These two tablets have quite a bit in common: the screens are about 7″, they’re running the Android 2.3 operating system, they both have front facing cameras, and (most important) they are both awful! There’s a lot of cheap Android tablets flooding the market recently, but should you buy them?
Probably not. Most of these made in China 7″ tablets retail anywhere from $99 to $150, but that price doesn’t take into account the amount of Advil you’re going to need to buy while trying to use these things.
Here comes my rant! I was looking to buy a tablet for Christmas as a present for someone dear. I woke up one morning and saw this amazing deal over at FabFind. $115 for a 7″ Android tablet which looked pretty nice in the photos. Sure, I knew FabFind was stretching it at saying these bad boys usually sell for $389, but I thought that any tablet under $150 can’t be that bad of a deal. Boy, was I mistaken.
I usually do my research of these things before I buy them, but FabFind didn’t really have much information to go on. It took a lot of digging to even find the brand of these tablets, and even then, there weren’t many reviews to go on. I felt I was running out of time and decided to throw caution to the wind and order one. After about a week of not hearing anything about my tablet shipping, I tried contacting the company that was actually selling and shipping the tablets, WidgetLove, to which I never received a reply. One night, I got an e-mail from “Arie S” of WidgetLove stating that my “order was processed” and if I didn’t “receive [my] tablet by December 22nd”, that they would look into it. Fair enough.
December 22nd had come and gone, and with no reply from WidgetLove again, I found another deal at FactoryDirect for a very similar tablet from Kross for $119. A few days after Christmas, the Superpad did arrive, but according to the packaging info from FedEx, it was shipped from Hong Kong on December 24th.
WidgetLove, I would have been fine if you had told me that it was shipping from Hong Kong on December 24th so I at least had some knowledge of what was going on. However, misleading me to think that it had shipped earlier by sending me an e-mail 9 days after placing my purchase saying my order would arrive before the 22nd is a poor business practice. Plus ignoring my e-mails, not cool.
Back to the review
These two tablets are so similar that I’m almost pretty sure they’re coming from the same factory in China, but are just placed in different boxes upon shipping. However, the Kross tablet did come with this attachment that plug into the device which has two USB slots and one ethernet slot. I couldn’t get it to read my external hard drive though so I’m guessing these USBs are either USB 1.0 or they don’t support devices which need power. Speaking of power, these devices are said to have about 3 hours of battery life. Sadly, I didn’t get any more than 50 minutes. Not to mention, these puppies both get quite warm after about 5 to 10 minutes of minimal use.
The displays on both are awful. The colours did come out a bit brighter on the Superpad while they looked really washed out on the Kross device. Both devices appear to only show 16 bits of colour. I’m almost led to believe that both of these devices were once GPS units for cars before they were regutted to run Android. I’m probably wrong, but that’s what they feel like.
On both devices, loading Angry Birds took 30-40 seconds upon pressing the app. I honestly thought that the device crashed cause it was stuck on the loading screen for so long. I wouldn’t expect that these devices can run any 3D games so I didn’t even bother trying them out.
Now, I’m not sure if this is just an Android 2.3 bug, or if 2.3 was only meant for phones – but the operating system seems to think that these tablets are phones. They both have the cell phone signal bars (though they’re greyed out), and you can set telephone ringers on them. Pressing the up-volume button raises the “ringer volume” too. I couldn’t locate a calling app though but I’m still guessing it’s just some modified version of Android for phones that’s running on these devices.
- The Kross (not the Superpad) comes with an attachment with Ethernet and USB ports though I wasn’t successful at getting the USB to work with my external hard drive. Perhaps a thumb drive might work?
- There is a front facing camera. Even though the camera is really crappy, and I couldn’t locate Skype on the Android Market on these devices.
- Um, they’re 7″… Ok, I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.
- They feel really cheap. They’re pretty fat, clunky feeling, plastic.
- They get hot really fast.
- 3 hour battery life? Yeah right, try 50 minutes!
- The screens are awful. The colours are washed out and they only seem to display 16bit colours. The touch screen isn’t super responsive.
- They’re not that powerful. I don’t expect much from a cheap device… but 40 seconds to load Angry Birds? Not to mention, scrolling and web browsing on these are quite choppy and uncomfortable.
Don’t buy these. Keep your cash… save up for a Kindle Fire (though it’s slightly neutered), or better yet, get an Asus Transformer. The lesson here is to stay far away from these cheap 7″ Android tablets!