Back in January, VIA announced the WonderMedia Prizm WM8950 processor featuring a Cortex A9 processor @ 800 Mhz with a Mali-400 GPU, but recently I have seen a few tablets with the WM8850, the little (or rather the big) brother of WM8950, with the same Cortex A9 but cadenced at 1.2 GHz and Mali-400 GPU.
VIA has apparently not officially announced this new processor, and details are not available on Wondermedia website yet, but the WM8850 targets the same markets as AllWinner A10/A13 Cortex A8 processors and is said to be competitive in price.
And it must be competitive, because I just found an Android ICS tablet based on WM8850 for $72 US (including shipping) on aliexpress (UGoos UG-LMW70) with the following specifications:
- CPU – Via Wondermedia WM8850 Cortex A9 @ 1.2GHz + Mali-400 GPU
- Memory – 512MB RAM
- Storage – 4GB NAND FLASH + microSD card slot (Up to 16 GB?)
- Display – 7″ capacitive touch screen (800 x 480 pixels, 16:9)
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 port
- Video output – HDMI mini with 3D video output support
- Video containers – AVI/WMV/RM/RMVB/ 3GP/MKV/MP4/ASF/VOB/MPG/MOV up to 1080P HD-Definition
- Audio formats – MP3/WMA/OGG/FLAC/WAV/ACC
- Audio I/F – 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, built-in speaker
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and 3G via an external USB 3G dongle
- Camera – 1.3M front camera (or 0.3MP depending where you read…)
- Battery – 2300mAH Li-Polymer rechargeable battery, 5 hours working time
- G-sensor: Yes
The memory (512 MB) and screen resolution (800×480) are on the low side, but a tablet with a 7″ capacitive touchscreen featuring a Cortex A9 / Mali-400 SoC and running Android 4.0 selling for that price is quite a bargain, almost too good to be true. It’s not the cheapest, as there are sub-50 USD tablets around but they usually run Android 2.2 with a resistive touchscreen and an ARM11 CPU.
micdigi has a video of another tablet also based on WM8850 which you can watch to give you an idea of the performance. (Warning: the background music can be annoying…)
I finally decided to purchase it (for 76 USD before the 5% discount…). Even it turns out to just be a crappy Chinese tablet, I’ll always be able to use it for hacking on WM8850. That is if VIA releases the kernel source, thanks in advance VIA…
You may find a bit more information and pictures on the manufacturer website, and if you want to purchase it you can do so on Aliexpress. The 5% discount for 72.19 USD including international shipping apparently lasts 4 more days.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.