on October 2, 2014
This is the first product I've ever reviewed here on Amazon. I'm just too lazy to do it, but I decided to give it a shot for this item, because I had a hard time deciding whether or not this is tablet would suit my needs and the reviews at the time of purchase were conflicting and confusing. People either loved it, or hated it, with virtually nothing in between.
Whether you would love or hate this tablet largely depends on how you intend to use it. I needed a device to serve as a XBMC streaming box for my bedroom's 50" HDTV and I needed a device to do the things my android phone does, on a screen that my ageing eyes can actually see. The Dragon Touch is able to do both, so I'm overall pleased with my purchase. Your reason for getting a tablet may be different, so I'll try to give this thing the most unbiased review that I can. Hopefully this will help you in your purchasing decision.
Here it goes:
Lets start with the devices construction, since that will be the first thing you would notice when you take it out of the box. As you may have read in other reviews, it's cheaply made with all plastic construction, but it's not going to fall apart on you. It's not as sleek, refined looking or sturdy as some of the big name tablets. The screen is not scratch resistant, if you get this, get a screen protector. I also got a Finite Premium PU Leather Case Cover that perfectly fits the tablet and does a good job of protecting it. The power supply is compact and light as a feather and has a short cord (3.5 ft or so). It hasn't given me any problems, but I guess I'm just "old school" and I'd feel more comfortable with a heavier power supply, something you could beat someone to death with, I guess. A longer cord would be nice, too.
Overall, it's a 3 star construction, could be better, could be worse.
Screen/Display quality. The Dragon Touch does not have the "eye popping" display found on some of the name brands. However, the display is clear and sharp, if viewed at the right angle. It has a narrow field of view, compared to tablets that sport a nearly 180 degree viewing angle. I have no issues watching videos or reading text on the device. After reading some of the extremely negative reviews about the screen, I'd have to conclude that they have a defective product.
If you are looking for pure "eye candy," this may not be the right fit for you. If price point is a factor, but you need that brilliant screen, you might want to consider getting a slightly used name brand tablet from craigslist. I found plenty of people there who are willing to part with last weeks model, while standing in line for next weeks model.
Overall, 3.5 stars. If the narrow viewing angle isn't an issue for you, this display is just fine.
Features. For me, USB, HDMI, 10" screen and additional storage were a must and I was surprised to find how many high end tablets were missing at least one of these features. All of them are working fine. For me, the Dragon Touch wasn't necessarily the best choice, but ended up being the only choice.
Overall 5 stars. If you don't care about some of the features like HDMI output, you certainly have other options.
Performance. So far, I have no complaints. I'm not a gamer, but for the purpose of reviewing and testing I did download some 3D games to try out. All of them played without a hitch and looked good to me. Again, I'm not a gamer, so take it for what it's worth. All other apps I have work perfectly, without any bugs that haven't been cited by users with other devices. The HDMI output produces a clear and sharp image on my TV and on a 23" monitor at 720p. I can stream XBMC, Xfinity, Crackle and even Amazon via a workaround. However, I can't stream Netlix to the TV, even though it streams fine on the device itself. I have to blame the app, since all other streaming services stream perfectly to the TV or monitor. The USB (with adapter) allows me to connect my DSLR and remotely view and control my shots flawlessly. It also has large disk support. The WiFi works fine. I have seen some reviews complain about poor performance, but while I don't get a perfect signal indication, I have had no issues streaming HD content through 3 walls and a distance of 45 feet. I can pick up neighbouring signals and my closest neighbours are 150 to 200 feet away.
Overall, everything I've tried works without a hitch, so I give this 5 stars.
Battery life. Heavy use, such as video streaming and 3D gaming gives me 3 hours to drain down to 28 percent. Moderate use, browsing the web, reading, emailing and downloading some apps gives me 4 hours of continuous use before getting down to 28 percent. On standby, it will last many hours, sorry, I can't be more specific than that. I've used the tablet on and off all day long and ended up with an "uptime" of 22 hours before I had to recharge it. I just haven't put the thing down long enough to time the standby only, but I would have to imagine (from what I've seen) it would last a couple of days.
Overall, 4 stars. Most devices of this kind appear to list 4 hours of use and this hits the mark. Screen brightness at full will probable lower that time by quite a bit, so 4 stars is fair.
Cameras. If you want this for the camera "...keep moving, nothing to see here." I didn't expect much out of the camera, being that it's only 2MP. However, even at 2MP, this camera misses the mark. All reviews "knocking" the camera are justified. You're better off commemorating your precious moments with a box of crayons and a sheet of paper. It does work and it may have it's use for someone and you can "Skype" with the front camera in a pinch. As for making movies, needless to say, this device will certainly not turn you into the next "Spielberg."
Overall 2 stars, because they do "work," but if this is a major feature for you, pass on this one.
In conclusion, the tablet deserves 4 stars for what it is, compared to what it claims to be. (it never claimed to have a "retinal display," "gorilla glass screen," or titanium construction) If compared to a $600 device (giving the $600 one 5 stars) this one would rate 3 stars. I'm not sure if what I just said makes as much sense to you as it does inside my head, so feel free to ask questions.
Final note: The above review is based on my tablet, which is functioning perfectly. Any experience that vastly contradicts this assessment may be due to a defective unit.
on October 8, 2014
Today were going to be looking at the Dragon Touch 10.1" tablet from Tablet Express. These tablets cost approximately 300 dollars less then a big name brand tablet on the market today, so quality might be a concern to you, I am here to give the pro's and cons of this tablet. This is a Google Android device running the Kitkat 4.4.2 operating system, it has WIFI b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0. For this review, I am running a wireless N network and I own the Bluetooth wireless Kinivo headset. The tablet uses a 10.1" capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 1024*600, which is a nice size for a tablet. While colors do look good on it, I would say the quality is lacking a bit when compared to other big name brands.
Some brands have a 1900 resolution display or larger and will look better because of it, but when you compare this tablet to others at this price point, this tablet comes out on top, as most cheaper tablets use a 800*600 display. The screen could get scratched easily, so I recommend that you get a screen protector. Make sure to use a product called Displex sealer polish for touch screens before you apply the screen protector. It comes in a package with a yellow tube and a cloth. It will fill in any scratches you might already have, while also cleaning and polishing the surface. The touch screen is very responsive, you barely have to touch the screen for it to register an action. The screen has no lag either, if you swish your finger across the screen really fast, it still registers, perfect for playing games like Fruit Ninja. You can alter the brightness of the screen in the display options, as well as screen animations, and setting your wallpaper background.
WIFI allows you to connect to the internet anywhere there is a WIFI hotspot. Of course I would encourage anybody who is connecting to a unknown/open WIFI hotspot to be cautious, its best to connect to secured networks you can trust. Turning WIFI on/off is super easy, it can be done in the settings menu, or a pop down menu off the top right of the screen. Then all I had to do was select my wireless network and add in my security credentials, this process was super easy, and before I knew it, I was connected to my net. With net access, you can not only surf the web, get emails, but you can also access the Google Play Store, which you can download new apps and games!
I don't have the fastest internet, usually runs between 5MB to 12MB depending on peek times, however, I am running a fast wireless N network. In some people's video reviews, I noticed that the tablet seemed to lag for up to 10-seconds at times when loading a page. I want to confirm that was the cause of their slow internet or poor WIFI signal, as with my internet and network, there was no more then a 1 to 3 second weight time between loading pages, depending on site load. When downloading apps and games from the play store, its just about as fast as it would be if I downloaded them with my 2.2GZ quad core notebook instead.
Another great functionality of this tablet is its Bluetooth function. When enabled, you could connect to a cell phone to make calls with the tablet, connect to a computer to transfer files wirelessly, connect to another tablet device, connect to a Bluetooth game controller if you prefer that over touch screen controls in games, or a Bluetooth headset. As long as you make the tablet discoverable, its easy to connect to other computers or tablets. And as long as your other devices are set to discoverable, its super easy to connect to cell phones, controllers, or headsets. The built in twin stereo speakers in the tablet are not very good, they are just too tiny to produce good sound, so I elected to connect up a Bluetooth heaset.
The Bluetooth reception was always very good, approximately 25 feet range, anything beyond that and the sound started cutting out. However, being within that range, the sound was amazingly good for what this tablet is, very good reception. When you couple the excellent range of the WIFI, between 100 to 200 feet depending on conditions, and the excellent Bluetooth reception, makes for listening to internet radio a breeze. This tablet comes with a mini HDMI port, if you get a MINI HDMI to a standard HDMI cable, you can connect this tablet up to a HDMI display such as a tv. Thats a great way to watch movies for the whole family, or to display pictures. I didn't get a cable so I had not tested this feature sorry to say.
This tablet uses a 1.2GZ quad core A7 Cortex processor, and while it might not be as fast as my 2.2GZ quad notebook, its among the fastest in tablet computers. Opening apps are quick, and there is no lag when you move the display around. When playing tablet games, even the most intensive FPS ones, I find that the tablet plays very smoothly, there is no lag. Some people's reviews on some of the games claimed lag, I can only assume they were playing them on a lesser tablet or smartphone, as there is no lag on the Dragon Touch. The tablet has 1GB of onboard RAM, which seems to be enough, as the tablet never bogs down under load.
It also has 16GB of internal storage space, which leaves 9GB free after installation of OS and some pre-installed apps. That is a good amount of space available for music, pictures, apps, games, but I wouldn't consider it good for video's, especially HD ones. I expanded the memory to 32GB of additional space using a Micro SDHC Class 10 memory card. I highly recommend that you get a 40MBS at the very least, its not so much for the writing times, its for the reading times. I find with these faster memory cards, I do not have any choppiness or lag when watching movies. The internal storage is fast as well, as I watched the installed demo video and it played perfectly.
The tablet has a 0.3MP (640*480) camera on the front for Skype, and a 2MP (1600) camera on the back for everything else. You don't need a powerful camera to view someone's face for Skype, infact a lower resolution camera means less data transferred over the net, which equals a smoother feed. While this worked fine, I would have preferred the camera at the top/middle of the screen, as your never going to look at your tablet at the side, so why did they put the camera on the side? The rear camera takes slightly better quality pictures and video, but to be honest, its nothing to ride home about. I own a 16MP camera which takes far better pictures and HD video. The tablet is limited to 480P video and 1600 resolution pictures.
The built in speakers do not get that loud at all, thats why I prefer a wired headphone or wireless headset, or you could connect a loud surround sound system if you want. The built in microphone is not that sensitive, I found that I had to play with the settings to turn up the gain all the way in order to make the microphone useful for recording or video chat. Considering how tiny it is, perhaps I am being too picky, only larger mics of higher quality can be more sensitive. And this tablet's built in mic does tend to pickup background noise when the gain is all the way up, so keep that in mind.
The tablet supports 3G, but requires a dongle in order to utilize it. I never bought a dongle, I have no need for 3G on my tablet. If I really wanted that, I could just connect to my cell phone and get it, but that would just burn up minutes on my phone, so I don't see the point. This tablet supports Flash 11.1 so you can view flash based sites or play flash based games online. This tablet has a 3.7 volt 6000MAH Lithium battery. If you are playing music, looking at pictures, or using NON-WIFI apps, the battery will last 5-hours. Depending on weather movies are HD or not, you could watch up to 2 - 4 hour movies with a battery life between 3 to 4 hours. If running WIFI and surfing the web, email, listening to internet radio, downloading apps, you can expect battery life to be 3 to 4 hours as well.
If you are gaming, depending on weather or not its a simple puzzle game or an FPS game, you can expect battery life to be anywhere around 1 hour to 3 hours. When playing high graphic intensive games, I notice the tablet does get a bit warm, but never got hot. The tablet weighs in roughly 1.2 pounds, which may not seem that heavy, but after awhile of holding it, it starts to weigh more, this is one of the reasons why I bought a case accessory for it. It holds the tablet in place, acts like a stand, while being a case at the same time, and providing an external keyboard. There is a viewing angle with this tablet, so you have to have it just right so that it looks the best.
The tablet has a built in G sensor which is really nice. Not only for the screen changing the orientation when I rotate the tablet around, but also in racing games where you use the G sensor to steer your car. The tablet supports these audio formats: MP3,WMA,WAV,APE,OGG,FLAC. The tablet supports these video formats: AVI, RM, RMVB, MKV, WMV, MOV, MP4,PMP,MPEG, MPG, FLV, 3GP, MPG, H.264. There are a lot of useful apps to download but I will not go over them here, all a person has to do is, do a little research to find all the best ones in the google play store. But there is one important thing I feel the need to talk about that can save people from a lot of trouble.
With most tablets and smartphones today, companies are trying to get us to use less paper, so when your printing from a browser, or a word processing app, it wants to print to a PDF file. And while this may sound like a good thing, its not as convenient as it sounds. With this method, you have to take your PDF file to a standard computer in order to print it, does this sound convenient to you? By default you can't print to a printer with this tablet, here is what you have to do in order to print.... On the computer that the printer is attached to, install Google Chrome internet browser, its fast, safe, and is required.
If you don't already have a Gmail account for email, go ahead and create one, as Google services are linked, and if you don't have an account, you can't utilize their services. Once your logged into your account, go to Google's home page and type in the search box, "Google Cloud Print" It should be the first link you see on the page, make sure its from Google's website and not some 3rd party site. Follow the instructions on the page to add your printer to Google's Cloud Print page. Once your printer has been added, your work has been done on that computer. On your tablet, go into the settings menu and make sure cloud drive is enabled.
Now when you go to print from an internet browser, word processor, paint program, etc, you can now print to your printer. And the best part about this is, as long as you have internet access to the tablet, it don't matter where you are, 5,000 miles away, or just in the next room, you will be able to print. I can't think of anything more convenient then that. I hope that these instructions help those of you who have been pulling their hair out, wondering how they can print to a printer, when these tablets are defaulted to print to a PDF file instead.
I also setup my email box with the Email app, now whenever I get an email, I get a audible notification of it on my Tablet. And I can be able to pull up my email real quickly to find out who its from. In conclusion, I feel that this is a very nice tablet, I love it a lot. Its almost a full functioning computer, without the actual hassle of hauling a 20 pound computer around. I would have preferred a longer battery life, but to get that, it would either have to have 2 batteries, or one large battery, which would increase the size of the tablet. The tablet is so easy to use, I can see myself getting a lot of use out of it for many years. I highly recommend this 4 out of 5!
I just wanted to update to let everyone know that my tablet is still awesome. Sometimes programs will glitch and shutdown, but most of the time it runs very smoothly with no issues. I find myself using my tablet more often then my main notebook computer. However, I got tired of the default launcher, and I finnally decided to download the Nova launcher, which is the most popular launcher you can download for your tablet. I am using the free version which just has some features left out, I love how I was able to import all my previous launcher icons within just one touch.
So far I am liking the Nova launcher a lot more, its easier to use, is more customisable, and provides transparancy to the system controls, instead of that ugly black bar I got from the default launcher. Also, for those of you who like to play games on your tablet and hate having that system control in the way, or you are using a flatscreen tv with it and do not want image burn in, there is a program called full screen and its also free, and will allow you to easily hide the system bar. This is great because it allows you to use your entire 10.1" screen. If you are on a budget and can't afford a 400 dollar tablet, I still recommend this one.