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Computer maker Velocity Micro, builder of the Cruz tablet, announced the availability of two Android tablets – the 8-in. Cruz T408 and the 10-in. Cruz T410. Designed by Velocity Micro’s team of engineers to emphasize speed, content, style, and value, the Cruzes provide a litany of features consumers look for while still maintaining an affordable pricepoint. The T408 and T410 will retail at $239.99 and $299.99 respectively. 

The 4:3 aspect ratio 8-in. Cruz T408 is thin and lightweight, while the 16:9 ratio 10-in. Cruz T410 features a capacitive touch screen, as does the T408. Key features and specs of both the Cruz T408 and T410 include 1GHz Cortex A8 processors, front-facing cameras, 802.11n WiFi capabilities, and content via Amazon Kindle for Android. The Cruz T408 and T410 will be available by the end of September from most major electronics retailers in the US, a company release noted.

Other features include a premium software suite including full versions of Angry Birds Rio and QuickOffice, downloadable apps from the Amazon Appstore preinstalled with access to thousands of pretested applications, a fully licensed version of Adobe Flash Player 10.3, Android version 2.3 (Gingerbread) and a one-year parts and labor warranty with 100 percent US-based, non-tiered support.

"With these new tablets, we’ve leveraged our years of expertise in building premium, award winning desktops to create two new devices that are fast, feature rich, and amazingly affordable," said Randy Copeland, President and CEO of Velocity Micro. "Making expensive, jaw dropping products is easy – speed and value are what we focused on with these new devices. We’ve succeeded in both regards with the T408 and T410. They’re really fast and very affordable."

According to a recent Staples Advantage report, the number one motivator for owning a tablet (at more than 90 percent) is the convenience of portability. Being able to tuck a tablet into a portfolio or small bag was more important than the ability to video conference, the device’s operating system, or easy access to office email and VPNs. Convenience was so important to survey respondents that they also admitted using a tablet in bed (78 percent), in the bathroom (35 percent) and at a restaurant (30 percent).

With the rise of tablets being used as a business device, there is concern about security. As with any device, Staples recommends good security and data protection practices to guard against data loss or malware. Currently, two-thirds of tablet owners do not regularly back up data on their devices. With the advent of hosted cloud services, data can be stored on a remote server rather than on the tablet. This way, if the device is lost or stolen, work documents and other data are not at risk. Tablet users should also install and update security software. Less than 15 percent of those surveyed have installed encryption or anti-virus software on their tablets.