My 4-year-old daughter has a monopoly on my tablet. She launches apps to draw pictures, look at storybooks or complete puzzles, and when it's time to wind down before bed, streams the latest episodes of "Shaun the Sheep" or "Calliou" -- all while toting the tablet hither and yon.
More sophisticated than a mobile phone and not quite as capable as a laptop computer, the tablet continues to break technological ground. These wireless, easily portable touch-screen slates are used for gaming, reading, social networking and a host of other activities, including a number of personal and business applications. The technology targets a vast audience, and in the case of tablets offered by Silicon Valley Peripherals, zeros in on bargain-conscious consumers and companies rebranding electronics with their own logos.
Silicon Valley Peripherals (also known as Silicon Valley Imaging Corp.) of Fremont, Calif., was founded in 2003 as the U.S.-based offshoot of Digital Machine International Co. Ltd., a Taiwanese company that's been in operation since 2005. Tablets sold under the SVP brand are manufactured in China by Digital Machine International, and are designed to enter the consumer marketplace at attractively low prices that range from $75 to $200. Even at its most expensive, an SVP tablet is less than half the cost of an Apple iPad or a Samsung Galaxy; however, SVP tablets typically offer fewer features, which we'll discuss in more detail on the next page.
It's possible to encounter an SVP tablet marketed under other brand names, too. Digital Machine International allows customers placing wholesale orders to self-brand the technology. For example, a customer could buy a bulk shipment of tablets from Digital Machine International and have them customized with its corporate logo or brand. These customized tablets are resold and, on occasion, offered as a premium gift to employees [source: Digital Machine International].
So, could my daughter bounce around the Web, listen to music and watch her favorite shows on an SVP tablet? Could you compose a business report or read the latest bestseller? The answers may just surprise you.