For those who’ve been keeping an eye on Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, you should already know that after the Xiaomi Phone’s successful launches (most recently in collaboration with China Telecom), the man’s been pondering over whether the Chinese tablet market is worth tapping into. Funnily enough, it turned out that during CES, Kingsoft’s Japanese subsidiary Mobile In Style announced the 7-inch Eden Tab, which just so happened to be co-developed by Xiaomi and shares the same ODM, Inventec, as the Xiaomi Phone. This is no surprise considering Lei Jun also chairs both Xiaomi and Kingsoft, and the two companies have announced partnerships before; though it doesn’t seem like this tablet uses the former’s MIUI software. Read on to find out more.
The Android Gingerbread-powered Eden Tab — due to be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich at some point — packs a 1.2GHz Samsung S5PC210 chip, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, a 1,280 x 800 LCD and dual-mic. Expansion-wise you get microSD, micro-USB and HDMI mini. Of course, cameras are a given these days: there’s an eight-megapixel imager with flash on the back, along with a two-megapixel one in front of you. All of this comes in a package at 330g heavy and 10.4mm thick, which just about beats the Galaxy Tab 2 that came out last week; though the latter’s 4,000mAh battery does have 150mAh more than the former’s.
But here’s the best bit: Mobile In Style has recently announced that the WiFi version of the Eden Tab will be available for 29,800 yen ($ 370) starting this Saturday, and it’s already accepting pre-orders with a color choice of black, white and pink. To complement its rigorous test claims (pictured below, including a 45-second water immersion test), there’s also a 14-day money-back guarantee. Need built-in 3G? Well, you’ll have to wait until late April. As to whether China will also get this tablet under the Xiaomi brand, Lei Jun told us personally that he’s still not sure, as he’ll need to see how things go in Japan first. Alternatively, diehard Xiaomi fans can simply bug Mr. Lei via weibo.