Lot’s of new info about this device now that it’s shipping: Though the device is essentially a WiFi-only Android MID, it appears as though you can equip it with internal GPS for $25 on top of the starting $155 price. Additionally, it looks like 3G and voice [UMTS/HSDPA/EVDO (850, 1900, 2100 MHz) or GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)] is available on the device through an external micro-USB dongle which is available for purchase at checkout for another $35, putting a GPS and 3G/voice equipped zenPad at a total of $215. Be weary though as the specs page notes that data and voice access is provided by a third-party app which means that zenPad probably has little to no control over that particular experience. One can also choose a matte or chrome finish, which has no impact on the price of the unit. Looks like they are also offering $25 worldwide shipping.
This expandability is interesting because it allows the zenPad to function in a range of usage scenarios. The customer can choose what is right for them at the time of purchase, and if they want they can always come back and add the micro-USB 3G dongle if they shift into a mobile — rather than a home — usage scenario. This also means that the zenPad can compete with a larger range of devices.
Sadly, Enso is pulling the classic MID maneuver — the zenPad ships with Android 1.6, but they promise the following:
Upgrades to Android 2.x will be available within 1 month to our customer on their private section for simple downloading and upgrading. Easy instructions will be provided.
We’ve seen similar promises fail to be honored with many of those no-name MIDs out of Asia which I am not a big fan of.
The official spec sheet is also listing the following:
Download and install any compatible application from the Official Google Android Market.
Generally, access to the Android Market on non-phone devices has been rare, so this will be a big plus for the device.
Though the unboxing video shows a car mount, the zenPad’s official page only lists the following as being included:
- USB Cable
- Power Adapter
- User manual
- Touchscreen stylus