Buying a tablet has some similarities to buying a car. If you can head to the nearest luxury dealer and buy a new, fully loaded and drool-worthy vehicle, you likely have your mind made up about the quality and cost and are buying the best because it's reputed to be the best.
When choosing an economy car, however, getting the most for your money involves more legwork, testing and comparison shopping. Buying one of the high-end, lauded tablet devices versus choosing a budget category Android tablet involves the same kind of work and research. Often it's a matter of sorting out the best of the good, and thankfully there are a lot of good -- and even great -- lower-cost tablets to choose from these days.
One of those companies is Ematic. It's based in California and has been in the electronics business since 1985. They offer about 100 products, ranging from MP3 players to Apple accessory kits -- even for the iPad, a higher-end competitor -- as well as eReaders and other tablet devices. Ematic tablets are among the friendliest to wallets in the Android competition, and they come in about nine different models as of this writing [source: Ematic]. Major online and walk-in stores sell Ematic tablets, and depending on the operating system, size and features, the tablets range from about $60 to $220.
Overall, consumers and technology reviewers seem to like Ematic tablets when compared to other similarly priced tablets, but when head-to-head with higher-priced offerings, they don't do as well. When matched with their peers, Ematic tablets show very strong in most categories.
Two areas where Ematic really stands out as a company are in its practice of donating 10 percent of all profits to charity and in making all packaging 100 percent recyclable.
Are there any stand-out qualities to Ematic tablets, though? Are they all that and an ice cream sandwich to boot? We'll look at the specs next.