ZTE Launching Android Tablet

The 7-inch device will offer voice calling, Internet access, business apps, and multimedia entertainment.



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Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE has entered the growing tablet competition with the launch of a touchscreen tablet in Beijing Wednesday. The 7-inch ZTE Light is smaller than Apple's iPad, runs on Google Android 2.1 OS, and weighs 403 grams (0.89 pounds).

The device will also have a keyboard. It will be released before the end of the year in Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific, a ZTE executive said. The company is planning to offer similar products in North America after promoting the ZTE Light.

The tablet will also come with voice calling on dual band UMTS 2100 MHz/900 MHz and Internet access on HSUPA network that the company claims has a download speed of up to 7.2 Mbps and an upload speed of up to 5.76 Mbps. The ZTE Light will have 512 megabytes of RAM and 512 Mb ROM.

The ZTE Light will also feature business apps and support various Google services, multi-email account setup, desktop widget apps, and online document reading and editing. The device is also being marketed as a full entertainment system and supports multimedia and games. It will comes with GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a standard 3-megapixek camera, music and video player, standard picture format compatibility, an external SD slot with up to 32 GB of memory, and a 3.5mm stereo headset. It will provide up to 10 hours of working time.

The suggested retail cost of the tablet was not given, but ZTE said it is aiming to keeps its price at less than 50% more expensive than a smartphone to make it affordable.

ZTE is the latest entry in a tablet market growing increasingly more crowded almost by the day, as device makers look to compete with the enormous popularity of the iPad. Samsung Electronics just announced the Galaxy Tab, and tablet devices and launches have also been announced by Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Nokia, and Lenovo, among others.

ZTE said recently it hopes to become the biggest mobile phone provider in the United States within five years, even though it presently has a "relatively low" proportion of market share presently. While ZTE did not say which country is its biggest mobile phone market in sales, the company shipped 11 million handsets in China in the first half of 2010, from a total of 28 million handsets worldwide.

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