7 inch Android tablet hits Kmart at $149

The Google Android-powered Augen tablet has received a more expensive big brother to the $99 model already available at Kmart, the maker of the device announced.  The new Augen Gentouch78 tablet is now available with a $169 MSRP (currently on sale for $149), and initial reactions to the device have been varied.

The Gentouch78 comes loaded with Android 2.1. Hardware wise, the tablet has a plastic 7″ screen, 800MHz CPU, 256MB RAM, 2GB of internal storage, Wi-Fi and a microSD slot for expanded storage. Unlike previous Augen devices, this one does support the Android Marketplace, making it a more attractive device.

7 inch Android tablet hits Kmart at 9

Reviews have been mixed regarding this device, with some bloggers saying you can’t expect much for the price.  Other reviewers say it’s not worth the cost of $150, because it’d be wiser to just invest more into a higher quality tablet from other manufacturers.

As mentioned by bloggers in the past, I’m just not convinced on a $149 tablet quite yet.  I recently purchased a Toshiba NB255 netbook for $330 after tax, and it’s a simple, effective machine.  I still don’t think this low powered $149 Augen tablet will help the industry jump to tablet computing, but this could be a very helpful step in the right direction.

Devices such as the Gentouch78 could be ideal for emerging markets where cheaper electronics are popular.

The company also has a $99 tablet available at Kmart, but you’ll probably discover it’s out of stock at local stores.  The cheaper $99 tablet for sale at Kmart included a 400MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, and ran using Android 1.6.  The device had a 800 x 480 pixel display on the 7″ screen, which means it’s not going to provide ideal resolution for many users.  The ability to download custom apps is limited, but Augen included a Gmail app, Google Maps, and other Google-created features.