In addition to bringing a slew of new mid-range phones to market, Alcatel has also introduced a few new tablets. The POP 7 and POP 8 are, as they sound, seven and eight inch tablets, meant to serve as entry level devices. Though we didn’t expect much from them, we were pleasantly surprised with what we found here at CES 2014.

Keeping in mind these two aren’t meant as competitors to something like a Nexus 7, the tablets from Alcatel are actually very nice for the consumer they’re aimed for. We’d like to think these would be great for al older parent or younger child, or anyone who simply doesn’t want to play robust games or run heavy productivity apps. When you think about it, that’s most of the market, making Alcatel uniquely brilliant in their own way.

The POP 7 has a cover which is opaque and tinted, but also puts the device to sleep slowly. It’s like a fresh take on Apple’s Smart Cover for the iPad, except you’ll still see alerts that wake the screen — and it’s protected. The cover is a harder plastic, but didn’t feel flimsy. The resolution is a bit lower than we’re used to at 1024 x 600, but again, not for the tech addicts out there. It was snappy and responsive, and the product we saw was still beta.

Alcatel Tab HO

The POP 8 is a bit more robust, and looks like an iPad mini to us. The screen was bright, at 1280 x 800, and colors were crisp. It was really, really snappy, which can be attributed to the quad core processor. It felt a bit quicker than the 1.3GHz noted, which was nice. We think the average consumer would be pleased with this one.

Though neither tablet necessarily blew us away, we’d not think twice to pick one up for an appropriate family member. For higher-end customers, the POP 8 might actually be a low-cost replacement for an expiring tablet, and one they might find to be more than adequate. We still don’t have solid information on when these will be available, or what they’ll cost, but we’ll be on the lookout for them.


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