The Monster M7 in its blue, "non-skid" coating.
Monster announced Wednesday that they have a new tablet available only to Wal-Mart shoppers — a petite 7-inch tablet going for just $150. Coincidentally, that's the same price as one of the company's 8-foot HDMI cables.
Yes, Monster is best known for its wildly overpriced cabling, so this foray into the tablet world, specifically the budget one, seems a bit unusual. But we can't find any fault with the M7 itself: the 1.6 GHz processor, 1280x800 display, 16 GB of storage and 1 GB of RAM put it pretty much in line with other downmarket Android tablets.
The M7 runs Android 4.1, and comes with a little extra software courtesy of Monster. There's a PowerControl app for fiddling with compatible Monster accessories, video streaming service Vudu, and support for a special BlueTooth audio feature for movie-watching — but beyond that, it should be more or less an ordinary Android tablet.
It comes in several colors and has a "non-skid" surface, presumably so when you drop it at the tennis court it doesn't leave a mark. They might also have meant "non-slip," which makes more sense.
While it's a bit odd that Monster is doing this at all, the device seems like a perfectly decent option for anyone looking for a cheap Android tablet á la the Kindle Fire. A 10.1-inch version is set to come out later in the season (details and pricing to be announced). You can check out the rest of the specs and order one yourself here at Wal-Mart.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.
First published September 18 2013, 6:32 AM