ZTE Tablets Show Why Everyone Is Buying iPads [MWC 2012]

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Zzzzz. ZTE's PF100 starts with a dull name and then goes downhill from there
Zzzzz. ZTE's PF100 starts with a dull name and then goes downhill from there

BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — One of the big stories at this year’s Mobile World Congress is Android tablets. If last year saw the things popping out like maggots from a rotting wound, this year they are skittering across the floor like a carpet of startled cockroaches. And like cockroaches, they all look pretty much the same. So let’s take a look at a couple of them: ZTE’s PF100 and T98.

The PF100 and T98 are ten and seven-inch tablets respectively, and are almost identical in terms of specs. Both use NVIDIA quad-core processors, both have 5MP cameras and both have 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. The smaller T98 runs Honeycomb, the other Ice Cream Sandwich.

And in use, they’re the same as every other Android tablet. The build quality is that of a Pez dispenser, and the reaction to touch — especially in games — is jittery. This, I am told, is a problem inherent to Android, to do with the fact that it wasn’t conceived as a touch-based OS. Touch, then, is given equal priority as any other process, and therefore can lag on even the fastest hardware.

The Z10 is pretty thick. Honestly -- It's like they're not even trying

The T98 was also running rather hot. This might be the Fruit Ninja demo racing its CPU, or it may just be the prototype hardware, but it put me in mind of those x86 tablets of old.

Price and available are as yet undecided. But who cares? If you want an Android tablet, just head to the store, close your eyes and point, content in the knowledge that it’s no better or worse than any other.