Nov 18, 2014 · 1 minute

Nokia might not be as dead as we thought.

The company has announced a new tablet to go along with its Z Launcher for Android devices. It's basically a better iPad mini: it's thinner, lighter, and features the laminated display that Apple added to the iPad Air 2 but didn't include in the latest version of the itty-bitty iPad mini. Oh, and it will cost just $250 when it debuts early next year, compared to the iPad mini's $399.

The device is expected to debut in China early next year before heading to Russia; it's not clear when, or if, it will be available in Western markets. The tablet will actually be manufactured by Foxconn, which licensed the design and branding from Nokia, but the Finland-based company will have control of its design and sales. Nokia is dragging itself out of its Microsoft-dug grave.

The worst part about Nokia's modern devices was always their reliance on Windows Phone. The platform simply didn't have the developer, manufacturer, or consumer support to excite people whenever otherwise interesting Lumia devices were announced. Now that Microsoft has control over Nokia's phone-making division, Nokia proper is free to make other products however it desires.

Now, that isn't to say that this new tablet is a guaranteed success. Many products have failed to live up to their tech specs. Nokia might bungle the entire thing and ship a product that isn't worth the anodized aluminum with which its casing was made. Still, it's hard not to get excited about a Nokia-designed Android tablet with better specifications than the iPad mini.

Nokia as we knew it died when Microsoft acquired its phone-making division earlier this year. That death was forecast much sooner, and it was hard not to look at the company's shambling corpse and feel the same kind of disgust one feels when a particularly gruesome zombie shows up on "The Walking Dead." But now Nokia gets another shot at life, and so far, it looks great.

[Image courtesy xadrian]