Medion Android tablet for UK by Christmas

Medion is to launch its first Android smartphone and Android tablets in the UK. The tablet, the 10.1in screen Medion Life Tab will hit UK stores by mid-December. It will initially be sold through a single retailer and via the Medion online shop.

The Medion Life Tab will be an Android 3.2 tablet with Wi-Fi and either 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage. It will be pegged at a price in line with other Android 3.2 tablets in the market. Ideally, Medion would like to offer the device for around £400 for the 32GB model. A 3G-enabled version of the Medion Life Tab is likely to launch early in the new year.

Medion’s first smartphone for the UK, meanwhile, will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Our brief look at a non-functioning prototype revealed little more than that it’s a chunky touchscreen-only device with a broad screen. It is manufactured by ZTE. Medion will include Navteq Map-based satellite navigation software as one of the smartphone’s main selling points. 

Medion is also looking to introduce its first e-book reader. On show at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin this week were four e-book reader designs. One was approximately the same size as the Amazon Kindle, while the other three models were closer in design to the 6in-screen Sony Reader.

Medion’s UK product manager, Rick Munday, told PC Advisor that the decision about which model or models of e-book reader hit UK shelves will be down to the retailers to which the company was talking at IFA. A monochrome device is a dead cert, however: Medion says none of the retailers was interested in a colour-screen device and believes there is little consumer appetite for such models due to the price. Arguably, tablets are a better fit here anyway.

The consumer electronics company best known for its keenly-priced laptops and desktop PCs is slowly expanding its line-up of gadgetry, building distinct brands around its Akoya laptop, Erazer gaming and Life “portable internet brand”.

Medion now has a dedicated Life portal for content and updates and that allows product owners to manage their content via the web.

A NAS server with DNLA support and HD media streaming around the home, plus the Akoya X PC – a paperback book-sized computer with a distinctive X case design and a pair of tubular speakers – are both on the cards. The latter will be offered in a choice of black or red.

More interestingly, Medion is getting into the iPod speakers market, showing off three Apple AirPlay DNLA speakers starting from 99 euros. all will have Wi-Fi , while the 149 euro top-end model will be an iPod and iPhone dock and both this and the 129 euro mid model will offer AirPlay support. 

Lenovo bought out Medion AG earlier this year, but judging by the names and products on show at IFA, it looks as though the Medion brand and its associated sub-brands will continue. 

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