1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
A good value budget tablet, with one serious flaw.*, 3 Nov 2011
My tablet was delivered way ahead of the dates "window" given, which was a pleasant surprise. To summarise first, I must say I'm delighted with it. It does almost all of the things which were on my short-list of requirements, and most of those rather well. For an outlay of under £150, it represents good value for money, once you accept that it is not an iPad 2, at 1/3 the price.
Let me give the pluses and minuses as I see them, bearing in mind that I am a non-tech novice, and still enjoying laboriously exploring the device's capabilities:
The casing is very well put together, with a really solid feel. It's quite heavy, but I don't see that as a drawback. You feel more confident handling it, it's too big for a pocket anyway, and it's a lot lighter than my laptop for travelling.
I think the boot-up time of 50 seconds is ok. Some users recorded shorter times, I noticed. Perhaps individual units vary a little.
The way you can organise multiple home screens is really great, and the speed with which you can access the apps is amazing.
Before I ordered this tablet, I was dubious about a glass screen, but it's excellent; bright, solid, with quite wide viewing angles, and very responsive, almost too much so. A damper control of some kind would have been handy. It does show finger-smudges, of course, but these disappear with a wipe, and, since you scarcely have to stroke the screen, you don't need to worry about leaving scratches, although I have bought a soft case for it.
The sound quality is ok, too, for a device of this size, and the volume quite adequate.
Internet browsing is very fast. I got rid of the onboard browser, and downloaded Dolphin, which I think is superb.
So far I've found the wi-fi connection range to be good - 30 metres from my domestic router.
The slide-up virtual keyboard is much better than I expected, on what is a relatively small display, and my big fingers only occasionally hit the wrong key. But you don't buy these tablets for word-processing.
The battery gives me about 4 hours on full charge, which is fine for my purposes, and the device will work while being recharged.
Access to Android Market is a real bonus, and quite a revelation to a newcomer.
The pre-loaded voice-recognition works, too, though it's more of an amusing gimmick to me, and it only seems able to summon up websites, not downloaded apps by name. However, other free v-r apps, eg Vlingo, can do this.
Not so good (minor niggles mostly) :
The front-facing camera is mediocre, in terms of pic and clip quality, and rendered less useful because you can't make video Skype calls on this tablet, although I think Yahoo Messenger may work. Taking pics and video clips is hit and miss because you can't see exactly what you're pointing at.
The unit can be put in a hibernation mode, but seems to power down eventually, regardless. This can be frustrating, as you then have to wait for it to re-boot.
While I'm on the subject of power, why does this tablet have two power switches?
And, while we're talking switches, I would have liked one to mute the sound intantly, rather than fiddle with the up and down icons on the screen.
The micro sd card slot has no way of preventing you from pushing a card right in, to the point where you risk losing it inside the tablet - keep a pair of nail-tweezers handy.
The user's instruction pamphlet! The main problem is not so much the quirky translation, but the paucity of detail, and the failure to mention many of the procedures you need to understand in order to operate the tablet successfully. Guaranteed to induce an initial sense of panic in a beginner. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be an on-line instruction manual, either.
* After some time, I discovered one flaw which caused me to revise my assessment. When I took the tablet (switched off) anywhere in the car, it would only start up again if it was briefly plugged into the mains. This really defeats the object of a truly portable gadget with its own battery pack. I asked the supplier about this, and was told they had never come across the problem before. They proffered the suggestion that it might be something to do with magnetic fields in the car, but were unable to suggest a remedy.
Apart from the quirky business re. travelling by car, I remain quite satisfied with the overall features of this tablet, although there are now (May 2012) several others in the price reange with more and better facilities, I think.