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Aldi's super-cheap 7-inch tablet is a sell-out Christmas sales story. Demand has been so enormous for the tablet that Aldi says supply levels have now dried up.

That means paying £40 extra for the Tesco Hudl or other cut-price Christmas slate offerings, like the £99 Argos MyTablet. Why has the cut-price Aldi offering sold so well, so fast?

Four hour battery

Price, price, price. Many of these devices will be sold for gaming and movies, plus a few apps. Why would you want to spend more than necessary if it's simply a leisure toy? Despite the huge demand for the Aldi Lifetab, it's had mixed reviews.

Techradar says that though it comes with 1GB of DDR3 RAM running Android 4.2.2 software, there's just four-hour battery life.

For a rich film or super-quick gaming experience, the tech experts quickly steer you to the Google Nexus 7 (the cheapest we found for £141.20 via Amazon). The Aldi Lifetab is comparatively feature-poor warns the Guardian with a less powerful processor (1.6GHz quad-core) than the Hudl.

There's a 2-megapixel rear and 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. One reader snapped up the Aldi offering. Not impressed. "I must report that the tablet was disappointing. OK, it was only £80, but it looked cheap and was sluggish... Very much along the lines of the £59 Chinese tablets on Ebay."

"Works perfectly well"

He went on: "Battery barely lasted 3 hours...It went back to Aldi the same day. I shall add another £30-£40 to my budget and get a Sumsung [sic] Tab 3."

Another Guardian reader was more positive: "Got one this morning. Works perfectly well, looks very nice and for the money, an absolute bargain."

And at £79, it's almost throwaway technology. If those who got to the Aldi stores smartish get 18 months use out of it, they can replace it, for not too much financial pain, for something faster and very possibly cheaper.

For basic email and internet browsing offering to be shared (and abused) by the whole family, the Aldi option will have been a good buy. But you get what you pay for. Come first week of January, what will return levels be like?