What’s the mainstream tablet market to do when the iPad’s hold just won’t loosen? Cut prices. Bargain tablets are about to hit us hard – in fact you can expect the shelves to be flooded with basement-priced tabbys by the end of the year.

Amongst the slew of affordable devices, you’ll find the Velocity Micro Cruz T408 and T410. Velocity Micro, a brand more popularly known for its higher-end gaming equipment, is taking a detour with the new tablets, which each will sell for less than $300.

Besides the cost, the next-best thing about these tablets is their style. Both models are thin, classy, highly-distinguished looking devices that are as equally sturdy.

Of course, at such a budget price, corners did have to be cut – and this manifests mostly in the tablets’ screens which both feature lower-than-average resolution. The T408 is 800 X 600 pixels, and the T410 is 1024 X 600 pixels – and both displays suffer from dimness and limited viewing from various angles.

The interface is plain and features the outdated Android 2.3, however the companies vows that both devices will be compatible with the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade when it is available. In place of the Android Market, Amazon’s app store is pre-loaded onto the tablets, as is Angry Birds and a full version of QuickOffice.

The particulars on these models are not very – well, particular. Both Cruzes are equipped with the bare essentials: an ARM Cortex A8 CPU, 512 MB of RAM, 4GB storage space and a microSD slot – and while the camera is nothing to brag about, the tablets’ graphics performance is surprisingly above par.

For a no-frills tablet that gets the job done – at a price that can’t be beat – the Velocity Micro Cruzes are a good choice.
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