Velocity Micro offered two Cruz tablet models in 2011, the Cruz T301 at about $199.99 and the Cruz T103 for around $249.99. Retail partners offer the tablets as low as $149.99 and $165 respectively. Both are in the 7-inch category of tablets and weigh about 1 pound (.45 kilograms) whereas the Apple iPad 2, for example, is 10-inches and weighs about 1.34 pounds (.6 kilograms) [sources: Bell; Apple Inc.]. Dimensions for each model are similar, with the T301 measuring 7.5 inches by 5.6 x .57 inches (19.05 cm by 14.22 cm by 1.44 cm) and the T103 7.5 inches by 4.75 inches by .6 inches (19.05 cm by 12.06 cm by 1.52 cm).
Both Cruz Tablet models have touch screen navigation displays, SD and SDHC memory cards, Wi-Fi capabilities, and audio and video playback for MP3, AAC, WAV, MPEG-4 AVI and MOV formats, although the T103 also handles WMA audio and H.264 video. The T103 also has 512 MB of RAM, which is twice as much as the T301's 256 MB. Another difference is in the aspect ratio of each tablet, that number indicating how much images are scaled down for optimal viewing on a handheld or tablet. At a ratio of 4:3 for the Cruz T301 and 16:9 for the T103, the models fall within the standard preferences for many tablets on the market [source: Burnette].
A few important features of both tablets include the operating system, battery life and storage. Cruz tablets are powered by Android, the operating system designed by Google (though Microsoft claims royalties for Android use) and are compatible with Google applications. While the Cruz T301 has the 2.2 Android OS (also called "Froyo") the T103 Cruz Tablet runs off the 2.0 Android operating system.
There is a tablet-specific 3.0 Android operating system (also known as "Honeycomb") featured on tablets by other manufacturers -- the Motorola Xoom, for example. The earlier Android versions were designed for phone and handheld devices, whereas the 3.0 is designed specifically to fit the screen and resolution of tablets. However, just like many PC users still run older versions of Microsoft operating systems, the 2.0 and 2.2 Androids are more than capable of powering the Cruz tablets. Samsung's Galaxy Tab and others use the Android 2.2, as well.
Battery life for both Cruz tablets is good, with some reviewers finding that it exceeded the six to 10 hours of use advertised. Most reviewers rate this as a strength of the Cruz tablets, and even in negative reviews of other Cruz tablet features, battery life fairs well.
Storage is a less competitive feature, however, and Cruz devices have noticeably less to offer in this area than many other tablets on the market. The Cruz T103 has 1 GB of storage built in and includes 4GB and 8GB secure digital memory cards, and the T301 has 2 GB built in and includes a 4GB memory card. This is a significant amount of memory, however most tablets on the market, including the iPad and Xoom, offer 16 to 32 GBs internal storage alone.
A Cruz Reader is also available and has many features in common with the tablet models, including 10 plus hours of battery life for reading, watching videos, listening to music or surfing the Web, but with just 256 MB of memory.
Next we'll look at what can Cruz tablets do and whether they can do it fast.