Mysterious dual-SIM, tablet-phone device shows up in China
Once again, China appears to have gotten the world's attention with its never-ending supply of tablets from its factories that always seem to be well ahead of the curve, especially when placed side by side with similar tablets produced by reputable OEMs. Likewise, this tablet is no exception: where else in the world can you find a dual-SIM card tablet-phone device that is actually affordable enough for the average Joe?
Would you ever purchase a tablet that is capable of functioning like a smartphone? Well, OEMs seem to think so: after all, there can be no other explanation for tablet-phone hybrids such as the Dell Streak and the first generation Samsung Galaxy Tab, both of which attempt to bridge the gap between tablets and smartphones by offering screen sizes of seven inches and below, along with standard telephony features.
That being said, it appears that the demand for hybrid tablet-phone devices is healthy enough in China for factories to churn out such products, and this mystery device is probably the best proof of that conjuncture.
At first glance, the device appears to be little more than an oversized smartphone that bears some passing similarities with the first generation Dell Streak. As is the trend with most tablets and some high-end smartphones, the tablet comes with two cameras: the rear-facing camera boasts a maximum resolution of five megapixels, while the front-facing camera is capable of 0.3 megapixels, making it more suitable for use in video calls only.
However, the real selling point of this tablet comes in the form of two discreet SIM card slots, which are conveniently located below the device's touchscreen keys. Also located here are the DC-in jack, a microSD card slot, a 3.5mm audio-out jack and a miniUSB port for data transfer.
According to Chinese gadget website M.I.C Digi, the tablet's dual SIM card slots can only accept specific mobile network networks. The first slot will reportedly accept only SIM cards that work with the EVDO network, while the second slot is supposedly compatible with both WCDMA and GSM SIM cards.
In addition, the tablet does not appear to be lacking on the hardware side: M.I.C Digi claims that a dual-core Qualcomm MSM7627 processor clocked at 800MHz supplies the device's processing power, along with 256MB of memory and 512MB of Flash storage. Additional features include Bluetooh connectivity (Bluetooth 2.1), a built-in GPS unit and most importantly, a capacitive touchscreen.
Last but not least, the tablet comes bundled with version 2.2 of the Android operating system (aka Froyo), although we are sure that enterprising hackers will eventually find a way to squeeze in Gingerbread (v2.3) or even Honeycomb (v.30) into the device.
No pricing details or release date has been released for the mystery tablet yet. Interestingly, the ROM identifies the device as an MD70, and a quick search reveals that there exists an IVIO Twilight 7 tablet smartphone device, which appears to feature near identical design aspects and specifications to this particular tablet. Is this merely coincidence, or did IVIO merely purchase the rights to sell such tablets under its brand name from the ODMs? You decide.