In a perplexing announcement today, high-end audio cable and headphone manufacturer Monster announced that it’s making … a really cheap tablet. The Monster M7, a $149 Walmart exclusive, was announced today and is already available for order on the retailer’s online site. It will be available in Walmarts everywhere on Sept. 25.
The big selling point of the 7-inch M7 appears to be its color palette, which is bright enough to adorn a pack of Skittles. It will come in black, white, purple, blue, green, pink, orange, and red. Under the hood, we don’t see any huge red flags, but we have some big questions as well.
Good things about the Monster M7:
- 16GB of internal memory is adequate
- 1GB of RAM is adequate.
- 7-inch 1280 x 800 pixel IPS screen sounds good, on paper.
- 8 hours of battery life, if true, is not bad either – though you can likely shave an hour or two off that time.
- Mini HDMI port. This is great for streaming video to your TV.
- It does have rear (5MP) and front (2MP) cameras, which are good to have, even if they don’t work well.
- MicroSD slot will let you store more media or MP3s on the tablet, if you buy a card.
What we’re worried about:
- What processor is inside the tablet
- If/how Monster decided to modify Google’s Android operating system to suit its desires. This can affect how easy or fast it is to use.
The big question is: Do you want this and can you trust the Monster name on a tablet? $149 is a bottom-of-the-barrel price for tablets. Here at DT, we rarely recommend any devices under $200 because they’re usually not worth the savings. Monster is a company with a strong reputation for putting out high-quality, more expensive audio products. It’s odd to see it attached to a cheap Walmart tablet. This is the first tablet the company has ever put out (or stuck its name on). We recommend caution before considering a purchase.
We hope to have a review of the M7 before too long. For now, if you’re looking for a smaller tablet, we highly recommend the Google Nexus 7 ($250), Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ($150), Galaxy Tab 3 ($200-$300), and the Kobo Arc ($200). The iPad Mini ($330) is also a great tablet, though Apple is likely to announce a much nicer version in late October or early November.
Updated by Jeffrey Van Camp on 9-18-2013: Removed a few of the things we were worried about. The M7’s Power Control app does not have to do with its battery life and the weight of the tablet is .78lbs, not 1.54lbs, though there appears to be a discrepancy on Walmart’s page.