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Kmart Briefly Offers $149 Android Tablet 245

Posted by kdawson
from the attention-shoppers dept.
pickens writes in with word that Kmart put an Android tablet on sale for $149 — and quickly sold out. "A Kmart circular came out last week with an uber-geeky product that perked up a few ears in the gadget community. Augen's 7-inch Gen-78 Android tablet which runs Android 2.1 is on sale for $150 (normally $170). The tablet is as bare bones as it gets, but it does work and has some features which may interest those who can't reconcile the $500+ price of Apple's iPad. Features include Android 2.1 (no skinning), 7" 800x480 Display, WiFi 802.11G, 2GB of storage +SD card slot (up to 32GB), 256MB of RAM (same as iPad), HDMI out for 720P viewing on an external display, an eBook reader, YouTube app, and Maps. ... 'I'll be honest,' writes Seth Weintraub. 'I don't trust my toddler with an iPad but this thing will be great for watching Gumby (don't ask) at home and Sesame Street in the car.'" It seems that Kmart offered rainchecks to those who found the item sold out at their local store — up until July 31. It is not clear whether after the retailer restocks the pipeline, they will stop at fulfilling the rainchecks, or will offer the Augen tablet again to new buyers. An update to the article notes that Augen does not have a license for Android from Google, and therefore the Android Store is not supported on it.
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Kmart Briefly Offers $149 Android Tablet

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  • Re:Uber geeky? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Sunday August 08, 2010 @01:56PM (#33182182) Homepage Journal

    it's a huge disappointment in nearly every respect

    Sounds like exactly the kind of merchandise I would expect to see sold at KMart. For that matter, it is a pretty good summary of the KMart shopping experience.

  • Re:Uber geeky? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday August 08, 2010 @02:13PM (#33182292) Journal

    So the fact that a shitty retailer offered a $20 discount (the price of a sushi roll or bottle of wine)

    That's one hell of a special sushi roll you've got there! Either that, or they really rip you off for sushi wherever you live.

  • Re:Uber geeky? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 08, 2010 @02:16PM (#33182334)

    It may be junk but don't criticize resistive touchscreens. I am used to using resistive screens on PDA. I have recently switched to a smartphone with a capacitive screen and can tell you resistive is the way to go. You have no precision with a giant finger on a capacitive screen. The software tries to overcome the limitations by giving you Fisher Price sized buttons but it still isn't enough.

  • by Snowhare (263311) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @02:28PM (#33182414) Homepage

    Plus taxes, shipping and recycle fees. Which will raise the cost to well over $500. Add a case for another $40 whack and that $499 iPad is fast approaching $600.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 08, 2010 @02:59PM (#33182620)

    Only GPL v3 fits my re-definition of open source.

    FTFY

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @03:18PM (#33182780)

    Plus taxes, shipping and recycle fees.

    Then the new android tablet isn't $149 either as per the headline, is it?

    I would fully accept someone saying something like $500 (plus taxes). But insteda you get an article saying the Android tablet is $149 (not even $150) and the iPad is "$500+". Do you not see the bias at work there? Sure it's only a minor difference but it's illustrative of the poster trying to influence your opinion by making the Android tablet seem as cheap as possible and the iPad as expensive as possible.

    I was going to point out you could buy the iPad tax free on Amazon but apparently Apple is still supply constrained, as the $500 iPad on Amazon is $600+ (and that really is a plus there). Generally though, that is the case and will be eventually for the iPad.

  • Wake Up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday August 08, 2010 @03:34PM (#33182892) Journal

    Carriers and phone vendors are demonstrating that they can even lock down Android so "open" doesn't mean f-ckall to the end consumer.

    Thus providing a very widespread example of why the EFF released the GPLv3.

    Let me tell you something (and sort of answer this other confused post [slashdot.org]), the people who decide which operating system gets put on a phone are not you and me. The end consumer doesn't get to decide that. You don't get to go through a checklist when you select your carrier then model of phone then operating system for it. We would all like that but we know that you select a carrier then they have a sub-selection of phones and each of those phones is stuck with a single operating system. For instance, I cannot get a Verizon plan on an iPhone 4 running Android 2.2.

    There are big bucks at stake when it comes to mobile programs being sold to huge swaths of customers and the CEOs and jerkfaces that run the carriers and phone manufacturing plants aren't about to let that chunk of change slip through to the people who actually write those apps. So by sacrificing openness, they know they can lock you into a certain market application or operating system with a built in validation routine for marketing applications. This ensures you do business through them and their affiliates. "Oh, you can't uninstall the NASCAR App that sells you NASCAR crap? Too bad, NASCAR gave me five million to put that piece of trash on all my customer's phones! And honestly, we both knew that wasn't a dealbreaker on your purchase. "

    Google knows this. If Google released Android and went to the carriers and phone makers and said "Look, I think you should use Android but when you release it on your device it has to stay open and you can't do this and you can't do that because that harms the end user experience." What do you think the carriers and phone makers would say? You think they'd line up to join the Open Handset Alliance? Nexus One would be the only phone running Android.

    So Google makes an open mobile operating system and who's it open for? The people that decide it gets used. It's not you and me, it's not the customer, it's the people running the show.

    So what would you rather have? Situation A where we're all running the traditional locked down Symbian/iOS/Microcrap Mobile operating system with no ability to see the kernel source? Or Situation B where parts of the phone are locked down like you can't install a different operating system on most of them and you can't install any marketplace app and some of them have programs you can't remove BUT you can see every line of source code for the underlying kernel!

    This isn't perfect but this is progress. Any other attempt at open source and the who party would have walked away from Google. You're out of your goddamn mind if you're going to criticize the current scenario. After Android mops the floor with iOS and other mobile operating systems, we might even edge closer and closer to true openness where I can install whatever Android ROM I want on my phone the second it comes out of the box and my carrier isn't breathing down my neck when I do it. Until then, you gotta take what you can get.

  • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @03:35PM (#33182908)

    Except the Android source is freely available. Your PHONE might be locked down, but Android's source code is not.

    Do you even know what "Open Source" means?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 08, 2010 @03:41PM (#33182954)

    in a threaded discussion you don't need to share a topic with the root post to be on-topic. all you need to do is share a topic with the parent post

  • by vigmeister (1112659) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @04:49PM (#33183394)

    But with the Nexus 1 discontinued, and Eric Schmidt having announced there will be no Nexus 2, where does that leave people going forward into the future?

    Queuing up to by the Nokia N900. Yes, it runs Linux.

    Cheers!

  • Re:Wake Up (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 08, 2010 @04:57PM (#33183446)

    Well, I certainly don't know of a law against it. AFAIK, FCC approval is all that's needed. Since you're claiming illegality, I suppose you could point me to the relevant law?

  • by RocketRabbit (830691) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @05:40PM (#33183776)

    Do what I do, and just order your shitty Chinese crap from China. There are plenty of vendors there who are willing to ship individual items. Housewares? How about 50 cents for that steel ladle, not $15. Shipping is not expensive from China either, and is in fact extremely prompt for me. Import duties are now so low as to be inconsequential.

    Order a bunch of stuff at once, and cut out the middleman. Having hundreds of thousands of giant stores to display stuff from China is infeasible and I don't pity the businesses who practice this kind of commerce one tiny bit.

    Seeing all the American flags that were Made in China last year pushed me over the edge. Local retailers all had them! Fuck those guys.

  • Re:Uber geeky? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobertM1968 (951074) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @07:16PM (#33184426) Homepage Journal

    it's a huge disappointment in nearly every respect

    Sounds like exactly the kind of merchandise I would expect to see sold at KMart. For that matter, it is a pretty good summary of the KMart shopping experience.

    I was debating modding you troll or replying... you can guess which won out.

    First, when there aren't cheap, low end options, everyone complains - now, when there is an entry level option, you complain.

    Second, KMart sells cheap stuff at cheap prices? OMFG!!!!! So the hell what? That's what they are there for. Not everyone can afford to buy a $500 bookcase or $200 pants. If you want something cheap, go to KMart. If you have the money to spend (or waste, depending on how much), then shop elsewhere.

    It's really not like people go to KMart, expect to spend $20 on a bookcase, or $150 on an Android tablet and think they are getting top of the line products. KMart isnt trying to fool anyone, and no one is being fooled or is so deluded that they think anything different than what I outlined.

  • Re:Uber geeky? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:07PM (#33185386) Homepage Journal

    First, when there aren't cheap, low end options, everyone complains - now, when there is an entry level option, you complain.

    I encourage you to go back and re-read my comment; it isn't very long. I did not at any time complain about the product itself; how could I when I haven't seen one? Rather, I was pointing out the "KMart experience".

    Second, KMart sells cheap stuff at cheap prices? OMFG!!!!! So the hell what?

    Again, go back and re-read the comment.

    It's really not like people go to KMart, expect to spend $20 on a bookcase, or $150 on an Android tablet and think they are getting top of the line products.

    I didn't say that they would. However, as I stated, the KMart shopping experience has become a torturous act. KMart has decided to not only carry crappy products (which arguably are appropriate for the price) but they have also decided to shaft the customer on things like keeping products in stock, hiring halfway competent employees, keeping the store looking better than an average thrift store, ensuring a reasonably quick transaction, and keeping the damned lights on (to name only a few). A lot of KMart stores have become such utter crapholes that people are going to Wal-Mart - or even the dollar store - because it is a better use of their time and money.

    KMart isnt trying to fool anyone, and no one is being fooled or is so deluded that they think anything different than what I outlined.

    KMart is (naturally) trying to compete with Wal-Mart. Except the prices are no better (sometimes worse), the items are no better (also sometimes worse), the help is no better (often worse), the stores are no better (often worse), and the hours are pretty much always worse. So if they can't come up with a reason for customers to come to their stores they might as well just give up and close up shop.

  • Re:Wake Up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:14AM (#33186534)

    This isn't perfect but this is progress. Any other attempt at open source and the who party would have walked away from Google. You're out of your goddamn mind if you're going to criticize the current scenario

    Progress? Open source isn't for open source's sake - it's for the end user's sake. Or at least that's what the GPL has always been about. That these companies have such a stranglehold on their market that they can then use the tivo loophole to get free labor is not progress for anything but the corp's bottom lines. Let them use BSD were no loophole is required if that's what they want.

    You say, "we might even edge closer to true openess" but your prediction is in direct conflict with your own thesis that the "CEOs and jerkfaces that run the carriers and phone manufacturing plants aren't about to let that chunk of change slip through"

    So yeah, I am criticizing the current scenario and I say you are out of your goddamn mind for rationalizing it.

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