Top critical review
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**WON'T BE ABLE TO UPGRADE TO NEW ANDROID OS (ICS - 4.0)**
on November 16, 2011
I got this tablet back in September and was initially fairly impressed. It looked pretty good, seemed to have a good build quality, had fairly fluid graphics and ran on Android. Plus, even though it was inexpensive, its memory was expandable to 32GB through the micro SD. I talked with their customer service folks before buying, and they explained that although the camera wouldn't actually work with video chat for the time-being, when the new Android OS (4.0) came out it would be able to [Note: I've since been corrected that there is other software and other ways of doing video chat]. As I started to use it I realized that Android 2.2 (aka froyo) is really mainly designed for cell-phones rather than tablets. It doesn't use the screen space very well, doesn't support split pane gmail, and is incompatible with a number of apps you'd would hope to be able to use on your tablet (although I managed to find others that still did most of what I was looking for, it was a pain--particularly given that it was a new product). I also noticed that although my wifi connection was fairly stable at home, it was extremely unstable with my school's enterprise wifi network--a big deal for me since I had bought it mainly for school use. Still, I figured that as soon as I would be able to upgrade to Android 4.0 (ice cream sandwich), the rest of its functionality would be restored.
Google released the source code for Android 4.0 (ICS) 2 days ago (Monday 11/14/11). I called Le Pan about the wifi issue today and confirmed that it was probably because of the old OS. I asked when I'd be able to upgrade the OS, and they said that their engineering folks were now saying it would be impossible to upgrade, but that they'd be coming out with a new tablet next year that would support it. I would be stuck with my current OS. I explained how limited the functionality was and how I wouldn't have bought it if they hadn't reassured me that it would soon have the fully functioning OS and asked for a refund. They said they couldn't offer a refund unless it was broken in some way (as opposed to intrinsically broken). Fortunately, after talking with the folks at Amazon they are refunding it (way to pull through, Amazon!).
I realize that for some of you this wouldn't be a deal-breaker and am giving it two-stars because it does work for some things. But for those hoping for a cheaper (slightly slower) iPad alternative, I'd say this isn't the android you're looking for.
[Note: I realize that I could root it and install a slightly newer OS, but that would void the warranty, and it would ultimately be a dead-end--it would never get to 4.0 or beyond.]