Kmart Seeing High Demand for Augen Tablet, Also Selling Android Netbooks (UPDATED)

Folks running to their local Kmart to pick up the $150 Android 2.1-powered tablet are going to come away just a little bit disappointed.  We received two reports today from readers who went to their respective Kmarts to purchase the 7-inch Augen tablet only to find they were not in stock.  I too found myself getting a raincheck today for one at my store as the retailer couldn’t find any in stock within 20 miles.  According to one of our tipsters, his Kmart  electronics department hasn’t fielded so many questions since Jock Jams: Greatest Hits of the 90s came out.

Interestingly enough, our readers and I noticed a space on the shelf dedicated to an Android netbook from Augen.  In some cases, the netbook was in stock.Dubbed the Genbook74, the $99 netbook features a 7-inch screen,  400MHz processor, 2GB flash memory, 128MB RAM, WiFi, and expandable memory . Thanks to our kindly follower Emperor Lrrr and his trusty Droid X, we have a few pictures of the device.  Like the Augen78 Tablet, it’s awfully difficult to resist the low price point.  Even with its Android 1.6, the GenBook would make for a nice companion device for emails, texting, and tweeting.  Thanks to David Muzzarelli for the additional pictures!

to scott

show details 12:19 PM (2 hours ago)

Hey guys,

In the hunt for the Gentouch78 tablet that was announced yesterday, I went out this morning to a couple local Kmarts trying to find it.  Like other people, I was told they haven’t arrived yet and was given a raincheck.  Both stores I went to said that there have been A LOT of people asking about this item.  Apparently their electronics department hasn’t fielded so many questions since Jock Jams: Greatest Hits of the 90s came out.
Anyway, one Kmart (a Big K, as it were) actually had a spot in the display where the tablet will go.  Spotted next to it, was their netbook, running Android.  Now, this baby even has a “coming soon” on their website, so how the hell this Kmart got a unit to sell, who knows.  The clerk had no idea about anything, but I did manage to have him let me unbox it to take a look (though he wouldn’t let me turn it on to really start playing with it).  I snapped a few pics with the ol’ Droid X camera.
On a side note, if anyone asks me about going to a Kmart near me, I can now direct them to “the good one.”
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Emperor Lrrr

Update: Luke at The Android Blog actually found an Augen tablet in stock at his local Kmart, and got some hands on video: [youtube][/youtube]

He was unimpressed, and did not end up buying one.

  • Any word on if the screen is resistive or capacitive?

  • @XBrav

    It'll also be slow. The G1 has a 528mHz processor with 178MB ram I believe. This thing would be slower than that. Good for basic tasks, but kind of weak.

  • Empty shelf space in the #STL also – the employee sounded annoyed and already knew the questions – so people are hunting for them! See my @RexDixon twitter stream – have a picture of the empty spot – with plenty of eBook readers in stock below that for $99 also.

  • Squibble

    Checked my local K-Mart, they are sold out. Will get a rain check tomorrow AM. Was told they may get some in tomorrow morning on the truck.

  • I also tried in the metro-STL area and no luck. The 2 K-Marts I tried said they haven't had any at all.. As in the product isn't in their system which is odd since it's "on sale" until 7/31… I'll keep trying nonetheless

  • Hope this doesn't turn into a nightmare for the Kmart brand. They have had to deal with the likes of Target and Walmart shredding their market share and the purchase of Sears didn't seem to help that much.

  • Mikado
  • Steven

    I also tried in the metro-STL area and no luck. The 4 K-Marts I tried said they haven't had any at all.. None would give a rain-check.

  • HANS

    Columbus Ohio raincheck as of 7-27-2010. Maybe some on a truck Thursday.

  • Just tried the local #STL Kmart after dropping the kid off at camp – none in stock, and – NO RAINCHECKS!!! Something about them being a "no raincheck" store. Said there was a truck later today, but I'm starting to think that Augen should have gone with a better retail outlet to distribute this product. There were no tablets and no netbooks – but 3 "the book" eBook readers.

  • Just to update everyone reading this concerning the "non-raincheck" store/policy:

    I did have a nice back and forth e-mail with this guy – [email protected] – Daniel Honigman – and he said he passed over my request for a raincheck to his ops people. I also tweeted this earlier today – – about Augen customer service or lack thereof. I also found the CEO for Augen on Facebook, and sent him a message.

    Still at the end of the day, my Kmart up the road has none – but the display cards for both the tablet and notebook sit in a case with TheBook eReader which they had 3 of the last time I was in there this morning.

  • Quick update: Received a call from the store I went too this morning. They said they would honor the $149.99 price when they receive one, but they also checked and there are *NONE* within a ~50 mile radius of #STL / St. Louis, MO – so that means – none for today or the very near future unless Augen shipping sends a bunch to this area pronto! 🙂

  • I assume they (Augen) had no real idea of the sort of demand for something like this?

  • JS-droid

    There don't seem to be any, anywhere. I live in the Philadelphia area and all the stores I've called either didn't know what the device was or said that they weren't scheduled to receive any anytime soon. Only one said they had the tablet in their system to allow rainchecks. You can see on ebay that a couple people have picked up this tablet(much like the wii) and are turning it over for an instant profit.

  • bg124c41

    I got a call on Thursday that one was being held for me at the Durham, NC store. As I was picking mine up, a fellow came in to get the other two of the three that had come in. So within about 1 minute they were sold out. I asked to inspect mine before I paid and was told "no." Fine. So I paid, and opened it on the spot. Removed the protective film. Good news, the battery was almost fully charged. The screen was barely responsive, taking two and three taps to get any response on any icon. Got to the clock set-up and couldn't get out. (I've had a Hero and an EVO, so I'm not an Android virgin.) There are some peculiar controls on the back where you can only feel them, but I couldn't get them to do anything with the clock set-up screen. The screen itself had a white line along the right side. But the real deal-killer was that the case was gapingly split along one seam. No amount of squeezing would pop it into place. Either the glue or the welding beam had just not been applied there. The end. I must say they were nice about letting me return it, although I had to wait quite a while my purchase appeared in their computer so they could actually perform the return. iPad, here I come, I guess.

  • Robert in MN

    Guys, what is with all the negative reviews and comments? Keep in mind, when you are comparing it to an Android phone you are comparing a $150 item to a cell phone that costs $499-799 without a contract. When you compare the fact it has a resistive screen to something with a capacitive screen…again, $150 device to a $400-800 device. For the cost of this thing you are getting a nice unit. Supports wi-fi, has a g-sensor, decent sized screen, and an 800Mhz processor…for $150! That is an amazing deal. If you want more speed or more features, go drop $500 to $800 on an iPad and be happy about it. However, for $150, I love this thing. As soon as Cyanogen gets a Froyo hack for it and roots it I’ll overclock the processor and it will be sweet as heck. Who knows, maybe there will be a memory hack too. Has anyone cracked it open? Does it use a DIMM we can replace? Who knows?

    Anyway, I can watch movies, surf the net and do all my business stuff with remote desktop, vnc, Touchdown…not to mention personal stuff with GMail and my calendar. I’m happy I didn’t spend 3-4 times this for an iPad for very little life difference.

  • Stu

    Given it’s a $150 device I set my expectations pretty low but have still managed to be disappointed. I’ve had my own issues with Augen support. After reading the now infamous note by whatever company officer about having a fix for the Android Market problem “in 48 hours”, I went to the support site to download the patch. Of course we all know there’s next to nothing out there and absolutely nothing for the Android Market problem. I opened a ticket with them and got the following email:
    Please check this Newsletter that was posted on our site: News
    GENTOUCH78 & Google Mobile Services Application Suite . Press Release
    Mark at Augen Customer Support

    Ticket Details
    Ticket ID: 4970
    Department: Customer Support
    Priority: High
    Status: Closed

    Of course the link the idiot sent me was one I had already seen. And there is nothing there to help me with my original question, where do I download the Android Market fix. So, I send a follow-up to Mark asking him where the patch is and got the following:

    It’s because your not looking. Would you like me to spoonfeed you SIR?

    here is the link:
    here is the instruction:

    you’ll need it badly
    Mark at Augen Customer Support

    Ticket Details
    Ticket ID: 4970
    Department: Customer Support
    Priority: High
    Status: Closed

    Insulting your customer is generally not a good idea. The best part about all this is these messages are from 8/10, and the idiot knows there is no solution to the problem but decided to basically lie to me and give me a run around instead of facing the facts. After doing some more research on this I find the patch for the problem doesn’t exist, which brings up the question what was the idiot going to “spoon feed” me?

    My theory on Augen is it’s a bunch morons who are buying cheap, cloned hardware in China and importing it (everyone remember Apex?) They have no idea of how to run a company or support a product, and with the recent Google issues, also have no idea about software licensing.

    The support site has no structure to it, but this may be because they will have no idea of how to actually fix any of the problems until the can get a H2B visa and interpreter for a guy in China and relocate him instead of letting Mark put the thing together.

  • After reading so many comments on various sites about this tablets elusive, raincheckingness (so analog & antiquated) I am currently tracking my online purchase

  • Kmart guy

    I work for my local kmart in the electronics department and i can personally say that today i had 3 people come up to me and ask if we had any in stock. our numbers said we had 6 in the store but i checked everywhere they could have been and none could be found. i called 2 other stores and both said they were out. we do NOT get them on the truck often it is very rare. when we do get them in stock they fly off the shelves. your best bet is to call early in the morning either right when the store opens on a Monday Wednesday or even Friday after the trucks deliver

  • brian

    the Augen touch tablet IS NOT WORTH BUYING!!! i had returned 2 units for various defects – freezing up, memory card damaged, nonreponsive touch screen… kmart’s nyc store refused to give me a refund until i had a yelling fit and called my credit card company. this product is not worth anything. you are better off waiting for something more substantial. the quality of the unit is that of a child’s toy – cheaply made – plastic. BUYER BEWARE!

  • Hello, This is Mishka Fishka, i really like that post, you are doing a great job. Thanks.

  • up set carolina

    I bought three Augen products over Christmas, two 10″ notebooks, and the 7″ gentouch from Kmart. I WISH I NEVER DID. They are garbage all of them shut of and will note turn back on. I will never buy any thing made by or with Augens name on it. I also will no longer shop at Kmart for selling such junk. MY KIDS ENJOYED GETTING JUNK FOR CHRISTMAS.

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