Telstra has become the first carrier in Australia to release its own branded portable Android tablet, citing a gap in the entry-level market as a core reason behind its aggressive pricing.
The Telstra T-Touch Tab, a Huawei-manufactured device that has a 7in, resistive touchscreen and runs the 2.1 version of the Google Android operating system, is priced at $299 on a Telstra prepaid plan, which will include 3GB of data with a 30-day expiry. Along with the iPad, the Telstra T-Touch Tab will join the Dell Streak and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab on the Australian market.
Director of Telstra mobility products, Richard Fink, said the T-Touch Tab is a logical step up from a smartphone device. "We see a strong appeal in the market for tablet devices and a particularly strong demand from the entry-level market segment", he said. "We think affordable mobile tablets like Telstra T-Touch Tab will be great news for the majority of hobbyists who admit they want to devote more time to their passion, but can't due to lack of time and associated costs."
The Telstra T-Touch Tab doubles as a smartphone. Telstra confirmed the T-Touch Tab "should" be upgradeable to the latest 2.2 version of Android, but didn't offer a timeframe. Other features of the T-Touch Tab tablet include a flip-out stand, a built-in 2-megapixel camera that can be used for video calls, a microSD card slot for extra storage and built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity. Telstra has also customised the user interface with home screen "hubs" for home, Web, entertainment, communications and favourites.
As it is a Google Android device, the Telstra T-Touch Tab will also have access to more than 100,000 third-party applications in the Android Market.
Telstra has also released new tablet-specific prepaid plans, starting at $20 for 250MB of data and $5 worth of calls with a 21-day expiry, all the way up to $150 for 10GB of data and $20 worth of calls with a 365-day expiry. For full details of the new tablet plans, see Telstra's Web site.