£180 Next tablet PC uncovered by Bitterwallet readers. Possibly.

29 September 2010

Only yesterday, we brought you the news of an unlikely player certain to stir up the emerging tablet PC market in the run up to Christmas - Next. Their Christmas catalogue features a 10" tablet available to order now, with USB ports, a memory card slot, running on Android OS and WiFi enabled - all for  £180.

However, the Next tablet PC on their website is unbadged - not so unusual since the men's gifts sold by Next are normally branded with the company's packaging. So who is manufacturing these tablets for the high street retailer, and are they any good?

Avid Bitterwallet readers have turned up two possible candidates for the Next tablet PC, both seemingly built from at least some of the same components. Reader Phil pointed us in the direction of the Android tablet from British firm Elonex, which has an identical casing to the Next product:

Meanwhile, avid reader Chris found this Android tablet from Zenithink:

So which is these is masquerading as the Next tablet? Elonex have a long history of doing deals with high street brands, supplying the likes of Marks & Spencer and Waterstones with netbooks and e-readers. That said, there's a chance it's neither; since both are using seemingly identical shells, it's probable there are several other manufacturers of a simlar product.

Worth blowing £180, then? Possibly, but not just yet. How good the product is will depend on what's stuffed inside that shell - given that it appears to be available in kit form, then it could be just about anything. Hunting around the intermaweb for reviews, there are some complaints that the Android Market isn't necessarily accessible, that the battery life clocks in at just four hours, and in all the videos we've seen, a lot of the sub-menus look like optimised web pages rather than a tablet interface - probably because the OS was designed with a mobile handset in mind, rather than a tablet.

The NExt tablet PC obviously less than half the price of an iPad so it'll no doubt fly off the shelves; if you've already got your mits on one, tell us all about it.

TOPICS:   High Street News   Gadgets

37 comments

  • Nick T.
    Yeah and if a well-off relative buys it you for Christmas all your mates will swoon "Wow! You've got an iPa... oh. No it isn't". Older readers may remember when Argos were flogging Atari-a-likes when the 2600 was just starting to become really popular. Any of those consoles still supported? Any of those companies still around? Hello? Buying one of these would be like getting a Nissan Skyline because it corners faster than a Ferrari, or a Type-R because it has more bhp than a Ferrari. You'd still want a Ferrari, wouldn't you?
  • PaulH
    "or a Type-R because it has more bhp than a Ferrari" - Really??
  • ButterMan
    In the owners' minds, yes, sadly.
  • Paul C.
    Marsh And Spencers - is that a rip off shop that sells this ipad-u-like and other such wares. Perhaps Prida shirts, Sergio Georgini jeans and Tucci aftershave?
  • Paul S.
    Apologies Paul - I'd just had a filling at the dentist, and was therefore speaking with a pronounced lisp.
  • Mark
    I bought one, should be here tomorrow - I missed the big lot of elonex slates that svp got in on sunday. Although, I don't know why I want one... I just do.
  • PaulH
    @Mark Because you're a hipster?
  • Stewie G.
    @Mark So you can be really cool?
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay
    @Nick T: Buying one of these would be like getting a Nissan Skyline because it corners faster than a Ferrari, or a Type-R because it has more bhp than a Ferrari. You’d still want a Ferrari, wouldn’t you? Fail on three accounts. Firstly, no, skylines don't in generally corner 'faster' than Ferraris. Ferraris generally having much wider tyres and better weight distribution means they will generally have more grip, and hence can corner 'faster' than R33's or R34's. The GTR is technically not a skyline and so isn't included. Skylines that have been tinkered with by retards with their halfords spanner kits don't count either, as you can they just say the same thing about a GT spec 430 and once again you fail. Secondly, I don't know of any Ferrari built in the last thirty years that has less BHP than a Type R. Unless you count an NSX-R, but thats strictly not a type R. Thirdly, no, I still wouldn't want a Ferrari, as they're unreliable, overpriced, unpractical and easily outperformed by bolting a few bits onto a mainstream performance car for much less the cost.
  • Chris F.
    "Older readers may remember when Argos were flogging Atari-a-likes when the 2600 was just starting to become really popular. Any of those consoles still supported? Any of those companies still around? Hello?" Well no, but then neither is *that* Atari, so this point is a bit rubbish. Unless you're expecting Apple to start burying unsold ipads in the Arizona desert before going bust.
  • klingelton
    you don't get the lines though, ferrari lines are beautiful.
  • klingelton
    it's kinda like a fit prositiute - you'd fuck it, but you'd prefer that it wasn't actually a prostitute.
  • SimonB
    If I could afford the cash I would have the Ferrari over the Skyline every day of the week. Much better looking, faster and more enjoyable, plus much better kudos. Similarly the Ipad is significantly better than these "budget" tablets and if I was choosing between the two it would be an Ipad all the way. You know what you are getting (i.e. decent quality and high spec hardware) and you know it will continue to be supported with updates and quality software (unlike any Android device after the first 6-12 months). All that said, in the real world I am not only too poor but also to sensible to buy any of them. Audi R8, Porsche 911 or Aston Martin Vantage all offer good enough performance and looks whilst keeping the reliability and quality that means you can use them every day. Likewise a netbook or laptop is far more use than a Ipad, especially if you already have an Iphone or Android Phone.
  • I M.
    Id suggest after unboxing its the ELonex as the Next instructions have a section to order the keyboard / case for it direct from Elonex! No charge in battery on arrival, stated battery life is 3 hours..
  • Stewie G.
    @ IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay You need to get out more
  • Jamie
    Any more info, like RAM? and has it got market, I;m so tempted to buy one for my holiday. Does it actually have 8gb? Thanks
  • Rob
    SVP have (pre?) listed it http://www.svp.co.uk/laptop-desktop/netbooks/netbook-deals/elonex-etouch-10in-wi-fi-android-21-tablet_elonex-01004.html Out Of Stock tho'
  • Jamie
    @Rob But that has only 2gb not the 8gb that Next is claiming. Maybe it isn't the Elonex one.
  • Rob
    yup ... but that is prob. just a build option for the oem ...
  • tin
    You know when the geezer sticks his finger in the middle of the screen and swipes it across and the OS has a little think for a sec, then scrolls afterwards, or when he presses opera, and gets a completely blank screen, that it's not going to be very good. At least the iPad does what it proclaims it does.
  • James
    Looks like the crappy one you get off of Dealextreme...
  • chris
    How about some tech specs Next? Is it packing snapdragon or hummingbird, if not its a £180 pile of pants.
  • jake
    hi has just arrived from next and yes it is an ELONEX-01004 as shown on svp http://www.svp.co.uk/laptop-desktop/netbooks/netbook-deals/elonex-etouch-10in-wi-fi-android-21-tablet_elonex-01004.html its on charge now has an 8gb memory card installed will give a full review tomorrow when i have had a chance to play
  • dunfyboy
    "Thirdly, no, I still wouldn’t want a Ferrari, as they’re unreliable, overpriced, unpractical and easily outperformed by bolting a few bits onto a mainstream performance car for much less the cost." Sounds exactly like Apple.
  • I M.
    256Mb Ram 8GB Micro SD card installed Screen = crap res / slow response Definately Elonex, on the back there is a next part number sticker covering the word "Elonex" Advice - dont bother, I have an iPad too, got this to play with android, the thing thinks its a phone for goodness sake all the websites come up as mobile versions..not worth the cash..
  • Jamie
    10" LED TOUCHSCREEN. 10.1" DIAGONAL - 1024 x 600 PIXELS. WIDESCREEN LED BACKLIT LCD. 1.0GHz LNX CODE 11 PROCESSOR. 256MB RAM DDRII DOUBLE RATE RAM. 8GB STORAGE. SOFTWARE GOOGLE ANDROID™ MOBILE OS. 2.1 version TOUCH OPTIMISED. INTERNET & EMAIL READY. 802.11 B/G WI-FI WIRELESS CONNECTION. 10/100Mbps RJ45 ETHERNET (VIA OPTIONAL ADAPTOR). LI-ION RE-CHARGEABLE BATTERY OFFERS 3 HOURS BATTERY LIFE (DEPENDING ON USAGE). 9V ~ 2100mA DC / 110~240V AC. 1 x USB 2.0 PORT. 3.5mm HEADPHONE PORT. STEREO SPEAKERS. VOLUME CONTROL. MICRO SD CARD SLOT. RESISTIVE TOUCH PANEL FOR FINGERTIP NAVIGATION. PHYSICAL BACK BUTTON G-SENSOR (AUTO LANDSCAPE/PORTRAIT ROTATION) VIRTUAL ONBOARD KEYBOARD. DIMENSIONS: 270mm x 179mm x 16mm. WEIGHT - 695G. full spec as sent by Next to me a minute ago.
  • jake
    this tablet is a pile of ***** websites come up as mobile versions
  • Thought B.
    [...] week after Bitterwallet revealed details of the Next tablet – a  10″ Android-powered gadget for £180 – the national media have suddenly woken up to the story. None appear to have reviewed the [...]
  • Mark R.
    Couldn't even play youtube vids on this. The installed realplayer wouldn't play anything either. Sent it back as "faulty"
  • NRG
    Next tablet PC's touch screen frustrates BBC reporter http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11475015
  • The B.
    [...] PC on the unsuspecting public. This time it’s an eTouch product, with a similar spec to the Elonex tablet flogged by Next – you’ll remember the reviews if you read [...]
  • ray a.
    can you get e books on the next tablet pc
  • shaun j.
    im thinking of buying one of these are they any good... please help....
  • Al
    Where can I get a keyboard case for an elonex 7" android tablet?
  • Master D.
    Got one of these Elonex 10" Tablet and after using it for just 10 mins it froze. Re-booted and tried again and again and it kept on freezing on all sorts of use, games, youtube, internet. Went to ToysRus, they tested it and it froze for the manager there too. Got a brand new one as replacement and started using it straight away, guess what, new one froze after 15 mins of use. Reset it and tried again and it kept on freezing again on games like crazy bird, the internet on ebay. Whilst watching youtube it kept jumping back to the previous menu or home menu. It froze 5 times in lest then 90 mins of use. Tried again the next day and the same thing happened after 10 mins of use. Reset it and tried again and it kept on freezing so put it back in the original box and will be returning it for a full refund. NOT GOOD as you will spending more time reseting it and waiting for it to boot then actually using it. Definetley, "NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE"
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