Monday, September 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm.

Philly’s Android tablet newspaper: “Arnova 10 G2″ starts at $285

The Philadelphia newspaper Android tablet is launching at $285 including a 1-year digital subscription: $129 upfront, plus $13 per month for the papers. (There’s also a 2-year package available for $99 upfront, plus $10 per month, a total price of $339.)

That is, indeed, significantly cheaper than an iPad. But the unfamiliar “Arnova 10 G2″ tablet runs the old Android software intended for phones, not tablets. And it includes only 4 GB of storage space. In other words, you’re probably not going to use it for much more than reading the paper, and maybe some web browsing. (I have no idea how smoothly it runs.)

The Philadelphia Media Network — owner of the Inquirer and Daily News — is starting small, with an initial run of 5,000 devices. Let’s see how well it does — and what the usage habits look like. My sense is that the people who care enough to use a tablet to read the paper would appreciate the iPad experience much more than an Arnova, even despite the reduced price. Still, worth a shot.

Previously: Philadelphia newspapers to sell discounted Android tablets with digital subscriptions