There are few faults that money can’t fix, and few flaws which can’t be discounted into irrelevance. We loved Vodacom’s super cheap, 7inch R999 Smart Tab 3G Android tablet when it launched last month because while it’s far from a perfect computing device it is exceptionally good value for what you get.

Looks like we weren’t the only ones that were impressed. MTN has just launched a direct rival for the Smart Tab 3G, the similarly priced Steppa Tablet. It’ll be in MTN stores before the end of the month and will cost R999 cash with 200MB of data a month for 12 months. That’s even more generous than the Vodacom offering: the Smart Tab 3G comes with 100MB of data for just three months.

According to MTN there will be a range of contract options too.

What makes the Steppa Tablet even more promising is that it’s based on a reference design from Qualcomm – and we’ve loved the performance of that firm’s low end mobile CPUs in recent years. The Steppa Tablet has a 7inch, 600×1 024 resolution display powered by a 1.2GHz quad core processor, 1Gb of RAM and 4GB of storage that can be expanded with a microSD card. The Steppa Tablet already runs on Android 4.4 with a 3 500mAh battery that comes with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology for rapid replenishment. For those who commit the heinous crime of using a tablet as a camera, there is a 2 megapixel photo take on the back of the Steppa Tablet as well as a VGA camera on the front for video calling.

MTN and Qualcomm also announced the Steppa 2 smartphone as the follow up to last year’s R499 Steppa.

Watch out for a full review later this week.