Jan 04 AT 11:34 AM Sean Riley 33 Comments

Velocity Micro Cruz tablets will let you bring Android 4.0 home on a budget

Vecolity Micro Cruz Tablets T507 and T510

Velocity Micro is hardly new to the Android tablet game, but I’m guessing many of you haven’t heard of them and that they probably weren’t at the top of anyone’s holiday wish list.

Their tablets are targeted at the low end of the market and typically that has meant extremely questionable specs and an outdated version of Android. But it looks like Velocity Micro has resolved to turn at least some of that around in the new year, as the two tablets they are preparing to demo at CES actually sound fairly respectable.

Now to be clear, they aren’t going to be going toe to toe with the Transformer Prime or one of Samsung’s lineup, but they may now be worth consideration for someone who wants to get a taste of the tablet experience without going into debt.

Cruz Tablet T507

  • 7-inch Capacitive screen
  • 1.2 Ghz Cortex A8 Processor
  • 400Mhz ARM Mali GPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 8 GB Internal Storage
  • Front-facing camera
  • HDMI out
Cruz Tablet T510
  • 9.7-inch Capacitive screen
  • 8.9mm Thick
  • 1.2 GHz Cortex A8 Processor
  • 400Mhz ARM Mali GPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 8 GB Internal Storage
  • Front-facing camera
  • HDMI out

For budget tablets those specs actually stack up pretty well. Especially when you hear that the 7-inch model is projected to sell for just $150 (no word on pricing for the 10-inch model). The other good news is that Velocity Micro has indicated that both tablets will launch with Android 4.0, which is a huge step up from what we were seeing out of budget lines last year; they’d frequently launch and languish on Android 2.1 or 2.2.

On the downside, the tablets don’t come with the Android Market or Google apps. They do however have the Amazon Appstore installed, which is certainly growing into a fairly respectable collection and with the success of the Kindle Fire should probably see even more interest from developers this year. The other caveat is that Velocity Micro was silent on the screen resolutions, which may not bode well. We’ll certainly follow up when we get our hands on with them at CES next week.

So while these aren’t exactly the sexy super tablets that normally get you guys and gals drooling, I’m definitely encouraged that we could see some devices in the budget space this year that will leave new Android users with a positive impression of the OS when/if they decide to move up to a more fully featured tablet later on.

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 5 years and covering mobile for the last 6. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • fonix232

    Let me guess, same Allwinner (Chi) A10 CPU as the Ainol Novo 7 Advanced and Elf, Onda VX Premium tablets (610W, etc), and such?
    They aren’t looking bad, but the market of small and big budget tablets is crowded already, with better quality and better prices. No need for another attendant.

    • Nick

      Yep, almost certainly A10. Probably the worst of all Chinese ARM chipsets. Agreed this is late to the party. Even single core cortex A9 chipsets are starting to look long in the tooth. Ramos and SmartQ both have dual core devices dropping in march SmartQ using the TI Omap 4660 and Ramos the Samsung Orion (de tuned Xynos). Far more interesting prospects.

  • LukeT32

    IMO a tablet without google apps/market is usless. The hardcore android people will know what apps they want and be able to side load them….. but they probably wouldn’t be buying a low spec tablet like this though. Seems a little counter productive.

    • http://facebook.com/jestertx2001 Jes

      PREACH.

  • jeff.j1990

    $150 for that 7 inch with those specifies specs is pretty good! I guess mush better then the ‘Akash’ tablet!

  • oddball

    What I find amusing is the budget tablet makers can say something that almost no one else can say right now. They are running tthe current OS. Yes they aren’t going to interest power users but a decent low range tablet that my kid can use for note taking at school instead of a pricey laptop that I have to worry about breaking is a bonus for me

    • jawabba

      The screens on these things are not super responsive. They have a plastic screen instead of a glass one, and there is a lag even dragging from screen to screen. Prob wouldn’t work for note taking. Honeycomb on a tablet is awesome, ICS should help that out tremendously, but I still say buyer beware.

  • jawabba

    This is a replica of the Visual Land Connect tablet I bought off of Buy.com minus the ICS, but luckily (sarcasm) it came with a wonderful skin that made the tablet almost unusable. I tweaked the tablet a bit and added Google Market which was great until I rebooted and put it in an endless loop. I tried to fix it but just had to return it. It worked well for its purpose of on ereader, but didn’t function well with quite a few of the “normal” apps I use on a regular basis. I paid $124.99 for it.

  • zyphbear

    I’m personally glad that more companies are trying to undercut each other and show what the real prices can be for some decent tablets. Between Velocity Micro and Archos, some of the big names will need to start pricing their other devices accordingly or some people will just vote with their wallet.

    • jawabba

      Its hard to make these tablets any cheaper. It becomes a usability factor at some point.

      • WlfHart

        Agreed.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    Needless to say, these low-budget tablets are nothing but junks. However, at some points, this trend will achieve something that made Windows the king of PC — improvement to even the lowest spec machine becomes so big that they are acceptable to be used in a daily basis.

  • Ben Traves

    According to Androidexclusive.com and the tablet will feature the amazon app store! So probably wont be available in the UK.

  • shadowfoxpd

    i would urge you to never buy a tablet from this brand.ii had one (a 7 inch factory rooted one) and i can say beyond the shadow of a doubt, it was the worst android device i have ever used.never buy anything velocity micro produces.

  • spazby

    I have to go with “premium” tablets…nothing better than cutting edge technology…

  • http://pryvateid.tumblr.com pryvateid

    Can’t you just side-load Android Market on it though (if I’m not mistaken)? I did it on my Android Smartphones to update the latest version of the Marketplace because I wanted to rush.

  • moelsen8

    uhh anyone else notice that both pictures of these Android 4.0 ICS tablets have capacitive hardware buttons and look to be running gingerbread??

    • http://pryvateid.tumblr.com pryvateid

      Yeah, it’s just a stock image though. They aren’t always official & accurate.

      • moelsen8

        hopefully they aren’t always as wildly inaccurate as these as well. there’s the capacitive hardware buttons, the soft buttons in the notification row, and the gingerbread launcher and what looks to be the gingerbread theme in the notification row.. talk about inaccurate, damn. whoever put the photos out for these devices should be fired.

        • http://pryvateid.tumblr.com pryvateid

          lmao. Yeah, they should. I honestly didn’t even notice that until I read your comment.

  • TJungus

    Sean, here is a link that pcmag did and it does mention screen resolutions hxxp://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2398310,00.asp. Just thought that I would point it out. 800×480 and 1024×768 respectively.

  • Andy_jr

    I was bored until I read “$150″.

    • http://pixelswim.com Steve Heinrich

      Then you read “the tablets don’t come with the Android Market or Google apps”… and became bored again.

  • Steven Runciman

    It looks really great!! But, i havent found any reason to pursuade me to abandon my brand -new ipad for any other tablet. Furthermore, via my ipad2 i can play online my favorites games such as: Football Manager 2012 and Jeebboo (www.jeebboo.com). However, i would consider buying this model as a present to my wife…

  • thaghost

    I want it! I need to play with one cuz im getting tired of this boring ipad. I wish the developers hurry up and port the games over to ice cream sandwich.

  • lokidokie

    I guess this could have it’s place, kinda like the Fire. In terms of getting cheaper tablets out there. This will help gain market share, which then brings greater apps and support!

  • droilfade

    Not bad…but again…quality matters! We can get 30 releases in a year but there is no point having only 1 of the 30 functioning the way it should!

  • TaoRenCe

    The CES is shaping up to be very interesting for Android vendors. It will be interesting to see if Velocity Micro has learned from their past Android follies.

  • honourbound68

    betcha these will be advertised on 1sale or dsteals within 6 mos for $99 or so….

  • Experts Exchange

    Our Content Manager Jenn Prentice is reporting live from CES 2012 this week. She had an opportunity to sit down with Velocity Micro Marketing Manager Josh Covington to talk about the company’s line of Cruz tablets. http://blog.experts-exchange.com/ee-tech-news/velocity-micro-cruzes-onto-tablet-scene-in-2012/

  • ezfello

    Not a good buy. Right off the start the email program didnt work. Called their help and they said to download K9 app which doesnt work the best but is functional on the table. hey wont stay on the phone with you either. Also calender was the next problem. They said it didnt work eithher when i called for help and to download an app frm Dejaoffice. Also just a goodbye instead of any real help. Good luck with your Cruz Youll need it.

  • Jae

    Recently bought one for under $60. Found all the apps that I needed, works fine, free upgrade on the Android, came loaded with Amazon Kindle. For basic browsing, bill paying, etc. works great for the money.