Update: In statements made to Laptop Magazine, Augen's CEO Gary Gofman claims that the unauthorized inclusion of the Google Android Marketplace app on the Gentouch78 tablet was an unintentional mistake, and future production runs will not include the Google Mobile Services Application Suite. So yes, it was too good to be true.
When I heard that Kmart is selling a $149 Android tablet with a 7-inch screen, I have to admit that I blew it off with a condescending snicker. No matter how you run the math, there's simply no way to turn a $149 price tag into a satisfying tablet experience--at least not yet. Logic may have gotten the better of me, though, because the demand for this Augen brand Android tablet is apparently so great, that Kmart is already issuing rain checks. In my ivory CNET tower, I forgot to calculate for the effects of a cheap price, Android fever, and blind optimism.
But before you make that dash for Kmart's blue-light beacon, allow me to explain what you probably already know in your heart to be true: the Augen Gentouch78 probably isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Professionally, it's not in my best interest to rein in consumer gadget lust--but as CNET's resident Android tablet expert I have to say my piece. To be fair, let's take a look at what makes this tablet so appealing on paper. Price aside, the Gentouch78 offers a relatively large screen, a version of the Android OS (2.1) that even Dell can't seem to deliver, an integrated Android app store, Wi-Fi, memory expansion (2GB built-in), and the predictable array of music, photos, videos, e-books, e-mail, and Web.
Now for the reality check. … Read more