British 4G mobile network EE has announced that it'll branch out from phones, iPads and Mifis, and begin offering contract-subsidized Android tablets directly for sale. The first two Android tablets to be sold on EE will be the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE and Google Nexus 7, the latter being offered with a 4G Mifi. All of EE's tablet contracts run for 24 months.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE should be more or less identical to earlier Note 10.1 versions, with the addition of European LTE support. So we're looking at a 10-inch tablet with S Pen stylus capabilities and a quad-core Exynos chip. There's no mention of specifically which version of Android it'll run out of the box, but we'd hope it'd be Jelly Bean. Prices and data bundles for the Note 10.1 LTE are --
- £25.99 monthly and £249.99 up-front for 3GB
- £30.99 monthly and £199.99 up-front for 5GB
- £35.99 and £99.99 up-front for 8GB
Meanwhile the Nexus 7 will give you a bit more bang for your buck, as it comes bundled with a Huawei E589 LTE Mifi. EE doesn't confirm this specifically, but it looks like it's offering a Wifi-only N7,with mobile days available only through the bundled hotspot. (That'd make sense, as there's no Nexus 7 with built-in LTE.) It's also a good deal less expensive than the Note 10.1 --
- £25.99 monthly and £49.99 up-front for 3GB
- £30.99 monthly and £29.99 up-front for 5GB
- £35.99 monthly and £25.99 up-front for 8GB
EE's prices remain comparatively high though, and you'll be locked in for 24 months. But at least it's starting to expand its tablet line-up outside of Apple's iPad range. The Nexus 7 and Note 10.1 on EE are due to go on sale starting this weekend.
EE says it'll have 4G up and running in some 18 British cities by the end of 2012, with that figure rising to 35 by next March.