West Covina, Calif. - E Fun, a newcomer to the CE world, will introduce a tablet PC later this month dubbed the Nextbook.
The first model to hit the market will be a 7-inch version that
uses the Android operating system and is powered by an ARM processor, said Jason
Liszewski, the company's newly appointed managing director and sales VP.
The unit will carry a $199 suggested retail and will be introduced to the public via the Home Shopping Network in late October, Liszewski said. The company is in talks with online and brick-and-mortar retailers, but it has no news to announce at this time.
E Fun is working closely with FiYang, a Chinese ODM manufacture, that will make the products, Liszewski said.
The original idea was to come out with something that was more of an e-reader, but once Android was added, it became clear that the device could do more, he added.
"This is now more of a tablet PC that reads," he said.
The Nextbook does have a deal with Borders for supplying books, but the unit can also play video, music and search the web. It has 802.11g Wi-Fi and 2GB of internal memory.
A follow-up 8.4-inch model is expected at a later date, and more should follow next spring, Liszewski said. The company is also considering upgrading the ARM processor next year to something more powerful, but Liszewski would not say if it would be an Intel Atom model. Adding 3G connectivity is also under consideration.
E Fun concentrated on improving the touch sensitivity of the model, compared with others on the market, he said, through improved software to make page turning easier. In addition, it is outfitted with page-turning buttons along the side of the screen, Liszewski said.