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Aldi supermarket enters tablet race in UK with cut-price slate

aldi supermarket enters tablet race in uk with cut price slate medion lifetab e7316
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With Christmas fast approaching and the tablet market seemingly about to explode, a number of the UK’s biggest retail stores have decided to enter the market with low-cost devices of their own.

Following in the footsteps of supermarket giant Tesco with its well-received £120 ($195) Hudl slate, and Argos with its not-so-well-received £100 ($163) MyTablet offering, Aldi over the weekend launched the Medion Lifetab E7316, a tablet that let’s hope is easier to use than it is to say.

Aldi, a successful supermarket chain well known in the UK for catering to the value-driven shopper, has come up with a 7-inch tablet with a price tag even lower than those of its competitors – £80 ($130).

As you might expect, however, for that price we’re talking more MyTablet than Nexus 7 when it comes to the tablet’s spec list. Besides the 1024 x 600 screen resolution, the Lifetab comes with 1GB of RAM, a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU, and 8GB of memory, expandable with a microSD card.

Aldi’s tablet tips the scales at 301g (10.6 oz) and has a thickness of 11mm (0.43 inches).

With a battery life of four hours, you won’t ever want to stray too far from a power source, while the device’s low megapixel cameras – 2 megapixels for the rear shooter and 0.3 megapixels for the front – means your smartphone, if you have one, will probably do a better job of capturing images.

Still, with a price tag this low, Aldi, which has more than 400 stores in the UK and 7,000 worldwide, is likely to have little trouble selling a bunch of these to shoppers looking for a basic budget-price machine.

However, speaking to the Guardian about the growing competition in the UK tablet market, particularly in the budget sector, Ben Wood, mobile analyst with CCS Insight, sounded a note of caution.

“At £79, tablets are approaching ‘disposable technology’ levels with consumers barely pausing when they make a purchase. The sting in the tail is that price is obviously a key factor in product quality and consumers risk being disappointed by ultra low cost tablets,” the analyst said, adding that there are of course trade-offs with devices priced this low.

Around 8.3 million tablets were sold in the UK in 2012 though this year the figure will be even higher.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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