Pundits have been predicting that the broad availability of Android tablets would eventually trigger a race for the lowest price point in the market, and newcomer Arnova seems to be getting a jump on the competition with the Archos-designed Arnova 7, a 7-inch Android tablet running Android 2.2 Froyo that the company plans to offer for $99. The Arnova 7 lacks some features in higher-end tablets (including other entries in the Arnova line), but if you’re looking for a basic tablet that won’t give you a heart attack when it falls out of your bag into a puddle, it’s hard to argue with a $99 price tag.
The Arnova 7 features an 800 by 480-pixel 7-inch touch screen display with a virtual keyboard for basic messaging and text-entry needs—the Arnova 7 is 12mm thick and weighs about 340 grams (a little under 12 ounces). The tablet runs Android 2.2 Froyo on an unspecified processor, and can handle 720p high-definition MPEG-4 and Realvideo video playback at 30fps. The tablet offers 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connectivity, microSDHC removable storage, USB 2.0 connectivity, and a built-in speaker and microphone. Folks looking to take pictures or video chat will lament the lack of cameras, but remember the key feature here: a $99 price tag.
The Arnova 7 also doesn’t connect to the Android Market, opting instead for getting apps through the AppsLib application store.
Arnova hasn’t announced availability dates or retail partners for the Arnova 7; however, the systems launched at European retailers last month for €99.