Recently Windows 8 Update reported on the new Clover Trail processor coming out of Intel. The new Atom SoC certainly brings quite a bit of power and performance to the table, and it’s no surprise to see a bunch of new devices based on the technology already being unveiled. What is surprising is that one of the most impressive looking tablets announced with the new SoC is from the massive Chinese corporation, ZTE.

The ZTE V98 is a 10.1-inch tablet with a 1366×768 resolution that also features an aluminum chassis and beveled edge that is actually quite stunning – if not a little similar looking to the iPad at first glance.

Outside of the looks and gorgeous display lays quite a bit of impressive technology and features. The new V98 is powered by the Intel Z2760 chipset, 64GB of ROM, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The tablet even expands storage options with MicroSD.

The goodies on the ZTE V98 don’t end there: NFC, LTE, quad-band GSM radios and UMTS, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, WIFI, accelerometers, proximity and ambient light sensors and a magnetometer and gyroscope all are packed into this very capable looking ZTE tablet.

There is also an 8MP camera on the pack, a 2MP shooter on the front and a 7000 mAh battery. The device also has a 30-pin docking port at the bottom edge of the tablet, though the docking station isn’t quite ready for public consumption and testing yet (according to ZTE).

While the features themselves are quite impressive, it wouldn’t matter much if this turned into a giant and heavy beast. Luckily, it is just 8.9mm in thickness and about 1 ½ pounds.

Various hands-on reviews point to the build quality being exceptionally good and its aluminum chassis is not just attractive, it’s sturdy, too. The only downsides seem to be plastic somewhat-cheap looking volume rockers and power buttons that look at little out of place considering how sleek the rest of the tablet appears.

Honestly, I don’t generally like ZTE. They often make cheap, budget-oriented devices that aren’t worth a second glance. Even by budget phone standards, ZTE builds are pretty cheap in most cases. This is probably why I’m a bit surprised to hear the praise surrounding the ZTE V98 and its rather exceptional build quality for the tablet.

The new ZTE tablet is expected to arrive sometime in Q1 of next year, though the pricing has yet to be revealed. What’s a likely price point? Considering this is running on an Intel ATOM-based processor, I have a feeling that Intel will want its partners to price competitively and aggressively against its Windows RT/ARM brethern.

Considering the massive amount of features and the iPad-esque design, a price point that is comparable to the 3rd-gen iPad doesn’t sound too crazy to me.

I would certainly be shocked if this was priced much above that. Intel has already claimed that there’s no reason that Atom based Windows 8 tablets, from a hardware bill of materials perspective, should be any more expensive than their ARM based counterparts and pricing this over the iPad would be a colossal mistake (even with the Windows app and driver compatibility).

How much would you be willing to pay for a compact, sleek ZTE tablet that is packed full of the latest and great technologies? Does the fact that this is built by ZTE turn you off at all?

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