Velocity Micro Cruz Reader hits stores, Cruz Tablet hitting in October along with more in January

Like everyone else, Velocity Micro's about to cannonball into the tablet pool with the hope of making a big splash. Its first product, the $199 Cruz Reader is already boxed up and arriving on store shelves this week. The seven-inch tablet / e-reader runs Android 2.0 and comes preloaded with Borders' e-book application. We got a chance to check out the device this morning, and while we're impressed with the solid build and rubbery back, it's fairly heavy at a pound and the glossy screen results in less-than-excellent viewing angles. Still, it shows a lot more promise than the Pandigital Novel and Augen GenTouch 78 -- we'll never like resistive screens on this sort of device, but we were able to turn pages by tapping as well as scroll relatively well by dragging a nail down the screen. There's no access to the Android Market, but Velocity has its own Cruz Market and preloads some apps like Twidroid.

But the tablet buck doesn't stop there for Velocity Micro. The Cruz Tablet that we've been hearing about since April will hit a "major electronics retailer" in October for $299. The Tablet we saw today wasn't working, but we nabbed some shots of the hardware below. This one will have a capacitive screen; however, the company isn't planning on rolling it out with Android 2.0 -- it feels the 600MHz processor isn't quite powerful enough to handle that Froyo and Flash goodness. Not to worry: its future eight- and 10-inch capacitive tablets, which will be announced at CES, are going to be powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU and run Android 3.0. Told you it's aiming for a big splash! Hit the break for a short hands-on video of the Cruz Reader and stay tuned for a full review of that one soon. %Gallery-102016%