Since the launch of the iPad, tablets have become big business, and high street retailer Next is the latest to jump on the bandwagon with the imaginatively named Next 10" Tablet.

The Next 10" Tablet, you'll be amazed to hear, is a Next-branded tablet with a 10in screen - although we'll forgive the company the rounding error in its naming convention.

Running Google's Android 2.1, Next has confirmed that the device features a 1GHz ARM-based processor from LNX, 256MB of DDR2 RAM, 8GB of internal storage expandable via microSD card and an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connection. Interestingly, the company also promises compatibility with a wired network, through the purchase of an optional adaptor that connects to the device's single USB 2 port.

Disappointingly, the 10.1in panel is a resistive rather than capacitive touch-screen, so there's no multi-touch, although the 1,024 x 600 resolution stacks up well against the iPad. Sadly, the battery life doesn't, offering a mere three hours compared to the iPad's ten.

The Next 10" Tablet is pretty slim, measuring 270mm x 179mm x 16mm, but tips the scales at a whopping 695g - slightly heavier than the WiFi-only version of the iPad.

While it's a shame that Next - or, more accurately, whichever unidentified manufacturer created the rebranded device - opted to cut a few corners and neglected to install the latest version of Android, there's one killer feature that Next has definitely right: the price.

Retailing for just £180 and available now from the Next website, it might not be as snazzy as the iPad, but it is significantly cheaper.

Do you think this kind of low-cost device can steal some market share away from the iPad, or has Next completely missed the point of why Apple's premium device is so popular? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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