In a report on Reuters, U.S. electronics big box retailer Best Buy may be looking at pricing its own self-branded Insignia Flex Android tablet between $239 and $259, placing it in the middle of $199 Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad 2, which retails at $399. Best Buy’s Insignia Flex will debut in a time with stiff competition from a number of platforms and hardware makers.
The device will have have a dual;-core 1 GHz processor, a 9.7-inch display, and 10 hours of battery life according to Best Buy’s Facebook page. Insignia Flex will also have a front-facing camera and weighs just under 1.5 pounds.
The device will likely have to compete against cheaper 7-inch tablet models with commendable hardware specs, such as Google’s Nexus 7, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. The slate will also compete with Apple’s iPad, which has a display of the same size, as well as a rumored cheaper 7.85-inch iPad Mini that’s slated to arrive later this month.
Additionally, as Microsoft will be unveiling its Windows 8 and Windows RT–a scaled down version of Windows 8 designed around ARM processors–operating systems this month, the Insignia Flex will find competition with a whole slew of incubating Windows slates. Even Microsoft is headed into the hardware game with its own Windows RT tablet called the Surface, which will start at $499 for a 32 GB edition.
And while the specs of the Insignia Flex looks good on paper and is priced competitively for a 9.7- or 10-inch tablet model, the market is starting to look crowded. The Flex so far doesn’t offer a transformative experience that rivals are adopting to differentiate themselves, such as laptop-like keyboard dock or a smart cover.
Depending on the exact pixel resolution of the display, for a home multimedia tablet aimed at content consumption and modest amounts of productivity, the Insignia Flex seems well priced, but it’s still too early to tell if Best Buy can succeed where others, such as HTC, had failed. It’s unclear if or how Best Buy will try to leverage the Insignia Flex tablets for future revenue opportunities. Amazon had stated recently that it is selling its Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets at costs and the company generates revenues through digital sales on its storefronts.
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