Well, it was only a matter of time. Hongpaiyihao (literally meaning "red group number one"), a Beijing-based pro-government new media company, has launched a 9.7-inch Tegra 2
tablet that's "tailor-made for government officials" and patriotic consumers. Well, we're not sure whether the government's even aware of this Android 3.2 device's existence, but it's certainly preloaded with a bunch of pro-China apps (including one for the state-approved microblogging service
), electronic subscription to a handful of newspapers (state-controlled, of course) and "exclusive" access to daily updates on some government strategic decisions. The damage? 9,999 yuan ($1,590) per unit, or 7,100 yuan ($1,120) each if you buy in bulk. As pointed out by Penn Olson
, this RedPad is about two to three times as expensive as the iPad in China.
To be honest, having dug around Hongpaiyihao's unbelievably shoddy product pages, this reeks of a desperate company trying to squeeze money out of overly patriotic folks in China. Even the screen resolution and battery capacity are inconsistent across the site: it's either 1,024 x 768 and 8,000mAh, or 1,280 x 800 and 7,600mAh, respectively. Judging by the render, the former combination is more likely the real deal; yet the screenshots in the owner manual suggest the latter. Oh, and just so you know, there's no sign of the above interface in the manual at all. If you still care, other features include a five megapixel main camera, a two megapixel front-facing camera, 3G connectivity, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. We'll stick to our diet of regular Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich, thank you very much -- they'll keep our wallets healthier.