Tablet sales are expected to boom this Christmas, fuelled by the sale of budget 7-inch devices

Argos has launched an own-brand 7-inch tablet that costs £99.99. The MyTablet will enter the highly competitive market for low-price tablets, but undercuts the price of the rival Hudl from Tesco by £20.

The MyTablet features a 1024x600 resolution display, 8GB of internal memory (including MicroSD support for up to 32GB) and a 1.6GHz dual-core processor. It will run Google’s Android operating system, using the Jelly Bean 4.2.2 update.

Although the explosion of the low-price tablet market has been linked to retailers' efforts to boost sales of digital media, Argos' lack of online streaming services (such as Tesco's Blinkbox, which is integrated directly into the Hudl) suggests it is simply trying trying to muscle in on Christmas tablet sales.

“Millions of people have bought tablets during the last year but there is still around 75 per cent of the UK population without one, “said John Walden, managing director of Argos. “We know that tablets will feature heavily on Christmas lists this year.”

"At just £99.99 the Argos MyTablet is highly competitive with a great specification, and fits neatly in the range of tablets we have on offer.”

The MyTablet is available in silver or pink (with a metal case, rather than plastic ) and is aimed at that the “tweenie” market of eight- to 13- year olds. It comes preloaded with free apps including iPlayer, Facebook and an ebook reader, and comes with parent controls already installed.

Figures released earlier this month from market research firm eMarketer estimated that one in three Britons are expected to use a tablet by the end of 2013, with the IDC predicting that sales of mobile devices (including tablets) will top those of regular PCs for the first time in the final quarter of 2013.

Argos’ entry into the tablet market will be manufactured by the company’s in-house electronics brand Bush, and manufactured in conjunction with Chinese partners. The MyTablet also features front and back cameras (VGA and 2-megapixel resolution respectively) and a five-hour battery life.

Other 7-inch tablets include the £119 Hudl from Tesco, Amazon’s £99 Kindle Fire and Google’s £199 Nexus 7. Apple’s iPad Mini starts at a price of £269, though the Californian tech company are expected to release an update to the device later this month.

Whilst Argos’ MyTablet is £20 cheaper than the rival device from Tesco, it has a lower screen resolution, shorter battery life and a less powerful processor.

Compared with the £99 Kindle Fire from Amazon, the MyTablet has a better processor and the same screen resolution but a shorter battery life by four hours. The Kindle Fire also runs a customized version of the Android operating system with a reduced app store ‘curated’ by Amazon.

The MyTablet will go on sale from October 16th.