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Graphics vendor turns to tablets

Point of View has become the latest company to ride the Internet tablet frenzy. Couch potatoes have been given the big thumbs-up and the company is launching two new tablets under their Mobii brand of mobile computing devices.

The new tablets will come in 7- and 10.2-inch sizes and are a fresh batch of iPad lookalikes that Point of View would have you spend money on.

On the 10.2-inch model, which bears no specific name, Point of View has chosen Nvidia's Tegra 250 SoC to power the device. This revolves around a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore, running at 1GHz and a cutdown mobile Geforce GPU for graphics processing, which should carry enough firepower to handle Flash-based apps, accelerate video and games, to your heart's content.

It also has 512MB of low-power DDR2 to get apps running but you don't get much storage with the device, as its internal storage is listed also as 512MB, in the form of NAND Flash. There is an upside to this (apart from keeping costs down): you do get a microSD slot for cards up to 32GB and if that still isn't enough, the USB 2.0 connection is in fact a USB controller host, so you can plug in sticks and hard-drives for extra storage, although we haven't quite established what the limits (ie: file system) are on this.

The largish 1024x600 capacitive screen is multitouch-enabled so navigating the various Android apps should be a cinch. While this isn't any type of HD, the Geforce chip will accelerate 1080p decode and output it through the HDMI connector on the edge of the tablet. The frame holds a 1.3MP webcam and microphone, connectivity is restricted to integrated 802.11b/g but there will be an optional 3G module down the line. More likely than not, this has been left this way as each country has its own 3G certification procedure, so you'll probably see it only if a mobile operator bundles it up.

The 10.2-inches of tablet also come in at a heftier 730gr; still quite lightweight and easy to slip into a briefcase or leave on the coffee table near the couch.

The 7-incher is slightly different in that it doesn't use a Tegra SoC. Now, the specs are a little confusing, as the original press release states a Rockchip 600MHz SoC, but the website itself lists a Telechips TC8902 600MHz SoC, which could be just the same. The 7-inch screen has a more "value" resistive touchscreen and is capable of a 800x480 resolution.

This model does, however, have more internal storage and can be found with anything from 4 to 16GB of internal NAND flash with a handy microSD slot for expansion. You can hook it up via USB to other devices, but it will not host devices as its bigger brother. Microphone and webcam are also present but then again, no specs have been given on this so waiting for reviews might be good.

It doesn't sound like you'll get much of a "flash-accelerating experience" from the 7-inch version, but it should be enough for most users to get along on the web, read emails, RSS and so forth. Gaming on tablets might be overrated, but Flash-based content is everywhere these days.

Unsurprisingly, as Android seems to be the only mobile OS maturing fast enough to keep pace with Apple's iOS, Point of View has chosen to run Android on both its tablets. Android 2.2 is installed on the 10.2-inch and Android 2.1 on the 7-incher.

Point of View is launching this in the UK through Enta and should be available in late November through the usual retailer/etailer crowd (Scan, Aria, CCL, ebuyer, Overclockers UK). Pricing is unknown so far, and will remain so, until Point of View replies to our emails.