By Johnny Wills | Nov 15, 2012 12:40 PM EST
Best Buy has been selling its own computers under the Insignia brand for a while, and now the retailer brings an affordable 9.7-inch Android tablet under the same brand name.
The tablet is called Insignia Flex and is available in only one model with just 8GB of internal storage. Fortunately, it includes a microSD card slot to add additional 32GBs to the device.
Announced via a post on Facebook in October, the Insignia Flex tablet boasts a 9.7-inch LCD screen with 1024 X 768 pixels resolution. With an aspect ratio of 4:3, Insignia Flex isn't an ideal tablet for watching movies, but it should be able to handle multimedia tasks properly, thanks to Texas Instruments' OMAP 4428 chipset featuring dual-core 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. The retailer promises 10 hours of usage with the tablet.
Best Buy's Insignia Flex comes with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling. As expected, the tablet does not have a rear camera.
The Insignia Flex comes with moderate connectivity features. It has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a USB 2.0 port. However, it runs the older Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) out of box, when the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS is common place for new tablets. Moreover, the Flex is the first tablet from Best Buy, and it is unknown whether the retailer will consider updating its devices with OTA updates or not.
The Insignia Flex is specifically a tablet targeted at customers who need a large device for browsing and reading. The Flex is competitively priced, but it still doesn't seem a credible threat for Nexus 7, iPad mini, or even the Kindle Fire. A big reason is that Best Buy doesn't have any content store yet to challenge Apple, Amazon, Google, or even Barnes & Noble.
Google also released its Nexus tablet in 10-inch form factor. However, it is out of stock and will not be available for couple of days. It would seem that customers have an alternative to look forward to, though Insignia Flex isn't the best tablet available in its category.
Priced at $249.99, the Flex tablet is available for purchase on Best Buy.