General Performance Concerns
It was some time ago that I reviewed a debranded HP monitor from Geeks.com. I knew that, given the lower price point and refurbished nature, I would get a diminished level of quality. Even so, that monitor was perfectly usable and represented a half-decent value.
I’m not sure I can quite say the same about this tablet. The performance is remarkably sluggish. If you expect to do almost anything on this tablet, you might start wanting to rip your own arms out while you watch it lag and falter. It eventually gets the job done, but the scrolling is nowhere near as smooth as it should be. Video can be choppy too.
Remember that the first iPad only had 256MB of RAM, just like this tablet. Remember that the HTC Desire Z only has an 800MHz processor, just like this tablet. There’s no real reason why it should struggle so badly with just about anything. Could it be that custom skin job? We don’t know. But whatever it is is really hurting this product.
Camera and Picture Quality
Smartphone cameras are getting better by the day. I’m increasingly impressed by pictures taken by such devices as the Nokia N8, iPhone 4, and Nexus S. They’re pretty great… but that’s not the case here.
The picture shown above is an unedited photo taken with the front-facing 3MP camera on this tablet. This was with a decent amount of natural light in an indoor setting. The details are lacking and you can notice some barrel distortion too. I guess it does the job when you really need a picture, but it’s not really any better than a shot from a Moto RAZR.
Why Is It Upside Down?
The good news is that this tablet is equipped with an orientation sensor. That means that you can hold it in any position and it’ll automatically orient the display accordingly for each of the four cardinal directions. The transition isn’t the fastest thing in the world, but at least it works.
Strangely, though, there seems to be a severe lack of attention to detail. Remember that bonus dongle thing that I mentioned earlier? It plugs into what looks like the iPod/iPad dock of the tablet, but it does so upside down. Why on Earth would they do that? How hard would it have been to flip one or the other around?
You get what you pay for. That’s usually the take-home lesson when applied to so many consumer situations. Even so, I was able to find decent deals on refurbished netbooks and cheap cameras through Geeks.com in the past. I tried to stay hopeful about this tablet, mostly because I want an Android tablet but can’t justify the typical $500+ price tag, but my hope has run out.
Performance is very sluggish, the resistive touchscreen is annoying, and the lack of regular Android goodness (like Android Market) is the negative icing on this undesirable cake. I’m not even sure if rooting and side-loading a vanilla build of Android can save it. There’s a market for a cheap utility tablet that can sit in the garage to help with car repairs or in the kitchen for recipes. This just isn’t it.
At $149.99 US from the Geeks, it just wasn’t a good enough value for us to consider spending even $100 US for it. There are just too many things wrong with for us to recommend anyone buy it. But we do applaud Etailers like Geeks.com for offering these sorts of products to satisfy our curiosity to explore these “Shanzai” style products.
- Cheap price point
- Real file manager
- App grouping in app list
- Terrible resistive touchscreen
- Remarkably sluggish performance
- No access to Android Market
- Very much looks like a knockoff
Overall Rating: 4.0/10
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