Tag Archive | "7″"

WITS A81 7″ Tablet Finally With Android 2.1 – Review at Shanzai.com

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WiTS-A81-Tablet- We’ve been following this one carefully.  Our review late last year indicated potential but it wasn’t just the Cortex A8 core that got us excited, it was the promised Android build too. We waited a long time but it looks like its finally arrived. Shanzai.com have the WiTS A81E [product information– Wits A81]  in their hands and are starting a three-part review.

The feedback so far is that it’s “one of the best, if not the best Shanzai tablet.” Shanzai means ‘imitation’ or ‘copy’ but this one has been around so long that it really stands on its own two feet. Check out the Part-1 video below and stay tuned to Shanzai.com for parts two and three. Google Apps and Marketplace is a possibility but I’m guessing you’ll have to hack that on. Despite that, it looks like a bargain for around $200-$250

Shanzai.com – First look at A81 with Android 2.1

Is this going to be a competitor to the Huawei S7? There’s no 3G or GPS but for the price, it looks like it should be considered.

Two Brief Reviews of Huawei S7. UK Delivery Date Slips.

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In our experience, Expansys delivery dates have never been the most reliable indicators of when a device is actually going to turn up so we’re not surprised that the Huawei S7 [specs, info] is now available at the end of July. At least it gives us time to assess the device through the reviews that are starting to come in from around the world. We’re looking for showstoppers at this stage and apart from the disappointment that the S7 has a resistive touchscreen like the Archos 5, we haven’t found much to worry about just yet.

S7-1(Long) slide (on a resistive screen) to unlock!

We’ve got a Chinese review from Zol.com.cn and a Russian-language review out of Belarus from Onliner.by to go on and we’ve picked out the followig (my comments in blue.)

  • Restive touchscreen not so pleasant. No surprise
  • UI not optimised for 7 inch screen. (E.g. swipe to accept a call requires a full-screen swipe on the resistive screen)
  • In general, voice quality good.
  • Battery life in unused, connected state – about 12 hours [onliner.by]
  • Battery life in used state – approx 1% per minute.  [onliner.by] Sounds poor. Am expecting more
  • Strong, good build quality
  • Speakers good in landscape mode. Perfect podcatcher! Shame there’s no FM receiver.
  • Stylus included. Confirms resistive screen.
  • Video calling should be possible on final retail versions
  • 720p playback possible. I suspect H.264 only.

The two review’s aren’t what we would call in-depth and are probably based on samples so it goes without saying that we’re going to have to wait for retail-package reviews before making a final assessment. We’re still looking forward to it but as time slips by, we’ve got one eye on Archos and their promised summer collection.

Outstanding questions –

  • Docking station?
  • Processor speed. (1 Ghz or 768Mhz?)

Got any more info/questions?

Moonse E7001 gives us a Taste of Android on a Rockchip

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moonsee7001 That Rockchip CPU has been turning up in a lot of devices recently. It’s a Chinese manufactured CPU based on the ARM9 design [We’re checking on that due to varying information] and clearly it’s cheap because all the devices I’ve seen with it recently have been around the $200 mark. The Archos 7 Home Tablet is one and we’re expecting to get the first reports of that soon but in the meantime, here’s a look at a device with a familiar industrial design. Its the Moonse E7001 and its running Android 1.5 (on an 800×480 screen?)

Full specs are available here and you might notice that it matches the Archos 7 Home Tablet almost spec for spec. Will there be any need to buy this from China when it can be had locally for much the same price (U.S. and EU markets, post and import taxes included.)

Stay tuned to Shanzai for their reports as they continue their testing.

Aesthetically its OK but there’s a hint that the UI isn’t that smooth in the video. I’m not surprised and I won’t be surprised if the Archos 7 Home Tablet performs in a very similar way.

More info at Shanzai.com

EKEN M001 7″ Android Tablet Reviewed.

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EKEN M001While Shanzai.com seem to be fairly upbeat about this 7 inch touchscreen (resistive it appears) tablet, I’m not so sure. I had the same reservations about the Camangi Webstation (which turned out to be less than exciting) and I have the same reservations about the Archos 7 tablet. I’ve experienced it with the SmartQ7 tablet too. The reason is that we’re looking at an Android device built on a processing architecture that pre-dates even the first Android phones.

Via’s WonderMedia platform might be cheap, but with its ARM9 architecture core it’s going to be less than exciting when it comes to web browsing and many other CPU-intensive applications.

Come on Asia. Get some ARMv7/Cortex cores in those tablets instead of aiming for the lowest possible price. $100 might be cheap but if it’s good for nothing, what’s the point?

Source: Shanzai.

Eken website.

Archos 7 Android Tablet Could be Available Next Week.

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After one of my regular browsing sessions at Geizhals.at this evening I found two retailers offering the Archos 7 Home Tablet that was announced at CeBIT earlier in the month and one of them is stating a delivery time of ‘1 Week.’

7hometablet
Detailed Archos 7 Home Tablet information in the database.

It looks like Archos will perform a common trick by feeding-in the high-end version, with 8GB, first and follow-up with the low-cost version at a later date but that’s just based on the advertising seen so far. I haven’t checked extensively in other markets but in Germany I’m seeing offers right now for the 8GB Home Tablet from Amazon.de and Redcoon.de. (Here’s the product page at Geizhals.at) Redcoon are stating a 7-day delivery time although we should point out that many retailers do this just for attention. Amazon are indicating availability ‘soon.’ Both entered the channels on the 26th March.

With the Archos 5 at 199 Euros now it’s a difficult choice between the two. The easier-to-read screen, usb port and stereo speakers on the Archos 7 Home Tablet need to be weighed up against the much faster processor on the Archos 5. Of course, you could wait until summer when Archos will be releasing a new range of tablets on high-end processors but these are likely to cost a tad more than 149 Euros.  Still, I bet they’ll be a lot cheaper than the iPad that is launching this week.

Interested in seeing a full review of the Archos 7 Home Tablet? We’re pondering over the thought of buying one but we’ll see if we can get a loaner out of Archos first.

Camangi Webstation 7″ Android Pad. Analysis, New Pics, Specs.

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News about the Camangi Webstation has been around for a while and it’s been interesting to watch the company ramp up their marketing from a fuzzy introduction in October to a smart-looking website today. The product looks quite slick too but is it going to work? I have a few reservations and am suspicious that this the Webstations is more marketing than product.

We’ve seen 7 inch resistive touchscreen devices many times before. The Samsung Q1 Ultra was a good example. The current Viliv X70 too but these were using (by necessity) a Windows desktop environment. They work well for people wanting a full mobile desktop experience with full driver support, high-end browser and desktop application capability but for the casual consumer of web and media, they are a bit OTT. The user interface isn’t fun and battery life issues mean you have to keep them turned off if you want to preserve battery life. They just aren’t set-up for the average internet snacker. The Camangi Webstation appears to offer a much more consumer-focused solution. The weight, price, style and operating system are all tuned towards coffee-table, sofa and casual, mainly home or holiday-based, internet activities.

camangi5 camangi6 camangi8

Full gallery at UMPCPortal Also at Camangi website.

390grams is a good one-handed weight (anything over 500gm can feel awkward after 20 minutes) and the price, which is rumored to be $399, is far more palatable than the $600-$800 that you pay for a Windows-based ultra mobile PC but it’s the Android operating system that really tilts the device towards the consumer. It’s touchscreen-friendly, tailored towards the casual user rather than the productive professional and is infinitely customizable with icons, widgets and applications.

So how is this baby going to perform? The speed of the browser, quality of media playback, ability for applications to run concurrently and the battery life are going to be critical.

Taking a look at the battery specifications and using a lot of experience I’ve had with testing devices (and interpreting marketing figures) tells me that we’re looking at a device that will allow you to browse the web for under 4 hours over Wifi. The large screen backlight will be taking a lot of juice and web-sites can be very heavy-weight CPU consumers. The nice thing about using a low-power ARM platform is that if you close all the apps, the device will sit around for a day or two and be ready to jump into action within seconds. Screen-off activities like music playback will also run into the 10+ hours range making it a nice addition for the home hifi.

As far as performance goes, this is where I have my reservations. The CPU in this device is not exactly leading-edge and with about 1/2 the processing power of top-end smartphones (estimated 1/5th of the processing power of a netbook) , browsing speeds could be somewhat laggy. Media playback performance could be limited too. Granted, the need for speed isn’t as great when you’re lying back in a comfy chair but in my opinion, the performance isn’t going to match the marketing that we’re seeing and there could be disappointment.  I’ve tested a very similar device, the SmartQ7, and I can’t honestly say that it was a thrilling experience. Regardless of operating system if YouTube doesn’t work or programs hang for too long, it’s frustrating.

Full specifications.

You can find more information and marketing materials on the Camangi website.

Size and weight

  • Height: 4.72 inches (120mm)
  • Width: 7.87 inches (200mm)
  • Dipth: 0.57 inches (14.5mm)
  • Weight:13.75 ounces
    (around 390 grams)

System

  • Google Android 1.5
  • CPU: Marvell PXA303 624MHz
  • System memory: 128MB Mobile DDR
  • Flash memory: 265MB NAND (system)
  • Input: Software keyboard; USB keyboard support

Display

  • 7-inch TFT LCD, 16M True Color
  • Single Resistive touch panel with hard glass
  • High-resolution screen, 800-by-480 pixels
  • G-sensor

Power and battery

  • Built-in rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery (3.7V 4000mAh)
  • Standby time: up to 4 days(without GPS & Wi-Fi connection); Internet and media use: up to 4-5 hours
  • Power charging: 5V 3A DC in

Communication

  • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
  • USB dongle to 3G connectivity*
  • GPS module

*Note: Only applicable for some type of 3G dongle devices

Connectors and input/ output

  • Built-in speaker (80hm 2x 1W)
  • 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
  • AC Adaptor, 4mm DC in
  • Built-in omni-directional microphone
  • Micro SD card slot, supports 1G~16G
  • Type A & mini-B USB port

Summary.

Camangi are moving in the right direction. The style, choice of operating system and pricing are positive points but I’m a little worried that the limited CPU, RAM and the resistive touchscreen will disappoint customers. Upgrade to the latest CPU platform and drop 256MB of RAM in there and it would stand a better chance. Camangi also need to watch their competitors too. A 5 inch Archos 5 with Android with an 800Mhz ARM Cortex CPU (the latest and greatest) already provides a smooth experience at a lower price and if you’re looking for a 7 inch device, the Wirelession W1060 offers a similar high-end performance at just $250.

We’re going to hold off from putting this into the database until we can confirm that it’s not just a pretty face.

Preview: WireLession W1060 MID

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Awareness of mobile computing devices has risen dramatically in the last year and many people are now considering which device would be suitable for their given tasks. For users that plan on using their device to read books or comics, it seems that the 5″ to 7″ inch MIDs are becoming quite popular.  In the summer, the SmartQ7 hit the eBook reading crowd with quite a splash.  The device gave readers some power to surf the internet, play games, listen to music, and most importantly, read books and comics on a screen size that was comfortable but could still be carried around quite easily.  All of that, and the ability to run Linux, WinCE, or Android on a multi-boot partitiion.  The unit was less expensive than many ultra mobile PC and MID devices in the same form factor, at about $230 shipped.

Hot on the heels of the SmartQ7 we have the W1060 by WireLession.  Some of you may remember the posts a few weeks ago about the A81 MID, a 7″ MID with the ARM Cortex 8 processor.  Since then, the unit’s popularity has been growing, and as you can see, it is listed on UMPCPortal and CarryPad as one of the most anticipated devices.  The WireLession W1060 is the branded name of the A81 MID.   With the ARM Cortex A8 (the same processor in the iPhone), users have access to a device that can surf the internet quickly, listen to music, watch video, and read books on a very comfortable 7″ screen.  The device should certainly outperform the SmartQ7 (and possibly even the new SmartV7), and if what the supplier says is true, the build quality is quite a bit better as well.   Information so far is that it has a metal chassis and is quite solid.  It can play flash movies and supports AVI, MPEG4, MPEG2, WMV, H.264 and other video formats.  Due to the fast processor, it should also be extremely fast when loading comics and turning pages.

I have a unit on the way right now.  After some serious hardware and software testing, I’ll post a detailed review of the device.  For now, check out this video and browse the details of the W1060 on WireLession.

W1060 MID from WireLession