Walgreens Offers $99 Tablet Through Friday But Quality Uncertain

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News Posted: Thu, Oct 28 2010 8:34 PM
A few weeks back, we covered Cherrypal's announcement of the CherryPad. a 7" tablet aimed at the "sub-iPad" market with a retail price of just $188. Not even a month later, Walgreens is offering the Maylong M-150, a 7" tablet for just $99—$30 less than the $129 base price. The tablet's hardware is modest, even in comparison to the CherryPad. Rather than an 800MHz ARM11 core, the system uses a 533MHz VIA-designed VM8505+. It includes 256MB of RAM, an unknown amount of additional flash memory, and instead of Android 2.1, it's running Android 1.6 (Donut). There's no word yet on whether or not more recent versions of Android can be slipped into the device, or whether or not it's worth the trouble.


Behold the Maylong M-150. Another innovative design from the country whose name is synonymous with quality.

When yours truly dropped information on this sale on the news desk, the only response was silence. After several minutes, an unseen coworker took pity on my place at the center of this awkward tableau and muttered "Good luck with that."  Follow up questions revealed that I'm not the first staff member to take a chance on an unknown, dirt-cheap peripheral. In hushed tones, our writers and editors revealed the merciless depths of their torment; one poor soul's testimony included the phrase "the misbegotten spawn of Jabba, Rosie O'Donnell, and a dead yak."




That's the Yak on top, with....no, wait a minute...

Under such circumstances, Caveat Emptor should be considered less of a good idea and more of a life philosophy. The good news, however, is that Walgreens is willing to accept returns for up to 30 days after purchase, provided you have a receipt. Products can be returned via mail or to a store and a full refund is available. With a Walgreens right up the road, I've felt secure enough to purchase one of these devices—we'll have more information on it when it arrives. If you choose to order (or, even better, have played with one), drop your thoughts and experience below. 
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Super Dave replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 12:02 AM

No.

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Joel H replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 12:34 AM

No what? That's scarcely good info.

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No thank you!

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realneil replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 10:50 AM

No thank you please, It only makes me sneeze, and then it makes it hard to find the door,......

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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bigtexatx replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 10:53 AM

Android 2.1 has been put on the device. Few glitches to be worked out though.

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robwolsey replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 11:03 AM

bigtexatx, Any links to info on how you did the upgrade?

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bigtexatx replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 11:08 AM

Yes.

From XDA site

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=808961&page=6

As this is more a retagging of the ePad, it appears the method used to load 2.1 on it works, noted in the XDA forum.

http://tipstir.the-talk.net/gome-epad-flytouch-f24/rom-epad-256m-and-128m-19_88-rooted-v03-working-market-from-flash-t212.htm

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bigtexatx replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 11:10 AM

Just as a note, I personally haven't done the root. My $99 tablet (as the article suggested, its only $99 and can be returned to walgreens) is in the mail. I was just previewing the ability to root for when I get mine in hand.

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Joel H replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 11:13 AM

Bigtex, I definitely appreciate the info. When my own unit arrives I may try the replacement. This'll be my first time using a tablet--despite my own warnings above, I'm curious and the teensiest bit hopeful.

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bigtexatx replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 11:18 AM

Joel, I am as well. I know to keep my excitement level low as it's a low quality resistive touch screen, a CPU that's hardly faster than my G1's, the specs are far below my droid incredible. However, it's 7" and I just want a basic 7" browser and ability to use a few apps for work. I'm getting tired of carrying the laptop into meetings and dealing with cables. The ability to browse and take notes on this will earn its keep. If it sucks in 30 days, walgreens are Everywhere.

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rgccarter replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 11:42 AM

We had one in the office, used it for about 20mins, it's a pile of crap! the videos didn't even play in the youtube app! get an ipad )

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tyshcr replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 12:48 PM

Remember, you get what you pay for.

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Heh, I like SuperDaves take on this... I concur its just an apple rip off.

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bigtexatx replied on Fri, Oct 29 2010 1:10 PM

@mentaldisorder

I agree that the visual display is an iDevice ripoff, but other than that it's just a tablet on its own.

@rgccarter

For some of us users we don't want a 10" tablet, nor do we want to pay $500+ for something that is far more robust than for what it is we want to do. To me Apples iPad is a rip off of my money. It isn't to all users which I understand. For people looking at a 7" low powered, low cost device, to state "get an iPad", is a bit ridiculous.

The Cherrypal 7" is the real competitor to this device. I will have both within a week to see if the $100 added fee for the Cherrypal is worth it over this thing. I expect with the CPU bump, the Back button and not having to deal with waiting for a decent custom ROM to give me 2.2 for Flash playback, it will be worth its value.

Spending over $200 just isn't worth the price for someone like me personally. I wouldn't get more value out of it.

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It's just another case of people that want an iPad ... but would rather spend $99 to avoid having one.

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Joel, I would be very interested to know your opinion of this tablet once you get it. Also, that PIC of Rosie is awesome!

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Super Dave:
that PIC of Rosie is awesome!

That's a YAK!

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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