Let me explain how I came about to even thinking about buying or even using an $89.99 tablet computer — something about which I never before gave any thought. Like many of you who are reading this, I buy mainly brand name products such as from Apple, Google, or Amazon to satisfy my tablet needs. In our home we already use an Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire, and a Google Nexus 7 should be arriving soon. So what attracted me to a cheapie, no-name tablet computer?
I found myself surfing around eBay when I accidentally stumbled upon a no-name, no-brand 7″ tablet computer for only $69.89. But what was strange about this device was that it came with the following:
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 7″ touchscreen
- 512 MB memory with 4 GB flash storage.
- 1.5 GHz processor and 800 x 480 screen resolution
- Micro SD and USB
I know, I know; the specifications are fairly weak and I seriously doubt that this would be a blazing experience. I also didn’t want to order from the eBay website since the device needed to be shipped directly from Hong Kong. Because of this, I thought that returning the device might be problematic and I looked elsewhere to order one of the devices. I found a similar device (priced at $89.99) on Amazon, which was also being offered with an optional keyboard and case. The total cost was $98.84. I also added a SanDisk 16 GB MicroSD for added storage at only $7.67, bringing the total cost for the unit to a low of only $105.32.
What Did I Get for the Price?
What I got for the price was a surprisingly snappy 7″ Android-powered tablet. The first thing I noticed was how much lighter and more comfortable the unit was compared to my Amazon Kindle Fire. I estimated that the no-name tablet weighed in at about four to six ounces lighter, which, when holding in your hand for extended periods, is quite noticeable.
I was immediately able to set up a Wi-Fi connection and activated my Google account. Email started to flow to my Gmail application and I was able to sync to my account without issue. I then downloaded those Android apps that I use including Dolphin HD browser, Easy Installer, ES File Explorer, App2SD, Box, Lookout, Facebook, and several games, which all installed without a problem.
I next connected the keyboard/case to the unit and the keyboard worked perfect. When the keyboard is connected, the device automatically shuts down the built-in keyboard. Typing on the pint-sized keyboard was actually easy and everything on the keyboard worked perfectly. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised because I did have reservations about how well a $10 keyboard would function. Also, the no-name 7″ tablet fit perfectly into the case and did not slide; it fit tightly, holding the tablet securely in place. The case, which also houses the keyboard, is imitation leather, but has a nice, quality fit and appears to be well-made. There is a stand on the back of the case to hold up the tablet while typing and a magnetic case latch.
Some of the Other Features I Like
- The on and off button is located on the top right side of the unit and is easily accessible.
- Next to the on and off switch is a rocker arm for setting the speaker volume up and down. (Hello, Amazon. This is one of the biggest complaints about the Kindle Fire.)
- The keyboard/case combo included a micro USB to standard USB connection cord.
- The device also came with a micro USB connector to standard USB connection cord to connect the tablet computer to a PC.
- The microSD slot worked perfectly and immediately recognized the added storage when I inserted the SanDisk microSD card once inserted into the device.
- The tablet also came with a micro HDMI connector.
What I Don’t Like About the Tablet
- Picture quality and resolution, at 800 x 480, is rather poor when compared to an Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus 7, or any of the Apple iPad models.
- The rear of the tablet is made of cheap, shiny plastic and is a fingerprint magnet.
- The unit did not come with a micro HDMI connector.
I believe that this would be a great tablet computer for anyone looking for an inexpensive device, knowing the tablet’s limitations. The tablet responds very well to commands and I found Ice Cream Sandwich very easy to use. For surfing the Internet, checking email, and playing games, this tablet will meet your needs.
While we are all making goo-goo eyes for the new Google Nexus 7, what is surprising is that the none of the bigger names — Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, Apple iPad — include a microSD slot for added storage.
Amazon 7″ Android tablet at $88.09
Amazon keyboard at $9.54
SanDisk 16 GB MicroSD at $7.69
Comments, as always, are welcome.
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by Mesq