about $333 U.S., says HCL.

HCL ME AM7

Like the HCL ME, the HCL ME AM7 offers an 800Mhz processor and a seven-inch display, but unlike the lower-end model, the tablet is touted as supporting 1080p video, suggesting the processor may be a Cortex-A8 model instead of an ARM11. The AM7 version also moves up to capacitive touchscreen technology and a higher 1024 x 600 pixel resolution.

Memory is also upgraded, with 512MB RAM, 8GB internal flash, and support for up to 16GB microSD flash cards, says HCL. Instead of depending on its USB 2.0 port for a 3G dongle, the tablet apparently includes a 3G modem and is said to ship with a SIM slot.

The HCL ME AM7's camera advances to 1.3-megapixel resolution, and in addition to the gravity acceleration sensor, there's a light sensor, says HCL. Other features are said to include two higher quality speakers and a larger 4200mAh battery. The price is said to be Rs. 25,790 ($577).

HCL ME AP10A

The 10-inch HCL ME AP10A tablet runs on a 1GHz processor, and offers 1024 x 600 resolution, as well as 1080p playback on the capacitive display. Sensors are said to include an accelerometer and ambient light sensor. The tablet ships with 1GB RAM and 16GB on-board storage, and supports up to 32GB microSD cards, says HCL.


HCL ME AP10A

Source: Techtree

The ME AP10A sticks with the modest 1.3-megapixel camera, but upgrades the Wi-Fi to 802.11 b/g/n, and offers a SIM slot for 3G, says the company. Other features are said to include dual high-quality speakers, mic and 3.5mm jacks, and a mini-USB port in addition to the USB 2.0 port. There's also a 3650mAh battery, says HCL. Listed pricing is a stiff Rs. 32,990 ($738).

Stated Harsh Chitale, CEO, HCL Infosystems, "We are confident that with our three decades of understanding of the Indian market and conditions, robust distribution and service support network, HCL ME Tablets will provide an Indian consumer some clear differentiators and add great value. HCL ME Tablets will also be India's first range of devices with powerful localised content and applications backed by quality customer service."

Availability

HCL ME Tablets will be available across India by the end of the month at prices ranging from Rs. 14,990 to Rs. 32,990, says HCL Infosytems. More information may be found in HCL's ME tablet announcement and ME spec sheet (PDF). The Techtree story may be found here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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