Verizon offers a new 8-inch Ellipsis tablet now for $149 with a new 2-year subscription to Verizon tablet service, or $249.99 without a subscription. The Ellipsis 8 is about the size of the iPad Mini, as is apparent from the photo attached to this article.
The popularity of tablets has waned according to recent data that analytics firm Flurry.com released Dec. 29. The Flurry team counted the number of tablets and mobile phones that people activated the week before Christmas each year. Using the one-week activation counts, Flurry concludes that market share of all tablets dropped from 33% in 2012 to 22% in 2014. The Flurry data makes it look like the new big “Phablet” phones, such as the iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Note, have replaced about one-third of the tablet purchases from past years.
Even after that market share decline, new tablet purchases continue to make up a significant portion of the U.S. mobile device market. The best selling tablets are profitable for their sellers and manufacturers. Tablets also continue to be in the news in many ways, as evidenced by the photos in the slideshow accompanying this article. It has shots of German chancellor Angela Merkel trying out Samsung and Microsoft tablets at December’s vendor show in Cologne, Germany, plus other tablet photos from recent news stories.
Getting back to the Verizon Ellipsis 8, the Ellipsis at $250, or $150 with Verizon contract, is considerably less expensive than the newest Apple tablets. The iPad Air 2 costs $499 and iPad Mini 3 costs $399. By the way, Verizon tablet service costs about $10 per month.
Ellipsis 8, with its 1280 by 800 display, has far less pixels than the iPad Mini 3 (2048 by 1536). Ellipsis has less pixels in total than the newest smartphones. That translates to a less robust display. Users will notice the difference.
The Ellipsis 8 comes with the Android 4.4.2 “Kit Kat” operating system. The iPad Mini comes with iOS 8. Both these operating systems were new in 2014. Apple releases a new version of iOS each year and when it’s issued, the new iOS works on all old Apple devices that are up to about 3 years old. Android versions also come out each year. However, because not all versions of Android are the same, different devices get new versions at different times.
The Ellipsis is a longer rectangle than the iPad Mini, whose dimensions are closer to that of a square. Some users find the rectangle easier to hold. Most people who buy an iPad find they need a case in order to use the tablet because it has a slippery metal back. Cases are not mandatory with the Ellipsis.
For more information, check CNET.com’s review of the Ellipsis 8. For another low-priced tablet, take a look at this favorable WSJ.com review of the Kindle Fire HD; the small, 6-inch model costs only $99.
Where to buy: Ellipsis 8 is only available from Verizon. You can get one in a Verizon store or from Verizon.com.