Since the release of Apple’s iPad, the market for tablets has been buzzing with activity. Many companies including HP, Acer, Asus, HTC, LG, Samsung and Toshiba have tablets slated for release between now and next year. What’s even more interesting is the number of relatively unknown companies trying to get their tablets out in the market. One such company is StreamTV, which is launching its own Android-based tablet by the end of this year.
Although much isn’t really known about the actual company StreamTV, what has attracted attention from consumers and analysts alike are the Elocity’s specifications. The Elocity is definitely no run-of-the-mill tablet. It comes equipped with Nvidia’s 1 GHz Tegra-II dual-core processor, an 8.2-by-4.8 inch capacitive multi-touch screen, Wi-Fi connectivity, USB ports, an SD card slot, and a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera. Since StreamTV does not have any carrier relationships, the Elocity doesn’t have support for 3G networks. Also, it only runs on 802.11 b/g as as opposed to including support for the newer 802.11 n technology meaning WiFi will be somewhat slower. For the operating system, the Elocity will run the newest version of Android (Froyo v2.2).
While the Elocity is not intended for actual content creation, it is capable of being used as an e-reader, running applications, playing games, and browsing the web. Also, the Elocity supports Adobe Flash Player unlike the iPad. The feature that probably stands out the most, however, is the device’s support for HDMI output (1080p). The Nvidia Tegra-II “System On a Chip” (SoC) in the Elocity handles graphically intensive applications like games and video in 1080p. Of course, it’s expected that a screen that small wouldn’t really maximize the HD experience, so that’s why the Elocity actually comes with HDMI output and cables for hooking it up to an external screen. Users can easily playback HD content on larger displays.
Despite its solid list of features, the Elocity is really meant to fill a niche market by essentially being a portable media player. Interestingly enough, that might not actually be a bad thing. By focusing on making specific applications run better, the device has the potential to be a formidable contender against similar devices like the iPad. This is a trend we’re probably going to continue to see. Like StreamTV, smaller companies are only just dipping their feet into the market. We will likely see more application specific tablets as opposed to competing with more expensive, all-in-one tablets. Ultimately though, such application specific tablets will have to drop in price to complete with high-end models.
As of now, the Elocity looks fairly promising and has had a positive reception among those who’ve managed to get an early glimpse of it. I should note that due to Google’s current Android Marketplace restrictions on non-phone devices, the Elocity will ship with an alternative app store called GetJar. The Elocity is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and retails for $369.