And in this corner, featuring Android 4.1 and a $149 price tag: Asus MeMO Pad.
Perhaps because the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week was so heavily focused on Windows 8 devices and technologies, Asus chose to wait for the dust to settle before introducing its Android-powered MeMO Pad tablet . Or maybe Asus didn't want anything else to overshadow the fact that it's launching a 7-inch Jelly Bean tablet for just $149. Could this be the beginning of a new generation of low-cost Android slates?
That era already kicked off when Amazon introduced the first Kindle Fire, but the MeMO Tab takes Android even further into affordable territory. It even has a respectable spec sheet.
Powering the device is a VIA SoC with a 1GHz WM8950 CPU and ARM Mali-400 GPU. The SoC is flanked by 1GB of RAM, 8GB or 16GB of built-in storage (expandable via microSD card slot) and 5GB of free Asus WebStorage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, micro-USB port, and a 1MP front-facing camera.
Sure, it's no power house, and the display's 1024x600 (170ppi) resolution isn't going to knock anyone's socks off, but for $149, the MeMO Tab potentially offers a compelling value for someone who wants an affordable tablet from a recognizable brand.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, becomes of the rumored $99 Nexus tablet that was said to be in the works. In all likelihood, the MeMO Tab is the end result of those rumors.
In any event, the MeMO Tab will ship to select markets later this month. It will be a tablet-only product and will not come with a dock like the Asus Transformer Pad series.