Well, we have to admit that we didn't see this one coming.

We expected a barrage of Android tablets to hit the market, from the usual players like Samsung, Toshiba, LG and HTC - but Next? Next?

Obviously, the clothing giant wouldn't have manufactured the device itself - unless it has secretly opened an electronics assembly line over in the Far East that we don't know about - but even so, this Next branded tablet does come a little out of left field.

Whatever it is (most likely a re-branded existing tablet), we know that it is a 10.1-inch tablet, packing:

- A backlit LED screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution

- An ARM 1GHz LNX Code 11 processor

- 256MB or RAM

- 8GB of onboard storage

- Android 2.1

- 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi

- A USB port

- A microSD port

- Stereo speakers

The downsides? The battery life is just 3 hours apparently, and it has a resistive touch screen.

But, for £180, this is a very affordable, if somewhat surprising, entry to the exciting Android/tablet world.

It is available to order directly from next.co.uk now.

We'll be doing our darnedest to get in touch with the relevant peeps over at Next to try and get some more info on the mysterious tablet. Stay tuned to Pocket-lint for updates.