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Falling prices and impressive specs have made the tablet market really crowded lately.

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The tablet market is getting crowded as costs fall and devices get more powerful. Tablets running Google's Android operating system have emerged as serious challengers to Apple's iPad, but none have quite been able to match it in terms of size and performance. Le Pan is a relative newcomer to the tablet market, and they've already rolled out a few iPad-sized tablets and a smaller 7-inch (178-millimeter) tablet.

With a vaguely French name, "Everything Lifestyle" as the company motto, and products with names like "Mode de Vie," you might think Le Pan is a new European manufacturer, possibly some Swiss engineers turning their attention to the tablet market. Don't be fooled. Le Pan is actually part of Matsunichi Digital, a company based in Taiwan. That doesn't necessarily mean they don't make high-quality products, but potential buyers should be aware of the veneer of marketing that covers these tablets (and all consumer electronics, truth be told). In fact, in May of 2012, Matsunichi announced that the company would begin selling tablets in the U.S. under the Matsunichi name, not Le Pan, with a focus on 9.7-inch (246-millimeter) and larger tablet sizes [source: Fingas]. The relationship between the two companies is convoluted, and the future of the Le Pan brand is unclear.

Le Pan in a nutshell: They offer decent tablets with some drawbacks compared to top-of-the-line models, but they cost far less. The release of the Google/Asus Nexus 7 has almost certainly outclassed Le Pan in terms of price and performance where 7-inch tablets are concerned, but if you're in the market for a 9.7-inch iPad-sized tablet at a reasonable price, Le Pan may have something to offer you.

Let's take a look at the specifications and features of Le Pan tablets. Then we'll talk price and see if Le Pan is the right tablet for you.