on September 30, 2011
I was skeptical at first, but after I kicked it around a little; I've grown fond of this tablet. I only paid 130.00 dollars for this unit and it was well worth it. I can't see myself spending in upwards of 400.00 dollars for a pc tablet. This one fits the bill. It does everything I ask it to. I'm a grad student and the main reason I bought it was to download my books, browse the web, play a few games, facebook and let's not forget my movies with Netflix. Believe me; it's more than enough for what I need it to do.
on October 7, 2011
This is really a well-designed little touch pad. I enjoyed it for several days before shipping it back.
You see, it never did work correctly. It crashed several times a day. I had to reset it four or five times a day. But I was willing to work around the crashes because I really did not pay a whole lot for it. It was just an inconvenience to reboot.
Then one night I was playing around with wallpapers. I simply set a new wallpaper background and was never able to do anything with the unit again. It would boot up, but I could not unlock the screen. I tried reflashing, but that didn't work either.
I sent it back for a full refund.
on December 8, 2011
UPDATE: After minor tweaking and letting more time pass, the battery issue evened out to where I could now get several hours per charge. Angry birds is also much better than before now that I removed some apps i didn't use that had services running in the background.
After getting used to it and working within the confines of the hardware, this tablet is actually pretty nice. I would recommend the new Skypad Alpha 2 as the new model addresses the issues I ran into most often with the current model - the screen and processor.
This is all neither here nor there, as I dropped it last night and the screen cracked :/ No one's fault but my own...
I bought this Skypad Alpha as part of their Groupon promotion. I was very excited to get it and ended up waiting over 3 weeks for it before it finally arrived. I will say that it is nice for the price, but you are probably better off saving a bit and buying the new Nook Tablet or Kindle Fire over this.
The Skypad is well built, very sturdy with a comfortable weight that implies solidarity without being a chore to hold. The screen is bright and easy to read, but the viewing angle isn't great, so sharing the screen with a friend can be difficult. It is a resistive touchscreen, so that comes with its own battles to be fought. The screen is responsive for a resistive one, but no one is going to compare this to an iPad or Kindle Fire's screen. It requires a firm press, not a gentle swipe like many people might expect on a tablet. Using the very nice included stylus helps, but the screen calibration is never quite right. Typing really becomes a bit of a chore, which is why I bought this to use with it.
The built-in camera is also a disappointment as it cannot take a decent picture in any normal lighting environment. It needs significant lighting of the subject to even be usable. Not having a rear mounted camera also makes QR codes or regular barcodes difficult to scan and normal photographs are out of the question. Unless you want to take dark pictures and video of yourself, the camera is basically worthless. Similarly, the microphone is weak, so you have to speak loudly and directly at it to get anything heard. Forget about recording lectures or anything of the sort.
The WIFI connection has always been fine for me. I do find that if you allow the unit to go into standby, it will disconnect from the WIFI to save battery and can sometimes have difficulty reconnecting. Usually if i wait for a minute it connects just fine. The strength of the radio is questionable, as I can only get a strong signal in the same room as my router. Once I leave the room, my connection strength drops fast. In the living room, my internet tv has 5 bars and the Skypad is lucky to hold 2.
For checking email and simple web browsing and the like, this tablet keeps up fine. But when it comes to some of the more popular games (Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, etc) the Skypad's single core, 800MHz processor can't seem to keep up. Gameplay gets laggy to the point of being downright unenjoyable. I don't even bother trying anymore. Besides, swiping to cut the rope or launch a bird is usually misinterpreted anyway, making accurate gameplay difficult. After having it for about a month, it takes a little less than a minute to start up from being completely off.
Having a mini-usb port is very helpful in that you can connect external storage like a flash drive or connect an external keyboard like I have, which makes this tablet more useful. I used the straight mini usb to female usb that is around a dollar here on Amazon and it worked fine to connect other devices. It would be nice to have some other ports also, like a full-sized usb or any size HDMI.
Battery life is a seriously mixed bag. The tablet obviously has no idea how much battery is left at any time. After a charge, it immediately drops to ~70% and then holds for a while before it randomly reports only 30% remaining. I only seem to get a couple hours out of a charge (and I mentioned i don't use it for games). After the battery dies, it immediately reports a ~70% charge after being plugged in for a minute, which disappears after being unplugged. Really wacky, but I have learned to ignore it and just charge it when I feel like it. I also avoid using the standby mode and instead I press and hold the off button to shut it off completely after use. Standby uses too much power to be worth it. Also, the unit "clicks" when it's in standby, which gets annoying fast.
This tablet is not officially approved for the Android marketplace (unless you root and implement the work-around documented on slatedroid) and the built-in GetJar appmarket is pretty awful. I did add the Amazon market, which works great. No Hulu on this device either... However, as many have mentioned, you can do Netflix and Youtube works fine, of course.
Overall, if you plan to use this an an e-reader on steroids, you should be fairly happy. Check email, browse the web, read some stuff, watch some videos but don't expect to touch-type a term paper on Google Apps or pass the time with Angry Birds. Use it for what it is and you should be relatively pleased like I am. If you can stomach paying more, get a Nook Tablet instead.
on November 13, 2011
If you are comparing this to a tablet that costs $500 and you find it doesn't measure up, there's good reason. It's $150 or less, and lacks many of the bells and whistles you may be expecting. In fact, it has some considerable drawbacks. If you want a tablet but need to keep it under $200, this is your best bet. If you think you can get the keep up with the Jetsons with this, think again. It won't compete with a top of the line model, but it's a brawler for it's price.
-The best customer support you're likely to find (technically experienced folk in California answer the phone on the second ring, active forums with near-rabid supporters, etc)
-Android 2.3 (as opposed to 2.2 where you can't get flash video to work unless someone knows something I don't)
-Silly perhaps, but I like that the stylus plugs into the headphone jack. It's harder to lose it.
-Carry a safety pin if you plan on leaving it in standby until the battery is dead. It doesn't like to start up once you've killed the battery while it's still on.
-The camera has issues with a lot of apps. The camera is really dark and has no native adjustments. You'll need to download a suitable app to adjust the settings.
-It isn't a million times more powerful (but I didn't pay for that)
-GPS would be nice but again it's not in this price range (GPS dongles seem to work but that's kind of a pain)
-the Wifi isn't as powerful as I'd like (my 2007 laptop tends to be able to limp by with mediocre signals that the Alpha can't quite get a hold on)
Other thoughts: A lot of people that buy this don't realize that the USB port can only connect to your computer for mass storage and ADB UNLESS you have the correct OTG cable. Not every one will work. Some are available at other sites for as little as a dollar from China, but it's very hit or miss. Skytex promised to have one ASAP and has made good. It is currently available at their website for $10 plus shipping ($3 in my case). If you want to use a keyboard/case or thumbdrive or any other USB device, you'll need this cable and possibly some additional apps.
Summary: Great tab when you consider the price.
on November 9, 2011
I will admit there are certainly a couple things I don't like about it, I have only taken off a single star for it though, as honestly, for the price of $150, you're getting your money's worth.
There are a couple of things you need to know before buying this device, for starters, it's a resistive screen, other reviewers have already mentioned this and the flaws therein, I won't review them. If you've gotten spoiled to the Capactive screens, however, it might be difficult to go to earlier technologies. I've only had it for a day, but I sense my muscle memory getting used to the barrier of interface.
Every now and then the device will just randomly shut off, it isn't "bricked", you just need to use the hard reset on the back of the device and hold it for around 10 seconds. It'll work fine after that. It's more an inconvenience than a threat for me.
It doesn't have the android market, and installing applications prior to finding out how to install the android market can be a DIY project (which I'll get around to). It isn't something that has ever required me to do deep research, but expect to search for APK's yourself and learn which ones are compatible. For instance, for Netflix, find version 2.2.3 (file is labeled "com.netflix.mediaclient-2") and install that version. It's a slight work around, but you'll have Netflix. I've already installed Amazon Kindle, Netflix, and Adobe Acrobat Flash (whose installer is already located in the device under "/mnt/sdcard/app"). With that being said there is a GetJar market that the device comes with, it's really just a shortcut to the GetJar's mobile based website.
After finding and downloading the Amazon App Store [...] , the ease and value of this device has gone up significantly. It has Netflix, Kindle, and various other apps and notifies you on the compatibility before download.
The aesthetics as well aren't really my style, this is more a subjective report, it just doesn't feel as professional. Something about the bulky backside is troubling, but I'm getting used to it.
With all those issues, why did I still give it a 4/5 rating? Mainly because for $150 dollars you're getting a tablet that gives you access to Kindle, Netflix, various apps, email, web surfing, and a customizable experience with the android 2.3 gingerbread operating system. You might be subjected to DIYs, and slight annoyances here and there, but you have yourself a 7'' screen tablet and the luxuries that come with it.
If I had to choose though, I'd likely save my money and get one of the 200 dollar tablets. Because I realize I'm more spoiled on technology than I thought I was and capactive screens with multitouch are something that's become ingrained in me. But I'm still content with the product.
on September 16, 2011
I have researched for several days looking for Tablets for my boys 11 and 15 for Christmas. I also thought about Coby Kryos 7022, and the Eken MT705 but after searching and looking at reviews I purchased the Skytek Skypad Alpha 7" Touchscreen Cortex-A8 Tablet Android OS 2.3. $154.00. With all the features it listed I felt it was perfect for my boys to check their facebook, surf the web, watch movies and play their games. I will post more when I open the package and try it out. I also purchased a san Disk 16GB Micro SD card $20.63 and a soft case pouch $ 3.99.
on October 2, 2011
I purchased one of these for my 14 year old daughter for Christmas. I am new to the Android world and I had no problems getting it up and running and enjoying new apps from the Amazon APPS marketplace.I think she will love it. I know I'm having fun! Not a technical review I know,but a happy customer review none the less. I may have to get another to keep for myself.
UPDATE!! 2 days after Christmas we are sending this item back. Screen freezes,lost graphics and no battery life. Please do yourself a favor and buy something of better quality.
on October 24, 2011
Got this only a few days ago, and am loving it so far. Typing is hard, it's more like texting really, and there appear to be a couple bugs where the virtual keyboard is concerned, but other than that it's fantastic.
Also battery life is not what I'm used to with my laptop, but whatever. Still a good price!
EDIT!!!! I've found some excellent styli (or whatever) to go with this pad. I know people aren't happy, for various reasons, with that generic 3 pack that's been going around. And because I'm impatient, I spontaneously bought a pack of styli while I was at Kmart today. But of course the ones they had were for nintendo ds--like I care though. They're large enough for me to grip (I have a significant amount of scar tissue on my middle finger), but the point is small enough to work with the size of the widgets and web links on this pad. Also, the tip is extremely smooth plastic, so it slides nicely. It's actually better than the stylus that came with the pad! That was hard for me to use with my finger, and the plastic tip is not good quality.
Here's a link to the styli that I got at Kmart: [...]
This link is another amazon page, but you should be able to find them near you if you're impatient, like I am.
on August 1, 2012
I read several reviews before purchasing two of the SkyPad Alpha2 pads for my kids. I wish I could get a refund as these are completely useless.
1. When the screen times-out and goes to 'sleep' it will NOT power back on. You have to hold the power down for quite some time to hard reset it.
2. Only the internal memory (512MB and 4GB of internal/fixed SDRAM) is available for apps.
3. It recognizes the SDCard as an external SD and there is no way to move apps to it without hacks so you are limited
4. Single Core 1.2Mhz CPU is very slow and most apps lag quite noticeably. Forget about most action games and video.
5. One of the PRIMARY reasons I purchases these was for the kids to watch NetFlix. Big mistake.
6. Do NOT believe ANY reports that NetFlix works on the Alpha2. It is so slow and pixelated and constantly times out that it is simply unusable. (Even on 35/35 FIOS)
7. Front facing camera is very poor quality and serves no purpose other than to take very poor quality pictures of yourself. Skype is out of the question.
8. Irritating, easily bent, proprietary mini power port and adapter. It can be charged via USB but even that is mini not micro like every other Android on the planet.
9. Even if you decide to use the external SD to store videos or other data, the Alpha constantly forgets the SD is inserted. It appears and disappears for no reason.
10. Finally, the capacitive 5-point touch screen... isn't. First, it is quite blurry, images and icons are not crisp and the touch is very unresponsive. You have to tap repeatedly to get any functions to work. After upgrading to ICS, the built in 'home' button no longer functions. I think the touch on this pad only works decently if you use a stylus... nah.
No, these issues are not due to a problem with just one of these being defective. Both are identical in every way, both upgraded to ICS and both have the same quality and performance issues. The underlying engineering and quality of the unit is just not there.
Yes. I realize it is a cheap pad (Retail was $199 but I got ours for $130 each) but I should have bought Kindle Fires for them instead. I bought one of those for my wife and it works like a charm. Same amount of RAM (not expandable which I don't like) but for an e-reader, a game pad and a TV for NetFlix and Amazon Prime, it is an awesome little unit for basically the same price. The kids won't even touch the SkyPads now and want to use the Kindle instead.
I'm very disappointed that SkyTex decided to dump these and flood the market with such a sub par device. I was very excited when they showed up as they appeared to be of pretty high quality but after a few weeks of trying to use them, (yes, even upgrading to ICS), it became clear that they wouldn't ever be worth using. Fricking paperweights. My intent was to buy these for the kids, then order a 10' SkyTex Protos for myself when it came out... there is NO WAY in heck I would order one now.
on January 1, 2012
I received this as a gift and while it functions as advertised, I would never have bought it myself. My opinion... The Skypad Alpha comes with a good amount of Ram (512mb)and a fair amount of internal storage for its price class, out of the box. It also has a fast and responsive single core processor. Let me say that on paper, this is one of the best tablets in its price class for the hardware your getting. Let me also say that this tablet is NOT appropriate or set up for kids, or adults who are not familiar with the android operating system (linux) and resistive touch screens.
This IS a "Do it yourself" tablet kit! No bloatware - YOU install only what YOU want and need.
This IS NOT a tablet for first time tablet owners, or those unfamiliar with the android operating system.
GetJar market apps
Little to no bloatware
Front facing webcam
Micro-sd slot for additional storage
Includes headphones and desk stand
A gem once manually customized with android market, flash for web browsing, and google apps.
Horrid out of the box experience (No preinstalled android market, adobe flash, google apps.)
Resistive touchscreen ("PUSHSCREEN"!!)
Scratches easily/requires a screen protector
Difficult and frustrating to scroll up and down through screens/menus
Battery - (make sure you turn off wifi when not needed)
Wi-fi must be turned off/on after locking the screen, to re-enable the connection.
On screen volume control only (In notification bar)
Anyone having trouble charging, or with data tranfer via USB, please make sure the cables are FULLY INSERTED. Specifically, the USB cable to the unit must "click" in place. Also, My unit hasnt locked up on me yet, but if yours wont power on or locks up, dont forget the reset button on the back (use a pin)