With Google’s first-gen Nexus 7 now going for $170 or so (less, if you don’t mind refurb units), and the 2013 model available for a measly $230 ($200 on occasion), the compact Android tablet arena is getting so competitive it’s virtually impossible for second-class OEMs to be able to lure customers away from Big G or Asus.
I mean, what are Acer, ZTE or Huawei to do? Give up profit margins altogether? Walk the streets and offer people slates free of charge in the hope they’ll pay next time? How about partner with carriers and find that on-contract pricing sweet spot the N7 can’t possibly achieve?
That last strategy doesn’t sound half bad, which is why ZTE has decided to put it into practice. Meet the ZTE Optik 2, aka Sprint Optik 2, a 7-incher commanding the incredible price of $29.99. Now that’s what I call a dirt-cheap tab.
Sure, you’ll have to commit to a two-year contract with Sprint before anything, which is a bit of an inconvenience, but if you think about it, what’s the point in scoring a cellular-enabled slate and not using its 3G module? So you see, at the end of the day, coughing up dough for data plans is a must.
What’s pretty amazing is the Optik 2 doesn’t look like your run-of-the-mill cheapo N7 “killer”. It’s a tad better than that, packing a quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon SoC, 1 GB RAM and running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The 4,000 mAh battery is no pushover either, the dual 5 MP/2 MP cams likewise, though the display’s meager 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution is quite the kick in the teeth.
Still, overall, the Optik 2 is a must buy for folks on tight budgets. Anyone around fitting the description?