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Verizon Intros Low-Cost Ellipsis Android Tablet

Nov 05, 2013 (07:11 AM EST)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=240163558


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Verizon Wireless Tuesday announced the Ellipsis 7, a compact, low-cost Android tablet the company hopes will drive up new LTE 4G data contracts. The tablet bears Verizon's brand but is made for Big Red by an unknown manufacturer.

The Ellipsis 7 has a 7-inch 1280 x 800 pixel in-plane switching LCD screen, which makes it a direct competitor with Google's excellent Nexus 7 tablet. The Ellipsis' screen isn't quite as pixel-rich as the N7's 1080p screen, though. The Ellipsis is powered by a quad-core 1.2-GHz processor of unknown make paired with 1 GB of RAM. It has 8 GB of internal storage and the Ellipsis, unlike the Nexus 7, supports microSD storage cards, which gives it up to an additional 32 GB of storage.

The Ellipsis boasts a 3.2-megapixel camera, stereo speakers, and a large 4,000-mAh battery. The Ellipsis supports Verizon's LTE 4G network and runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The Ellipsis 7 offers the usual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios and can run most any app downloaded from the Google Play Store.

[ Rumors abound regarding the Nexus 5 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet. What's the real scoop? Read Nexus 5 Release Date? Only Google Knows. ]

Perhaps the most novel feature of the Ellipsis 7 is the Verizon Wireless messaging service. Verizon Messages is a cloud-based messaging tool that lets people send messages from smartphones, tablets, and computers to just about any other device. It will be preloaded on the Ellipsis and lets users message one another without requiring messaging plans.

The Ellipsis costs $249.99, but Verizon will knock $100 off that price if you don't mind signing a two-year data contract. It goes on sale November 7.

The Ellipsis 7's launch is notable for at least one other reason: Verizon has yet to allow the Nexus 7 to operate on its LTE network. When the Nexus 7 was announced earlier this year, Google said that the LTE variant would support the networks of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Verizon has not yet certified the Nexus 7 to work on its network, despite the baked-in spectrum support. The reason for Verizon's delay in approving the Nexus 7 is now obvious: the company wants customers to purchase its own tablet rather than Google's.

The Nexus 7 has several key benefits over the Ellipsis 7. It has a better screen, faster processor, a rear-facing camera, and will always get the latest Android operating system updates from Google. Verizon is perhaps the most restrictive of the U.S. carriers when it comes to device updates.

The Ellipsis eclipses the Nexus 7 in one major category, however: price. The LTE variant of the Nexus 7 costs $349. The Ellipsis costs just $249.99, $149.99 for those willing to sign a contract. That's a big incentive for consumers to choose the Ellipsis over the Nexus 7. But will they?