on September 6, 2012
Late 2012 UPDATE: Looks like the new price isn't coming down anytime soon. Dropping from four stars to three, because once you get near the $200 price point, there are probably better options...
Ok, so a couple of weeks back I picked one of these up for a buck thirty, right here. A few days later, it listed for a buck fifty! And now, a buck eighty?! I mean, yeah, the tablet's actually pretty good (for a second-tier FroYo unit), but with its current price volatility, you might want to consider either other models or other vendors.
As for specs, this one is a PDF reader's dream. Well, ok, a 15" borderless unit would be perfect, but realistically, this is quite a solid runner-up, and a bargain (at least at its former price). Yeah, it'll play video games, but remember, it runs FroYo (Android 2.2), so the OS is old, and I have no inclination to try upgrading it. Frankly, I don't even see a need to root it. If you just consider it a giant Kindle with the Google Play store installed, you'll be pleased as punch with it. With the current incarnation of Adobe's PDF reader app, if you set the page-view to "Continuous," there's no need to reflow anything.
Other than the occasional freeze or lockup, which frankly happens to all 2nd-tier units at some time or another, the only real issue I've encountered (and I think this may be the issue in some of the negative reviews here) is that you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO charge the battery fully before using it. It comes a bit precharged, and the battery life is great (which probably explains the heaviness), but if you let the power run all the way down, the thing won't power up enough to even start a proper recharge cycle for like an hour. It's a PITA, but the fix is easy--just don't ever let the battery level drop below ~15%. And speaking of charging, it takes quite a while, and the socket's proprietary, but rumor has it you can use a standard 15-pin iPod charging cable, if you shave off a bit of plastic from the sides. I've never tried, but honestly, LePan sells replacement cords for so cheap, why bother?
Other things: Remember, it's running FroYo, so NO EQUALIZER. (Sux if you're an audiophile.) Also, it'll fit an iPad case just fine, but the I/O holes and button spaces won't line up, so be prepared to use a scissors on the case if you go this way.
So in a nutshell, for a buck-thirty, LePan's TC-970 is a great PDF reader. At its buck-eighty inflated price, though, you might as well check out some 1st-tier tabs that run 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich, Jellybean, etc.).
on June 14, 2012
After getting more information about the LePan 2 Tablet, I decided that I will give it only a 3 stars review. Unfortunately, I had to return the Tablet. Here is why: The LePan 2 Tablet, would work fine at my workplace but fail to perform at home. While at work, I could download all kinds of videos from various sources like ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC. At home, the videos would not download for more than 2 or 3 minutes before stopping. I even called AT&T and had my internet speed upend to 6 mbps. But alas, it did not work. However, it would play YOUTUBE and NETFLIX just fine. I have 3 laptops at home feeding from the same old router and they all work fine even with a lower mbps. But the LePan 2 was being very selective at home on which videos would allow me to play. Strange, because at work it really worked fine. I was told that at work the Tablet works fine because we are super wired here at my workplace while at home, the LePan 2 Tablet might have some kind of bug in the Honeycomb system that makes it act like that. Well, for the price of this limited experience I can buy a laptop that will allow me to vision and play just about anything I throw at it. Too bad, because the Tablet was kind of nice. If you are happy just to use it as a great E-Reader, or casual video watching on YOUTUBE or NETFLIX, go for it. It is great. But if you are like me and want to enjoy the whole spectrum of videos available on the media system out there, then I would think twice before making the purchase. I hope this has helped you to make up your mind about this very nice but limited Android Tablet. LAST UPDATE AUG.15, 2012. I have returned the LePan II Tablet and Purchased the Lepan older model TC970. It is now on sale for $130 LESS than the Lepan II and works just as good as the most expensive version. One thing I cannot do with the older model vs the LePan II, is that the older Lepan does not play the Smithsonian Channel .......Other than that, it is not worth the extra $130. I am very, very happy with the former model of the LePan Tablet.
on April 9, 2012
UPDATE: After doing the free upgrade to Android ICS (which was relatively easy) I am happy to report that I no longer have wifi issues - it connects fine everywhere. Also, after checking the "allow plugins" option in FireFox Beta, I no longer have Flash problems either. Changing the rating to 5*s now. Hopefully, Le Pan gets more recognition so that there are more accessories out there altho LePanTab.com's store has gotten better.
For the price, this tablet cannot be beat. There are a lot of cheaper tablets out there but this has solid build quality (love the metal accents), sharp responsive screen (not sure if it is Gorilla Glass I have read that it is & some say it isn't), long battery life (over 8 hours) & has all the little extras built in like GPS.
It comes with 1 30 pin cord & so far you can only order another thru the company itself. Altho if you shave down the plastic parts on an Apple cord, it works.
The downside of the tablet is that it takes a long time to charge (altho the long battery life negates that). The buttons are rather small & hard to press on the curved surface but that is to be expected when you want this thing to be thin & light. The speakers are on the back which can be muffled if laying down or in a case. It has rebooted itself on me occasionally but the boot time is fairly quick so not that annoying (yet).
Flash works just fine when I use the YouTube app but if a video is embedded in a website, it does not work - tried in both the default browser & FireFox.
The biggest complaint is the wifi does not always work - altho I suspect it has more to do with the hotspot than the tablet itself (or at least the compatibility of the 2). In most places, it connects immediately with no problems but when I am at work/school it will not pick up a signal or it will take hours before it does (altho my phone & laptop find it). If it did this everywhere I would claim it defective but it is only in the same wifi areas so who knows ...
This is my 1st Android product so not much to say there but I so far prefer Symbian as it communicates more with you - like letting you see what apps are running & stopping them w/out having to download an app. Speaking of apps, there are soooo many in the Play Market that it can be overwhelming to pick which one to use.
Got the Targus Truss case for the HP TouchPad which fits this perfectly. Hopefully this brand will become more popular and we will start to see dedicated accessories that fit it without adding bulk/size.
In sum, if you are looking for the cheapest tablet that is decent, reliable & all the bells & whistles, this is the one for you.
on March 27, 2012
There is nothing posted that says this tablet is upgradable to ICS, so I can't figure where this expectation came from. I've tried to call tech support 6 or 7 times in past 30 days they just don't have anyone but and answering machine.
I think I'll keep this one (I had to return 2 others before getting one that worked) the price is not to backbreaking in cost, and what it does it does well. There are lots of things I'd like to have but don't want to spend another 400$ to get them.
Just understand before you buy this one there are limitations, and when you get a lemon you better return it promptly as long as Amazon stands behind them, and it would not surprise to see Amazon take them down anytime because returns are an extra expense too.
In my book it deserves 2 stars, takes care of my needs for a tablet. IT is fast compared to a HP Touchpad, but when the new crop tablets start arriving with 3 & 4 Cores this will soon be bringing up the rear. IF this company is to grow they will have to offer support for users and become more open with their support policy, not just giving a short answering message to call back during some office hours they give.
Good Luck just tread carefully its a mine field your treading in.
April 29, 2012 post
Think I've found the source of some of the rumors, some log on and give it 5 stars and after checking their other reviews they might post on other products, ---- they have none, so apparently they are from a source that has an interest in promoting this product they give it glowing report and then suggestions of great things to come without any way to check their source. I can only speculate their motive and so my suspect is that these are just trying to start and or spread glowing rumors for the product that has no tech support and can't can't speak to anyone at the company they hide behind their email when they want to answer.
So you figure, your assumption is just as good as mine.
THIS is a good starter Tablet just don't expect any tech support or believe some of the glowing reports and promises of things to come, For this reason don't consider buying it from anyone other than Amazon where you have their "Return policy" to pull you out if it don't work out for you.
Alton C Owens
on March 2, 2012
I originally bought this tablet in December. Two of them actually, one for each of the kids (10 years old and 13 years old). They had been begging me for a tablet, and I absolutely WOULD NOT pay over $200 for a tablet for a child. So, of course the iPad was out of the question ;-) I had done a TON of research on tablets at or below the $200 price point. I knew that for my tech saavy kids who both have android smart phones and love them, they would need to have something that at least had the "feel" of an iPad with things like great graphics, ability to play tons of games and of course the capacitive touch screen (NOT the resistive). For those of you who have no clue what those things mean (like me when I first started looking at tablets), basically the resistive version requires a harder "push" on the screen to register what the user wants to do and can be used with gloved fingers, stylus' etc. The capacitive ones are the "cool" ones according to my kids, that register the users intended action with a slight touch giving you the nice "flow" when flipping screens, easy launch of apps etc. Really, capacitive vs. resistive is a personal choice. I've used both and have no issues with either one, although I too prefer the capacitive version.
So, after days and days of research, I learned that most of the tablets out there below my afore mentioned price quote had resistive screens instead of capacitive, low memory and had no SD card slot, and did not play well with apps, videos etc. Since the kids use their tablets mostly for game playing and/or video watching while on road trips, those were pretty high up on my list of important functionality.
As other reviewers have mentioned, I too was wary about an new company that I never heard of. After reading all of the pros and cons, I decided that for the price, this tablet would give me the most bang for my buck. Now, almost three months later, I'm EXTREMELY pleased with my decision.
First off, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the look and feel of these tablets. My mother-in-law has an iPad and she let me play with it over Christmas time, and I actually prefer the Le Pan to the iPad in terms of the overall look and feel. It's sleek, light weight and has a beautiful screen. It feels like a quality product right out of the box. I think my husband was surprised at the overall appearance and quality feel of the tablets. I'm not sure what he was expecting, but he was impressed like I was.
Understanding that the Android OS 2.2 version that comes on this tablet is NOT designed specifically for tablet use, overall, their tablets have run just fine. They have had to reset their tablets several times (one of them more than the other), and the younger one seems to be having trouble with lots of apps being forced closed lately. I suspect that rather than a tablet/manufacturing issue, she's downloaded some apps that are not compatible with the OS running on the tablet. We've recently uninstalled, then reistalled several of her apps, and it's now running just fine. I keep asking my hubby to root it like he did with their phones, but he just hasn't had the time yet. I also suspect that after he does that, we will see even more improvement with the tablets functionality, even though doing so would void the warranty. Again, they were fairly cheap for tablets, and they are for young kids. If they crash on them, then they can start saving to buy the tablets they want when they get jobs :-) The only reason that this review is not 4 stars is because of the need to reset and the recent force close issues. Again, I don't think they are the tablet or companies fault, but I just can't rate it 5 stars without being 100% what the cause is. Overall, most apps play well, amazon video plays just fine, as does YouTube. I have not tried Netflix or Hulu, and probably won't since we don't use either of those programs. Also, I added some music files to their tablets and it plays those just fine as well. They love being able to play music from their tablets when they have friends over. Often they will take the tablets downstairs, turn on the music and have their own little dance party! They are kids, so they are fine with the sound. In my opinion, it could be better, however, I was actually pleasantly surprised with it since I had been expecting MUCH worse based on reviews. On sound only, I'd give it a 31/2 out of 5 stars.
Actually, I think my husband was a bit jealous since the tablet he has and paid $1000 for doesn't have the capacitive screens like the kids do LOL. He was skeptical of my choice when I originally purchased the tablets (he is the "techy" one in the family) and really wanted me to get them from a known company. Since then, he's conceded that I made the right choice. To be fair, however, we have not had to contact Le Pan directly, so can't speak to their support response times or capabilities.
I'm in the market for a tablet myself now, and am trying to decide whether to get the Le Pan II, or wait for the Le Pan III to come out. Either way, as long as Le Pan stays in business, they have found customers for life.
on March 1, 2012
Review in Chronological Updates:
*** March 1, 2012
I ordered this unit for my mom on Jan 22, 2012, it arrived on Feb 27, 2012. 5 weeks is an unacceptable wait, even for a unit this delightful. I also ordered the HTC Evo 4G tablet, which arrived in 2 days so the wait wasnt as painful.
That said, I can safely say, this was money spent well. Ive used it for 3 days now, and its holding up to the LePan promise. I used the Len Pan 1(android 2.2), and it impressed me. The Len Pan 2 holds up the quality of hardware and performance. The body feels sturdy, the grip feels comfortable and the software HUMS on the 1.2 Ghz processor. The upgrade to the RAM is a huge benefit, Android 3.2 is animation intensive, so any 'extra' RAM is 'good' RAM.
Handles Honeycomb 3.2 very well, no lags, no delays
Auto orients to any alignment. The Evo 4G has only 2 alignments(not the end of the world, but useful when operating the tablet whilst charging)
Larger buttons, making the touch-unfriendly Honeycomb 3.2 slightly easier to work with
Better microphone and camera for video call
Gorgeous Display, like the flagship Le Pan
Impressive Battery life. The HTC is 7 inches and guzzles battery life. This one sips for hours.
WiFi - Keeps dropping. ***THIS IS A HONEYCOMB 3.2 ISSUE***. I faced the same issue on the HTC, changing from DHCP to Static fixed the problem
Unnecessary widgets running. You can disable these from the settings menu
Skype flickers when beginning a call. Doesnt happen on the HTC. Le Pan needs to fix this, before it becomes an issue.
Weight is still good enf to make your wrist hurt if u hold too long.
Touch sensitivity needs to be adjustable
Speakers need more juice, video chatting shouldnt always need a pair of headphones
Hard drive space is not 8GB-with-a-pinch-o-salt. More like 6.5GB-with-a-pinch-o-salt. Pretty big 'pinch-o-salt' IMHO.
Insufficient support and extended development timeline for next upgrade. Deal-breaker for those not keen on 'self-helping'
I still believe its worth the $280 I spent. Infact, better! My mom is a power-user, the tablet will be put to a test, and from the look of it, its prepared. I'll know and share more soon.
on December 22, 2011
I have had my tablet for 2 weeks and have been pleasantly surprised with how good is really is. I have tried the Ipad2, Toshiba Thrive, Acer, Hp Tochpad. The android tablets all had problems with the 3.0 os and the hp became a 99 toy...not bad. The ipad2 was returned due not being able to use flash...but it basically was the best of the bunch. This little android is pretty close to the ipad 2 and actually better due to price. If you can live with the idea of not having the latest os, its a keeper. The battery life has been nothing but amazing. Yesterday, I had this with me on a day trip and had on from 6am to midnite when I got home and battery life was at 62%. That was after having my grandson using the tablet for angry birds non stop for 3 hrs, connected to wifi all day while my wife shopped, and then watching a movie on the drive back home. Not sure why some people complained about the power button, I have found it pretty easy to turn on and off. I am still using my tablet today without charging yet, and battery life is still at 55%. The apps are super smooth. You tube videos seem to run fine, I've had a couple lag a little but nothing I can't live with. I haven't tried to tether to my iphone yet but the bluetooth worked fine in my auto to play my music. I also downloaded a printer app to be able to send online docs to the printer. The more I use it, the more I forget why I wanted the new os system anyway. When u connect to the pc, file transfers are a breeze.
Also, I have found a few bluetooth apps that to do wireless file transfers but have not had a chance to try them out. I did use the skype video calling with no problem...no rear camera, but are u really gonna use this for picture taking?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2012
This is the third tablet I've purchased, largely on the strength that it's Google certified against the Play store. I had an Acer Iconia that I wound up giving to my father in law. I purchased a Nook Tablet and returned it after a week. This? It's actually replaced the numerous laptops and Kindles around the domicile as my primary information consumption device. It's not perfect. Sometimes Flash buffering is quirky, and there are a number of apps that just plain don't work, usually obscure games I don't care about. I really miss having Swype, which is apparently incompatible due to the screen form factor. I think in the end, why I like it so much is because of the form factor. 9.7 inches is just right for holding in one hand while having easy readability and UI spacing, and it's all without Apple's suffocating user experience. The biggest advantage over the 7" form factor? PDFs. I go to a lot of conferences with materials in PDF format, and seven inches is not going to cut it. I move documents and e-books into my Dropbox on any PC and it opens with zero fuss seconds later. Try that with iOS. I've had an iPhone, Android phones, and even a terrible XP tablet at work back in the day. Using this is a pleasure, and you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Upgraded to the official Android 4.0.4 release a couple of weeks ago. Still have access to the Google Play store, and still pleased as punch. It runs somewhat faster, battery life lasts a LOT longer, and a number of app issues that existed under Honeycomb have been fixed. A free Swype analogue is too be had with TouchPal Keyboard. I've been comparing it to the iPad 2s some folks have at work, and wouldn't trade it for a second. The advantage of DropBox and its local LAN sync plus custom third party apps over the iOS world really cannot be overstated.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2012
Googling for MONTHS for how to solve "phone errors", or find any "official" support - the best source for info has been Amazon reviews! Am writing this review after hunting down the OEM and receiving their email below the six points here:
Indeed this device is clean, sleek and 35% cheaper than an Acer, Asus (or iPad).
By saving $100, you also:
0. Save a digital tree - ABSOLUTELY NO MANUAL -PRINTED, NOR PDF, NOR by website.
1. Lose ability to use Google Chrome for Android - restricted by Gmail / Google from using their full features.
(highly recommend Firefox *and* Opera browsers)
2. Have no option to ever upgrade - see manufacturer's email below saying they plan to replace/obsolete this item
3. Experience "phone errors" - giving strong indication the Operating System is cloned from a phone
4. If a student of Japanese or other Asian languages, will have have difficulty installing alternate keyboard.
You can change the entire keyboard easily, but to switch to second entry method, more difficult than any competitor I've seen. (Certainly LePan's OEM, having a Chinese website and Japanese name, should be experts at this.)
5A. Gain a reliable email collection / response tool for public WiFi hotspots like Panera, Starbucks, Peet's, Whole Foods, and McDonald's - It is SO VERY PLEASANT to be able to type on a full keyboard instead of the tiny iphone keyboard
5B. Become a WiFi troubleshooting expert: this reviewer could ONLY connect with WEP key - the oldest, and simplest WiFi security / encryption method. It would recognize the more robust AES and TKIP methods but alternately connect/disconnect every 10-15 seconds. Solution was to reduce my router's WiFi security to WEP - and gain full connectivity!!
6. Lose points with your teenager - I offered this to him and he rejected it - says he'll save up for a real pad like Acer, Asus or iPad.
Visited Matsunichi dot com - this device is nowhere mentioned.
Visited lepantab dot com - and got fake virus warning before the page even loaded - probably / hopefully not an official website ??
===EMAIL HISTORY WITH OEM===
> From: Shawn.liu(AT)matsunichi(DOT)com.cn
> Date: April 24, 2012 21:42:49 PDT
> Subject: Ni hau - need help updating Le Pan 970.
> Dear Mr. Whitworth:
> We are sorry that there is no new firmware for our TC 970 tablet as we are selling Le Pan II and Tc 970 will phase out in few months. The Google Froyo 2.2 was used in the phone in early release. We should remove phone related function and display. We don't know why the warning of phone connection appears. Sorry about this. We seem unable to satisfy you on your requests.
> Shawn, 4/24
> ======= 2012-4-25 10:35:52 ''''''''=======
> Hi Shawn,
> I'd like instructions of how to properly update the LePan. My LePan has an older (system, version, firmware?) so that it currently can not run Google Chrome for Android. Plus it has 'reported phone connection warnings as if it has an older telephone version of Android O/S.'
> Therefore, I believe that I need an official version of update from your firm, if available. 'After the update I'd like to report on the successful experience. And, with your permission, I'd like to'link to your sales and support website(s). '
> Thank you,
> - - - mobile email - - -'
> On Apr 24, 2012, at 18:32, "Shawn.liu(AT)matsunichi(DOT)com.cn" wrote:
> Dear Mr. Whitworth:
> We are not so sure what exactly you want.
> On the mail subject you are asking help to update Le Pan 970 and in the mail, you want to do reviews on two web sites. What kind of instructions you'd'like to have from us?
> Shawn, 4/24
> = = = = = = =
on October 2, 2014
Disaster. Sorry but it was my "FIRST time problem" and ONLY problem, ever, with amazon. It was a pre-owned that I expected to be in a way better shape as the price was so close than a new one "never used" and the description made it look like it was in a good shape. I've got plenty of refurbished and pre-owned over the years but this time was a disaster. I've contacted the saler and it got nowhere, as the saler told me that it still works good enough and to return it! It felt like a rude reply too. I didn't return it, as it wouldn't have been fair to let this person sell it to someone else and get through the same thing as well!
The tablet literally freezes every 2 minutes. It froze, the first day I've got it, after using it for only half hour then constantly after that. I just kept on resetting it numeral times, over and over again! It didn't just freeze like a regular freeze either, it also got stuck with the sound like if it was a scratched vinyl playing!!!
I've took it to an electronic expert and he simply said that this tablet had some major internal damage and that it shouldn't have been put back on the market. It got reset, rebooted to the manufacturer' s settings and still, no improvement. All because it has some serious damages which I didn't cause.
It was the most disappointing purchase I've made with amazon.
I ended up saving up for a few months, and then purchasing another tablet, a totally different one and I've been more than happy since.
Sorry about the negative review but I do not wish anyone to go through what I did. Such a waste of money and time in complete frustration.
I wish I've got to give a "zero" instead of one star.