Customer Review

73 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One-third the price of an iPad ..., 12 July 2012
This review is from: Arnova 10G3 10.1 inch tablet (1GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB memory, capacitive touch screen, 1080p HD video playback, expandable memory, Android 4.0) (Personal Computers)
I bought one of these for 150 from Maplin in June 2012, because I liked the idea of tablet computers, but didn't feel like risking 450 on something that I might end up not using very often. Here are my first impressions.

The case feels reasonably solid.
Screen: clear and sharp, but it has a very narrow optimum viewing angle. This is especially evident with video.

It takes about 30 seconds to start from fully off, but wakes up from sleep in one or two. Just put it to sleep when you're not using it.

The battery lasts about two hours from a full charge browsing the web. Recharging takes longer (surprise!), and it seems to spend a long time on 99% charge before it gets to 100%. I usually leave it on charge overnight, and have to recharge it during the day at weekends.

The on-screen keyboard is responsive and well laid out, but a 16:9 screen is not ideal for writing - in landscape mode the keyboard takes up half of the screen, but if you turn it to portrait, the keys are too small for my hands.
This review was mostly written on the tablet, using Text Edit from Arnova's app store.

The built-in speaker is very small, and struggles with anything more than clicks and bleeps. The tablet has a standard headphone socket, and the sound from this was fine.

Software is a big problem - the real Android Market does not recognise this tablet. Arnova have their own pet App Store, but there's a lot missing - Kindle, for example. You can fix this by installing third-party firmware, but this not a thing to be done lightly. Google "arnova 10b g3 firmware" if you want to have a go.
EDIT: see the first comment for a different method.

Video: the tablet comes with a demo CGI animation in .avi format. This played smoothly on the video app.

Music: I bought and downloaded a song from Amazon. The music player found it automatically, and it sounded OK on headphones.

Camera: probably acceptable as a webcam.

It only has 4GB of internal storage, but that's enough if you're using the tablet for web browsing and email. It has a slot for a micro SD card if you need more space.

I've been a bit cool about it so far, so do I regret buying it? For 150, absolutely not. I mostly used my desktop PC for browsing and email, and I've hardly touched it since I bought the tablet. The default browser Just Works on nearly every website, and the alternative browser Dolphin (free from the app store) is also very good. The 10 inch screen means that web sites can display in desktop format with no problems. Some sites (e.g. BBC, Daily Telegraph) will automatically render themselves in mobile versions which look better with the screen in Portrait mode, but turning the tablet round is no hardship.
I've rated it at 4 stars - if it had better battery life and no-fiddling-around access to the real Android Market, the score would have been 5.

EDIT: after I had had the tablet for about three weeks, the touch screen stopped responding, and the tablet went into a reboot loop. So I took it back to the shop for a refund. I was told that this was an unusual fault for Arnova gear (plug problems are more common, IIRC). I was offered a replacement, but decided to try my luck with an A1CS brand tablet from Amazon, which have a similar price and spec, but better out-of-the-box Android Market access.
I have not changed the review score, because I have no idea how common of rare this hardware fault is.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Jul 2012 08:57:30 BDT
Codeb1 says:
I bought a similar tablet same brand and was upset it didn't have google play(android market) on it however there is a way to put it on without having to change any of the firmware. You need to download an APK file with I think there is 6 different files. You then extract them and put on tablet without opening them and you then get full android market(google play). If you google android market for the brand and model it should give you step by step instructions on how to do this. Thats where I found it. Unfortunately I can't remember exactly where I found it but there was a youtube video also giving you step by step instructions. If then you decide to send tablet back (as I did because it wasn't good enough for what I wanted) you can just delete the files from it when you do factory reset and it hasn't damaged your warranty and no problem getting a refund. If you need more info on this you can reply here and I will gladly go through it and try to help you with it.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jul 2012 10:29:16 BDT
M M says:
Hi I'm in the process of buying the Arnova 10b G3 but would like to be sure to be able to use google play. would it be possible for you to refer me to the site where you downloaded the Apk files? I searched for them but I always find specified that for the g3 I need firmware and rooting. I would prefer your method rather than rooting the tablet.

Thanks for your help

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jul 2012 18:28:25 BDT
Codeb1 says:
Hi, I can't find where I got them from but I do still have the files on my laptop if you want to give me and email address I can try to email them across to you. Dont open them on laptop but just put them onto the tablet then open them in the order you have received them and should install. At least if it doesn't work you can just do a factory reset on the Arnova and no damage will be done. Let me know if you want me to try this and I will send you them. Not promising it will work but worth a try. Going away in the morning though so might not be able to do it till next Saturday. Sorry I can't help anymore than that.

Posted on 7 Dec 2012 12:12:46 GMT
J. Alford says:
I have google play installed - I've just bought it but am unable to install twitter and it tells me that my Facebook account does not exist when it patently does - it works on PC, Blackberry etc? Any suggestions?
Thanks.
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