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The Insignia Flex’s long-lost brothers

I had a chance to take a look at the Insignia Flex tablet, Best Buy’s $249 house-brand Android tablet. If you need a basic dual-core tablet that’s reasonably well-built, it’s not bad. I found it responsive and usable–there just wasn’t anything flashy about it. The two things I found I didn’t like were that the settings control panel didn’t let you change much, and it has a 4:3-perspective 1024×768 screen, which is unusual in this world of 16:9 tablets. I’m afraid the old-school resolution might eventually be a problem. And there’s no Cyanogenmod 9 or 10 for it.

But if you need a value tablet in the 9-10 inch range, I have a suggestion for you.

It turns out this tablet is made by a company called Matsunichi, which has been marketing very similar tablets under the Le Pan name. The Insignia Flex fits in between two Le Pan models. The Le Pan S sports the same 1 GHz clock rate but only 4 GB of storage to the Flex’s 8 GB, while the Le Pan II pairs 8 GB of storage with a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon CPU.

The Le Pan S costs under $200, while the Le Pan II costs around $249. I think the Le Pan II is a better value than the Insignia Flex, since it’s 20% faster.

At less than $200–it’s $179 as I write–I might be more inclined to take the Le Pan S as it is. After all, it’s a 9.7-inch tablet in the same price range as a good 7-inch tablet.

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