$80 Tablet Good for Entry-Level Use

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Not sure you need or want a tablet? Reviews suggest this is one of the best economy options so far.

Ematic’s Genesis Prime makes trying out a tablet more affordable, and reviews suggest it’s better than most competing devices near that price.

Here’s what you get: It has a 1.1GHz processor, which a New York Times review says “would have been top of the line a couple of years ago.” Users may see some slowdown when using it for streaming video, it adds.

The Genesis Prime should be great for casual users who just want to browse the Web, check email, read books, watch the occasional video and play a few simple games, a CNET review says.

It runs on a recent Android operating system, Jellybean 4.1. (4.2 is current). You’ll still be able to use the most recent version of most third-party apps, and it’s Google-certified to run all of the company’s services: Gmail, Chrome, Maps, YouTube, and so on.

It’s got 4GB of storage space with a micro SD slot for up to 32GB more. (That’s sold separately but can be found for $20 to $30.) You can also get 5GB of online storage free, CNET says.

The tablet only uses Wi-Fi, which on the bright side means you don’t have to pay anyone for data. On the downside, it means the Internet only works if you’re by a hot spot. The NYT calls the speaker “anemic,” but says sound quality is great with headphones. They also mention the screen (which is a standard 7 inches) has a slight blue tint noticeable against white backgrounds.

The device was announced earlier this month, when Ematic said it would be sold through Walmart.com. At the moment, the model doesn’t seem to be available there. It is on J&R for that price and Amazon for $84, plus shipping costs.

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