Dying for an iPad, but feeling a bit guilty that you’d be supporting a company that drives their employees to suicide? Maybe you just don’t have the better part of a grand to drop on a new toy? Whatever your reasoning, there’s a new shanzhai iPad to the rescue. A Japanese news report announced the other day that a company down in Shenzhen has brought China’s first iPad clone to the market — called, what else, the iPed (aka aPad).
Priced at around 1/5th the cost of its genuine Apple cousin, it’s surely going to raise more than a few iBrows around the offices in Cupertino. Making that price even sweeter is that it’s not even running some craptastic domestic Chinese OS — rather, it’s loaded with none other than Google’s iPhone-killing Android OS.
With curiosity piqued, I had a quick hunt around Taobao for “iPed”, but didn’t come up with anything. On a hunch, I threw in the term “aPad” which is shown on the device’s manual in the Japanese news video (linked above) and sure enough — a number of sellers came up. Prices range from around 900-1400 RMB depending on how much “extra” memory you want. Unlike the “real” iPad, the aPad only features 1GB of built-in storage, but is expandable with its miniSD slot.
Initial reports of the product have it as running a bit slow, with video playback being mediocre. Still, $150 for a full-featured, expandable, wi-fi enabled tablet ain’t half bad. By comparison, the unit is significantly lighter than the iPad (332g vs. about 700g) likely the result of the smaller 7″ display (the iPad’s is 9.7″).
A-B’ing the two devices is bound to bring up a lot more disparity, but what really makes this so kickass is that it is running on Android and so offering access to the 20K+ apps in the Android market. The hope with Apple’s iPad was that it would revolutionize our relationship with computers, taking them off our desks and laps, and putting them into some unique situations (classrooms, kitchens, travel, etc.). Love ’em or hate ’em, these shanzhai versions are helping that process along.
If anyone’s been to a local electronic market, or happens to have purchased one, please let us know how it runs. I’ve got my finger on the trigger to pick one up and give it a try myself. At this price, questionable performance or not, it’s hard to say no.
Photos from this Taobao seller