Hannspree SN101T1 Froyo tablet hands-on

Hannspree announced it was to make the jump from novelty TVs to comparatively sensible tablets back at IFA 2010 and during the IFA Global Press Conference in Alicante, we managed to get our hands on their first foray into the field.

The Hannspree SN10T1 is a 10.1-inch tablet running the Tegra 2 chipset but just an Android 2.2 Froyo set up rather than the made-for-tablet 3.0 version of the software that is Honeycomb. Why? Well, Hannspree is looking to keep costs down and, given that Google currently has a set of minimum hardware specs to carry its latest update, it drives up the price of production. According to the product manager of Hannspree, Jordon Popov, jumping up from a 1024 x 600px display to a the Honeycomb required 1280 x 800px more or less doubles the retail price point on its own.

So, the good news about the SN10T1 is that its fairly affordable at €349. For that you still get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 16GB of internal storage expandable by microSD card and an HDMI-out socket to ship your media from A to B. What's more, Hannspree doesn't leave you high and dry with a mobile phone operating system stretched onto the device. The company teamed up with Boston-based UI outfit TapTap to give Froyo a custom make-over specially for the 10-inch tab, and, from our brief play, it's not too bad at all.

It defintely still feels like Android. There's no unnecessary hubs that get in the way and TapTap has done its utmost to make even their own customisations of the settings menus and weather widgets blend with Google's own design. In short, it works and without getting in the way of the Android experience either.

As for the tablet itself, well, it's no iPad 2 but, actually, it isn't too far off the original iPad. Naturally, the touchscreen isn't quite as smooth and is probably the one aspect that gives away the SN10T1's budget credentials but otherwise it seems like a respectable piece of kit. The three Android touch sensitive keys on the top right of the tablet's frame aren't perfect but they work and the ports - all located on the one side - are rather nicely labelled from the underside.

In all, it's an interesting enough option for anyone who's tempted by the tablet market but doesn't want to pay the earth to get one. All the same, if money saving is really what you're after, then you might do better to wait a few months to pick up the Hannspree SN10T2. It doesn't have Tegra 2 SoC but you do get a camera and for €50 less as well.

Interested in what Hannspree are up to in the tablet space? Check out the company's roadmap for 2011