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Is the New 7″ SmartQ X7 a Real Threat to Nexus 7 Dominance?

Google’s Nexus 7 remains the finest yet the most affordable Android tablet in the market today – both in equal measure.  With the stiff competition in the tablet market, especially in the mini-tablet market with the introduction of the poorly received Apple iPad mini and the many 7 inch tablets from both popular and new manufacturers, you would think we may never see something new again soon, at least not before a new technology that could shake the market is introduced.  There is a new entrant in the fray, an existing company introducing a new 7 inch tablet that rivals Amazon Kindle and Google’s Nexus 7 in price and in performance – you may have heard of it, the company is Chinese and it’s called SmartQ and the device is X7.

The X7 tablet comes with a dual core 1.5 GHz TI Omap 4470 processor with PowerVR SGX 544 GPU, 2 GB of RAM, 16GB onboard memory and a 7 inch 1280 x 800 pixels capacitive IPS touchscreen.  You may argue that these specs are nothing close to those of a nexus 7 which comes with a Quad core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz and 1 GB RAM and a choice of 8 and 16 GB onboard memory (right now Google is offering 8 GB and 16 GB versions), but then, how many people actually get to use such demanding applications that could make a difference whether it is a quad-core or a dual-core processor?  The resolutions of these two devices are the same, the RAM is the same and the internal memory pretty much the same – but the X7 has the advantage of coming with a microSD slot to expand memory by up to32 GB and comes with two cameras – front and rear – both with 2 megapixels.

Another good thing about the SmartQ X7 is that it comes pre-installed with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is surprising considering that even most major manufacturers as of now have not really began rolling out 4.1 Jelly Bean yet.  With its PowerVRS GX544 GPU, the X& should handle graphics and high definition videos pretty well.  Aside from these core features, the tablet comes with the standard features and tools that almost every Android tablet in its category comes with today including WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a mini-HDMI port, USB connector and GPS.

The SmartQ X7 also supports 3G connectivity but only with an external 3G dongle.  It currently supports HUAWEI E161, E261, E220 and 1750 and ZTE MF80 and MF637U dongles.  Its 3.7V 4,200 mAh battery promises quite a performance and the tablet is merely 9.5 mm thin.

This tablet is currently listed to retail at just $249, which is the same price a 16GB Nexus 7 started at when it entered the market.  Considering that this is a smaller manufacturer compared to ASUS, this price is actually good.  What we cannot vouch for as of now though is the quality of the tablet materials and the reliability of the software it comes with.  If it’s all up to standard, would you consider getting the X7?  Would you take time to weigh between an X7 and the Nexus 7 if a retailer brings it to the North American market?  Let us know what you think.

Core Specs

Processor: 1.5 GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4470 with PowerVR SGX 544 GPU

Operating System: Android 4.1.2

Memory: 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal memory with microSD card slot up to 32 GB

Display: 7 inch 1280 x 800 pixels IPS screen

Cameras: 2.0 megapixels front and 2.0 megapixels rear

Connectivity: 3G (with dongle), WiFi, 1080p HDMI video output, GPS, Bluetooth V3.0,

Build: Plastic exterior, 200.6 x 127.2 x 9.5mm (335g)