Chinon tablet

We love seeing new Android tablets get announced and released, honestly we do.  Especially when they are nothing like the new Chinon Swift series tablets, which pretty much set a new standard for cheap craplets running Android. The idea is solid -- an affordable option to the high-priced tablet market here in the US, but the execution is flawed. There's no one thing inherently wrong with tablets like this, but the sum of the parts makes for a less-than-satisfying whole.

Chinon is dropping a 7-inch version, the Swift 7, and a 10-inch Swift 10 tablet, at prices that will tempt you. The Swift 7 checks in at just $160 and the 10-inch version is $280, so it's obvious that more than a few of us will be taking a long, hard look. Start with the specs to really tell you all you need to know here, as the capable 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM CPU (of unknown make) is matched up with just 512MB of RAM and Android 2.3. This should set off a warning flag before you drop any dollars for these things, and if it doesn't, the 4:3 aspect ratio just has to make you do a double take.  (Or the giant iPad design ripoff.)

This isn't how good Android tablets are done, folks. There are a lot of better things to spend your money on, and even if these things prove me wrong and the performance blows our doors off, you're still better served to spend just a few more dollars on a Kindle Fire or Acer A200, depending on the form factor you want. Of course, someone is bound to buy one of these and have a great experience with their new toy. In fact, I hope it happens and I'm wrong about the whole thing.  But I don't think I am, and I don't want to spend my money to find out. I certainly don't want you to spend your money and find out either.  

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