Dixons launches £180 Tegra 4 chip tablet

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Dixons is wading into the increasingly crowded Christmas tablet war with its new £180 Vega Tegra Note 7. But the competition's fierce. Argos sells its own 7-inch MyTablet for £99, almost half the price of the Dixons effort. There's Tesco £119 Hudl and the £120 HD Kindle Fire.

And then there's the new iPad mini. Where does Dixons' effort fit in, exactly?

Tegra 4 chip for £180

On price, obviously between the new £319 chic retina display iPad mini and the much tinnier £99.99 Argos MyTablet (which in truth is more aimed the sub-teen market). What Dixons is not doing is going near the bottom of the market. Last year its cheap £119 slate saw many customers return them.

This year, it's different says Dixons. The Vega Tegra, a re-skinned Tegra Note from Nvidia, is claimed to be the world's fastest 7-inch android device and is "perfect for gaming, music and movie, including a stylus for quick note taking" and "combines iconic industrial design and superior performance capabilities with an accessible price point."

How accessible is £180? More accessible than a Hudl or MyTablet but still a lot of cash. For an extra £140 or so you can have an retina display iPad mini. Clearly Dixons hopes that extra £140 is enough to deter people away from straying too near an Apple store.

Price drop

Alternatively, for an extra £70 you could make do with the current iPad mini non-retina display model. There are some much cheaper options around too. Take the Nook HD with a decent 1440 x 900 resolution screen. It's cheaper still than the Argos effort (£79 from Very) and you can boost its storage capacity.

Pricier, there's the Google Nexus 7 which saw a price drop recently, from £199 to £179 with 1GB of RAM and a fairly low 290g weight. In other words, shop around before committing.

Unfortunately what we don't have at the moment is a £49 tablet offering from Aldi or Lidl. That would really set the Christmas market alight (2014?). At the other end of the market, in terms of build quality and super-slickness, it's the A-word. No getting round it.

Meanwhile most chemists will sell you several tablets, in a variety of colours, for under a fiver. But for the black/grey Dixons Vega Tegra, make for Currys or PC World.