Augen 7 inch Android tablet

Kmart and Android are names you probably never though would be uttered in the same breath, but in their weekly circular the discount retailer has a 7-inch tablet, running Android 2.1 on sale for $149.99.  Before you say "meh" and click away, this one has a bit better specs than what we've seen for ultra-cheap Android tablets so far:

  • 800x480 TFT display
  • 800 Mhz CPU
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 2 GB internal memory
  • On board WiFi, and a SD/MMC card slot

The weekly Kmart ad shows the tablet on sale through July 31.  I've been on the phone with every Kmart in a 200 mile radius, and it seems none has received any stock as of yet, but several stores claim they should have them on the shelves by Thursday July 29.  With a little bit of hacking, and a little bit of Froyo, this might be the first Android tablet worth buying.  If we can get our hands on one we'll be sure to let you know.  [Augen US via Engadget and Kmart] Thanks Charles!

 

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Augen 7-inch Android 2.1 tablet to sell at Kmart for $149.99

76 Comments

I have bought another tablet with android 2.1 from china,
The Processor highest frequency up to 720MHz,and Memory to 256M DDR2.Support 3D games.It’s cool.

I couldn't find much on the company, but they also made a bargain e-reader. http://www.slashgear.com/augen-the-book-lcd-ereader-on-sale-for-bargain-...

That's about as much help as I can be with this. The resolution seems low. 1024x768 would be nicer. But then again it's the same as the Dell Streak, though half the RAM and no BT. On the other hand, it is two inches bigger at a fraction of the cost. It must have some sort of onboard speaker or headphone jack because it lists Music and Movies. And with Skype or a similar program you can still make calls and if it has even one USB port you can attach a web camera and do video conferencing.

If it can be flashed to 2.2 and connect to the market, this could be a pretty competitive device. I would actually not "need" to buy a Nook then and could just be happy with my laptop (for home), slate (for travel), and phone (for everything else). If nothing else, maybe it'll at least be the harbinger of reasonably priced slates. Though, I would pay $199 for BT to be added honestly.

K-mart also sells an Augen book reader, but same as Jerry, I have been calling K-Marts this afternoon and nobody has it yet. My guess is they will be available AFTER the 31st sale date. Go K-Mart! FAIL!

All they need is a video cam, BT and hdmi and I would buy in a heartbeat. Maybe next model..

For $150? Get real. It is a already a lot of hardware for that price.

Add what YOU want, and it will suddenly be $225+

You know what I like about this? Not the device itself, but the fact that an Android Tablet is getting a mainstream retailer to sell it in-store will put more out there to buy and bring down the prices of the better tablets. Oh sure, you can pick up and "Android" "Tablet" off Ebay for like 90 bucks...but they usually run 1.5 and if you ever read up user reviews about them they seem to die pretty easily.

Competition is what is needed for this "niche" device.

eggzactly. This is just like one of those Asus or Compaq laptops lining the shelves in your local big box store. Cheap, available, and good enough for consumer use.

Of course iPhans are going to poo-poo it based on specs, but they also have to know that the huge portion of the population that wont spend 400 on an iPad will happily part with 150 to have a toy to check email and chat or twitter while watching television. It's the PC vs Mac war all over again.

Just got my rain check. With my corporate Sears discount ill get it for $135. Should have it tomorrow as they said there is a shipment coming tonight.

if this gets rooted, and you can put FroYo / Flash on it (or it gets a legit 2.2 Android update. This might be SOLD. It says "save 20$", so the retail pricing should still be like...170? which honestly? aint to bad. Arent those pretty much the same specs as the Droid?

Not really, it has no camera, no phone, no GPS, no gyro (apparenty), no magnetometer, no bluetooth, and it is a resistive (not capacitive) screen. It is still a great deal in some ways, but a Droid, it is not.

I am just drooling for a $300 version with twice the RAM and storage, twice the CPU, and a 10" higher res display... of course, so is everyone else...

Just stopped by Kmart and they seem to be sold out. Wanted to get a rain check, but customer service is soo bad that after 15 minutes of waiting we just left. Why is this being sold at Kmart of all places.

I've been envisioning classroom uses of Android and the many apps being made and to be made (plus the ones I hope to find time to make) since I picked up my Evo and began learning all about Android.

At this price, I could possibly convince some people to help out with a classroom resource. The "easy" use of apps makes them a great class resource...
I haven't been to Kmart in 3 years...Time to check it out I think!

Wow, of course it's on sale when I have no money. Had to do it at the end of the month, eh K-mart? I'm going to go to their local store here and see and hope they don't have it in. Maybe I can get a rain check that'll be valid till next month when my funds recover.

I hope that someone gets a hold of this (Android Central proper, or one of the many readers) and does a nice review for it. Maybe even toss a quick blurb up on the main site about it's value.

We haven't hit $100 PCs, Laptops, or Netbooks. But these slates could come pretty close it seems, and there are many potential uses. From e-readers, to class rooms, to developing parts of the world. (After all, they almost all use flash/solid state storage-- so provided the components are rugged in general, they should hold up pretty well in most environments honestly.

And if this pricing became standard?

$100~$150: No BT, Camera (Pic/Vid), or Video-Out
$150~$200: Has BT, Camera, and Video-Out

I would be all over it. I hope a major player jumps on this.

Seems good, but the video support seems poor, "Supports Media Formats: MP3, WMA, FLAC, AAC". I would want it as a video player and browser so it might be a fail. I've tried the Archos 7 HT and it is definitely, Gen 1. I have the Smakit S7 on pre-order, it will be interesting to see how this compares. If I can get one I will post a comparison of all three.

Now I am probably a noob, and I know I'm quoting the wrong company but "Isn't there an app for that?" I mean, my Windows Media Player can't play half the files on my computer, but I have VLC Players and it's Super Codec Pack and I can play anything. (MP4, MKV, OGG, FLAC, AAC, MOV, MIDI, etc etc etc) Can't you just download a media app for Android that has such codecs? I mean, it's basically Linux / standard OS, right?

Wow, someone gets it! Apple sure didn't. They fixed a need for something that wasn't in need of fixing. Now the copycats as they will all be called because we all know Apple invented the earth and all that is in it, get it. A small, internet ready device, that you can sit in your lap and check email while watching TV. Or to use to watch some videos on the go when you do not want to take a full laptop with you. At a good price. I know, Jobiens will say "But the iPad does this or that, has 200,000 apps, " or whatever their God Steve Jobs told them to day. I say it fills the need that wasn't there just as good as an iPad does, but at a forth the price. Now Jobiens, CHARGE!

How come nobody has made a tablet with specs equaling or exceeding the ipad at 2/3 of the price. It's not like it's rocket science. Current offerings are all lame low quality knockoffs...

Until we start seeing true "touch" (capacitive) screens on reasonably priced tablets, I don't think they will meet with much success. Resistive screens just aren't right for Android (or any tablet). I can't tell for sure from their website, but I would bet this one is resistive.

I completely agree. I'll see about picking up this tablet mainly for testing some larger scale apps I've been working on but that's only because of the price point. Until we see a Galaxy Tab or something of the like, we're going to be slammed with android based iPad knock offs. Personally I think these devices more than anything are going to sully the android name.

It's cheaper than an iPod touch 8Gb, but with a resistive screen it would be an exercise in frustration. Any idea what battery size this has?

Never used an Android tablet, but don't you need some hardware buttons to effectively use Android. At least a Menu and Back button. I don't see any hardware buttons in any of the renderings.

The big question I have is who actually was able to get one of these?

I keep reading that the KMart stores say they are sold out or they haven't gotten their shipment in. I checked with my local KMart and no shipments came in. At $150 it's not bad for what you get.

Also does it have GPS?

Was told they would be in today. Went today and was told they would be in tomorrow. It's a typical sears company plan. They put a hot item on the cover of the flyer just to get shoppers in the store. It's called a lost leader. I doubt we will ever see this item.

Actually it's a legal form of bait and switch. They bait you in with a limited supply item in order to get you to switch and shop for other things. A loss leader is product that is sold underneath cost in order to recoup it's loss by selling higher margin products (I.E. Printers / Printer Ink).

Just read in another forum that a rep for Augen confirmed that this tablet does not have the hardware to rotate. Landscape only, folks. That's a deal breaker.

Yikes- inotherwords, it has no gyro?? Don't want a camera on a tablet (if you can call it that), but a gyro is really useful.

The price is right. Does it have GPS and BlueTooth built in though?
The specs never mention it. Those would make the difference in it being useful or not. BT is useful for head phones etc.. If it has GPS you could use it in your car if you can get a stand alone map system somehow.

Went by my local Kmart to see if it was in stock. Stood at the electronics counter, was ignored by a manager who walked back into the stock room never to be seen again, waited for about 10 minutes and, in typical Kmart style, no associates came by. Whipped out my phone, called the store and asked them to send someone by.

When the associate came by, I showed her the circular and asked if they had the product in stock. "What is it? I've never seen it before? I don't even know what it looks like!"...umm? the picture's right in front of you? Although clueless, she insisted that it would be in on Thursday, or that the possibility of a rain check would be available on Thursday. *sigh* Oh, Kmart :(

Got a rain check for one. Probably won't see it ever come in though. Amazing that they don't even have an online store, just a "shopping list" that you can print out and take to the local store. Oh joy!

Got my rain check. Nice lady, was in and out in 5 minutes. She said they should be here any day now.

Got my rain check as well. I can't imagine how many sales that K-Mart missed out on today. Totally missed all of the impulse buyers. Now a lot of people are probably going to be rethinking this purchase. I'd bet that only half the people that got rain checks actually go back to buy one.

I walked in and picked one of these tablets from Kmart today. They had three left (Toledo, Ohio). It has a resistive screen (not real responsive), Skype tries to do Skype out and dial a number to make a call, it DOES have access to Android market, has a stylus and buttons on the back, comes with a leatherette case, decent manual, and two mini usb cords. Played a Youtube video, downloaded an update to Google Maps from the market, and synced my Gmail account. It has a Telechips TCC8900 Evaluation Board (?), and has Android 2.1, update 1. The kernal version is 2.6.29, and it looks like there is no customization for the fact its a tablet instead of a cell. Have to head out to work, so I will test further this evening.

Any confirmation to the other post that it only works in landscape mode? I can deal with the resistive touch screen, but no portrait mode would be a bit of a deal breaker for me. I wanted to use it to double as an E-Reader and it just seems that it would be awkward in landscape.

It's landscape only. Just brought mine home and after playing with it for about 45 minutes, I'm packing it back up and returning it. I don't know if it's the touchscreen or a slow processor, but the responsiveness, especially when scrolling, is horrible. The scroll delay makes browsing painful at best. In addition, the WiFi reception seems quite bad as well. Most of what's in the manual doesn't even apply to this device. Also, it definitely "thinks" it's a phone, mine even shows a signal strength meter and an Edge connection icon in the status bar. I expected a lack of features at this price, but I didn't expect the quality to be quite this bad. You truly get what you pay for!

Bought one of these about an hour ago. My K-Mart had two of them hidden behind an "Android Netbook" made by the same company, that looked like it was set up to look like a Mac OS.

It is running 2.1, and the live wallpapers actually work pretty well. That is probably the only thing on the product that does.

First, the app market is there, but it will not download anything. I tried Facebook, Google Maps update, Springpad, Mint, and Kindle. All of them stayed at "Starting Download" indefinately. I was able to side load the Kindle application from my computer, so it will RUN the app, just not download it.

Second, it is only in landscape mode. I could deal with that, but it is also an exact replica of the Anroid 2.1 OS for cell phones. What I mean by that is, even though it has 7 inches to work with, it still only fits four rows of four apps. The rest of the space is just "filler". Luckily, the Kindle app automatically shifted itself to portrait mode, and it was surprisingly usable even with the extremely unresponsive screen.

Third, and this was the deal breaker, the micro SD card slot is a huge half oval. If you don't put the card perfectly into the metal casing inside that oval, your card falls into the tablet. And you have to take it apart to get it out. Which I did.

Took the tablet back and got a refund within an hour of purchase. The specs may be higher, and the processer seemed to be fast as far as launching apps, but it is as if the developers were too lazy to even try to customize the OS to fit their product. Either one of the Archos players that have android would be a better purchase despite their lower specs. I say wait for the high end tablets to start coming out.

Thanks for the early reviews - I was going to grab one to test against my Archos 7HT, but after reading the reviews above - I will pass and wait for my Smakit S7 to compare.

Agreed. I could have lived with the resistive screen, but no accelerometer for portrait mode and the fact that it seems like the loaded quality of Android is on par with the ipad knockoffs is going to make me stay away. Thanks for the reviews guys. Hopefully something decent will come out soon.

Everyone relax! there will be 200 tablet pcs hit the market by years end, but this does look like a great buy. HDMI, tv hookup? No stock in central Ohio, maybe Thursday.

Just picked one up at the Big K-Mart in Cincinnati(Blue Ash), they had 2 in stock. The fairly friendly and knowledgeable guy working in electronics said they got 4 in this morning and had 3 in stock on Sunday. Looking forward to giving it a spin, could not pass it up for the price.

Augen Website has a news update regarding some issues reported and they are working on fixing it, here is the link
"augenus.com/indexhome.html/News.html"

"
Dear Augen Customers (GEN Nation),

Thank you for showing your support and interest in our GENTOUCH78 Tablet. We became aware of the technical difficulties over the past 24 hours, and we will be posting an update for a patch to the software at the following link: http://augen.helpserve.com/ under latest download files within the next 48 hours.

Just to mention a few technical difficulties we have found and are patching are:

the memory size of 284mb not being shown as 2GB will be corrected as this is a glitch in the software.

Android Market place not being able to download apps will be fixed in this patch, as this is a glitch in the software. As of right now the operating system and pre-loaded applications are using .5 Gb so the available space displayed should be approximately 1.5GB.

To solve the issue with the headphone jack being too small for a 3.5 mm headphone connection, we ask you to send us an email to support@augenus.com with your Name, Adress, eMail Adress along with a proof of purchase. We will be sending you at our expense the 2.5 mm headphones to go along with the unit within 15-20 days. All future products that will be manufactured will have the new patch and a 2.5mm earbud to go along with the unit.

We want to make it a great experience for our customers. We apologize for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to make it a great experience at Augen.

Thank you for your support,
Daniel Gofman
Vice President
Augen Electronics Corp.
"

Seems to me they may have rushed to get this out the door. Since the stock levels are quite low and not all KMarts have them yet, they may have been down to the wire to get them shipped. Nice that they're actually saying there will be an update though. Most low cost products like this just appear and get zero support or updates. The stores that sell them figure you get what you paid for.

I am very skeptical of its price,it is absolutely impossible. Let me try to analyze its cost, Android 2.1 system requirements are very high on the hardware, CPU, motherboards, will significantly increase its cost. $149.99,are you kidding? It is not funny.So,just forget it. I have checked the latest Android 2.1 named "Gpad G10" and list price is $184.99 on Pandawill.

I just bought one of these today. It takes a little bit to get use to as far as utilizing app's. It took me a minute to realize that the back and home buttons are actual buttons located on the back in the top right corner of it and not actual icons on the screen. Also the touch screen is a tad bit resistive but not a huge problem for me personally. For the most part it seems to be a nice investment and a pretty neat new toy I have. I played a couple Youtube videos and the sound and picture quality are better than I expected. Still playing around with it to get a better feel for it. So far it has not given me enough reason to take it back. Good thing I have 90 days to decide :-)

I bought one, added my G-mail account, and now I want to return it. Unfortunately, the Settings-->Privacy-->Factory data reset doesn't seem to function correctly. When I turn on my device, the G-mail is still there. How can I get rid of my G-mail information?

Lots of new android tablet products will come online this year amongst much hype. Up till now owners of the major operating systems made it too difficult for small manufacturers to jump through all the hoops, let along pay the expenses, of OS licenses.

But this surge in the cheap android tablet market is presumably a boon for both manufacturers and consumers alike.

I know this post probably won't be seen, but today (1/15/2011), on WOOT.COM (1 day only)

THis unit is on sale for $109.99

Just this past Christmas, I purchased two Augen 10" note books. Much to my surpries while testing them before I wrapped them for my kids one did not work, it wouldn't turn on, so I took it back to my local Kmart and got the Augen 7"gentouch. Now on Chistmas morning after my daughter opened her notebook it did not work, it wouldn't turn on. So I returned it to Kmart as well. A week later the gentouch did the same thing. I have never been so unhappy with a product. I will never by anything with Augen name on it, nor will I ever shop at Kmart again for selling such garbage. VERY POOR PRODUCT.