Saturday, 19 May 2012


Retail outfit ZaReason has built a reputation over the years for offering quality Ubuntu-powered desktops and laptops at reasonable prices. It’s a bit of a surprise, then, to see that their latest offering — the ZaTab — is going to ship with Android pre-installed instead.

Now, this isn’t the same kind of buttoned-up Android experience you’d get with a tablet from a company like Asus, Samsung, or Toshiba. ZaReason has outfitted the ZaTab with an unlocked bootloader and CyanogenMod 9, and they’re even providing full-on root access right out of the box. Unfortunately, ZaReason’s choice of hardware isn’t going to challenge the big boys.

The ZaTab starts with an AllWinner A10 processor, much like the one found in the $74 MK802 pc-on-a-stick – except ZaReason has opted for a slower 1.2GHz single-core. An Mali 400 GPU rides shotgun, and 1GB of DDR3 memory has been included to give your apps a bit of elbow room. The ZaTab also offers 16GB of internal storage for your apps, games, and media, and it’s expandable via a microSD slot. Visuals are displayed on a 9.7″ 1024×768 IPS screen, similar to the one offered on previous-generation iPads. Both front and rear cameras are included, too, though ZaReason doesn’t offer any specifics about the sensors on their website.

Rounding out the package are two microUSB ports, a microHDMI ouput, and an 8000mAh battery which the company says should provide around 9 hours of gaming or 14 hours of video playback. The ZaTab weighs in at about 630 grams, just about the same as an iPad 2.
So how much will the ZaTab set you back? You can pre-order one now for $349. Similarly-specced AllWinner-based tablets can be found on Amazon for under $200, but they’re generally not as nice looking, and they tend to have plastic backs — as opposed to the sturdy metal one on the ZaTab.

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