A largely unknown Chinese manufacturer has launched a ‘Red Group Number One’ Android tablet that’s aimed at, and highly customized for, China’s ruling cadres. Following the URL of the very flakey website that it’s from, we’ll just call it the RedPad. Its specs are pretty decent but its price is enough to make even the most patriotic think about getting an iPad instead: the RedPad costs 9,999 RMB (US$1,580), though it’s currently available for the bulk-buy price of 7,100 RMB ($1,124). With a mere 16GB of storage, that makes the RedPad inexplicably nearly twice the price of an iPad or a mid-range Android tablet.
It comes with a fancy leather case that’s embossed with in gold with the product’s name (pictured below) and lots of pre-installed apps that might help the officials go about their working day. They include the People’s Weibo app (a state-run microblogging platform that’s nowhere near as popular as Sina’s or Tencent’s Weibo), the People’s Daily newspaper app, and ‘Zhongnanhai Developments’ which is a guide to what’s going on in the National People’s Congress. But most of the apps are available as separate, free downloads if someone were to buy a normal Android tablet or smartphone instead.
The RedPad’s manufacturer – see its website here, though it’s struggling to cope with the traffic today – doesn’t seem to make any other devices, and it’s not clear who’s the OEM. Aside from the great curiosity about the tablet in the Chinese press, it has not been made stated if the near 3,000 members of congress must purchase it.
The RedPad’s key specifications are: Android 3.2 ‘Honeycomb,’ a 9.7-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, a Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage space. Here are a couple more pics sourced from Evolife.cn: