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HTC just released the best Android tablet of 2017… in 2022

HTC has been on something of an odd streak lately. Last month it announced the Desire 22 — a mid-range smartphone with ties to the metaverse and NFTs. Now, HTC is rolling out the A101 tablet, a device proudly running on Android 11 in the year 2022. While that alone would be odd enough, the rest of the A101’s specs are straight out of 2017 (and HTC doesn’t seem to know that it’s behind the curve).

The marketing for the A101 is bizarre. According to HTC, the tablet is “powered by a massive 8GB RAM,” which simply isn’t a “massive” amount of RAM. In 2022, it’s the industry standard. And as flagship devices from Apple, Samsung, and Google start moving toward 16GB, 8GB is beginning to be left behind. Similarly, HTC boasts the A101 as having “vast internal storage” despite capping out at 128GB (and being expandable up to 256GB). While those storage options aren’t bad, they’re on the low end of the industry standard as other competing tablets offer storage of up to 2TB. HTC also boasts about the 12nm Unisoc SCT618 processor, despite modern chipsets now using the faster and more efficient 4nm design.

The HTC A101 floating against a black background next to text reading: "Powered by a massive 8GB RAM and a UNISOC T618 Octa-core chipset, the A101 delivers plenty of power for fluid user experience, even when switching between the most demanding processes."

The A101’s cameras aren’t much to write home about either, although HTC’s marketing suggests otherwise. It describes the tablet’s 16MP main camera and 2MP ultrawide as “trailblazing.” Those two lenses certainly aren’t bad, but based on the cameras available on just about every other competing tablet, the A101’s offerings are far from “trailblazing” as HTC would like you to think.

A quick glance at the tablet’s specs should tell you that the HTC A101 is simply a midrange tablet with poor marketing, but the fact that it’s running on Android 11 raises a major question: Who’s going to buy this? With Android 12L, Google has taken plenty of steps to improve the user experience on tablets, and the upcoming Android 13 update is meant to put them front and center in terms of upgrades and usability. Because the A101 will be running on Android 11, all of the new exciting things about owning an Android tablet won’t be offered.

It seems the only way the HTC A101 will be able to compete is if it has a competitive price. But even that isn’t the case. The tablet’s price of 20,990 rubles in Russia converts to around $350 in the U.S – making it more expensive than a baseline iPad. Add it all together, and an argument in favor of the A101 becomes near impossible to make.

If you showed us the HTC A101 five years ago, it could potentially be one of the best devices on the market. But in 2022? It’s basically a dinosaur.

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