Sprint's rolling out a new affordable 7 inch Android tablet, the ZTE Opik, and honestly it's a solid tablet for the money. The Optik sells for $99 with a 2 year contract and $349 without contract. That doesn't mean the specs are bargain basement: it has a sharp 1280 x 800 capacitive touchscreen with good viewing angles that's great for eBook reading, and a 1.2GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with a gig of RAM and 16 gigs of storage.
The Optik runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb with very little UI customization. No word on whether it will get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This is a 3G EV-DO Rev. A tablet with WiFi. Sprint has said they won't be rolling out further WiMAX devices this year, since they plan to transition to LTE for their 4G services. As you'd guess, data speeds aren't blazing on Sprint's 3G network, but it's certainly better than no data at all when you're not near a WiFi hotspot.
The 0.45" thick, 14 ounce tablet looks chunkier than it is. There are no slimming lines here, but we do like the rubberized handgrips on the back. The tablet has front and rear cameras, a GPS, microSD card slot and Bluetooth but no HDMI port. It's available now.
Here's our Sprint ZTE Optik video review. Our full review will follow in the coming days.
Nice review. I'm not too impressed with the ZTE Optik. I'm waiting for the first Tegra 3 chip-set in a 7" tablet. It looks like it might have to be the zte t98 now(rumors are the memo370t will become the google nexus and that it won't have the tegre 3 anymore). Hopefully ZTE will step it up for their t98 when it hits final production.(Step it up compared to the optik and/or springboard that is.)
Sprint was looking for something affordable rather than a tablet to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 or upcoming high powered Android tablets. Given how expensive tablets are with carriers in the US, this one is pretty affordable. Unfortunately, the Tegra 3 is still in its infancy when it comes to interfacing with cellular radios too. Nvidia has some partners now for GSM but I haven't heard anything about CDMA.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview