Customer Review

238 of 245 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A four-star tablet at a five-star price., November 4, 2013
By 
This review is from: AKASO Kingpad® A7 7'' [Black] Google Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Dual Core Tablet PC, Allwinner A20 Dual Core Cortex A7 CPU, 8GB HDD, 1024x600 Resolution, Multi-Touch Screen, Front Camera + Rear Camera, Google Play Pre-Installed, HDMI 2160P Output, Skype Video Calling, Netflix, Flash Supported [By TabletExpress] (Personal Computers)
Before starting my review, there are a few things that I would like to mention.

1) This is my first experience with an Android tablet. I have owned several iPads and a couple of windows-based devices, but this is my first Android.
2) The title of my review is probably the most important sentence in this entire review.
3) I received a sample of this tablet to test from the manufacturer on the understanding that I would review this without bias. The following is my honest opinion.

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INTRO
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As mentioned, I am a new Android user. I'm not going to lie - I've been an Apple-lover for many years now, and use an iPhone and iMac on a daily basis. That said, I've also been a Linux user since 2009 (mostly Ubuntu with some Tails and Arch to test my webserver's security) and am very aware of the pros of using linux-based android devices. I decided to test this tablet because it seemed to offer quite a lot for a very reasonable price tag.

Some of the devices specs:
- Dual core processor
- High Definition Screen
- Above-average construction
- Dual Cameras (one front, one back)
- Running on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Has HDMI output
- Comes with Google Play pre-installed

With some promising specs, I was excited when my tablet arrived and quickly tore open the box.

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OUT OF THE BOX
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A few things I want to point out. The first is that this device ships with a screen protector already applied. While you can keep it on, it really diminishes the quality of the screen and I highly recommend removing it (as does the manufacturer). Secondly, there is a piece of paper included with the table that recommends installing some sort of "App Killer" to close background apps for better performance and battery life. I ignored this at first, thinking Android's app manager would be enough. It wasn't, and after installing an app to automatically and periodically kill certain apps there was a noticeable increase in both performance and battery life.

Inside the box is the tablet, a wall charger, a USB adapter, a user guide and various other bit of paper (some of them already mentioned). My tablet shipped about 75% charged, so the first thing I did was allow it to charge fully before using it, so as to get an accurate gauge on battery life during usage.

The first thing I noticed (after removing the screen protector) was just how sharp the screen was. Included on my tablet was an HD video of a popular Chinese (I believe) girl band, so I fired that up to see how everything looked. I was and am impressed. The quality was certainly better than watching HD videos on my iPhone 4, and arguably better than videos were on my second gen iPad. While I'm sure that Retina screens (and HD screens from brand-name tablet makers) blow this thing out of the water, for less than $70 I was extremely impressed with the quality. It may be a little bit too sharp for some people's tastes, but you certainly get used to it.

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THE EXPERIENCE
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Note: this will be a long entry broke up into different sections. I apologize in advance for the wordiness, but since my experience with this tablet varied while performing various functions, I believe it to be necessary. I have added individual scores for each section.

The tablet itself has a nice feel in the hands - I've never used a 7" tablet before and I find it much more comfortable to use for longer periods of time than larger tablets. On top is a lock button, also used for turning off the device, as well as a back button, headphone jack, HDMI port and MicroUSB port for charging/connectivity.

MEDIA - 8/10
I have really enjoyed media consumption on this tablet. Watching videos is near flawless - even large movie files played from a MicroSD card do so without issue, although anything over 1GB is going to make the tablet struggle so I would consider compressing movie files to 700MB or so for optimal performance. Listening to music is just fine, both from the SD card in the music player and using the Pandora app. Youtube is interesting - when I first fire up a video it struggles a little bit (for about 15 seconds or so), but once it gets playing, I have had no real issues, even while watching 1hr+ documentaries. I do recommend downloading apps for functions like this, especially Youtube. They are optimized for tablet performance and almost always result in a better experience (even my iPhone prefers the Youtube app to watching videos in Safari). My Netflix experience was very similar to Youtube - some stuttering every now and then but totally usable. I do want to point out that the built-in speakers on this tablet are not great...they simply lack the power for anything other than watching videos in bed/on the couch in a quieter environment. I would recommend an external speaker/headphones if you intend to use the tablet for media. I have not yet tried using the HDMI out port, but will do so tonight and update my review.

BROWSING - 9/10
Browsing the internet has been great - every now and then I've had the browser crash, but mostly on plugin-heavy websites. Reading the news, blogs and general browsing is excellent! I did find Google Chrome to be pretty slow, but the included browser (based on Google Chrome seemingly) and Firefox both work fine. I mainly use this tablet for browsing Craigslist, various news websites and a couple of forums - thankfully all of them work well.

GAMING - 7/10
I don't game much (at all), but decided to install Temple Run to see how the tablet handled it. On first launch, it crashed and I had to use my App Killer to close it out completely. I then opened it up again, and it actually played pretty well. Some of the cinematic sequences weren't totally smooth, but gameplay was definitely doable. I'll try a few other games

SKYPE/GOOGLE HANGOUTS - 7/10
Using Skype was decent. I am told the microphone on the tablet sounded fine, and I didn't have any issues with performance. Switching to video caused a little bit of stuttering (sort of like with Youtube), but eventually kicked in and was as good as my iPhone so no complaints there. Again, headphones are recommended unless you're in a quiet environment.

TAKING PICTURES - 6/10
Though the camera works fine for video calling, I do not recommend choosing this tablet if you want to take important pictures, the quality is just not that great.

EMAIL - 10/10
Using email on this device is excellent - on par with using it on my iPad. I have had no issues with the included mail app on Jelly Bean, and the A7 handles it fluidly, perhaps the most fluidly out of any other app. I quickly set up my seven email accounts (yes, a lot I know) and can now receive and respond to email without any issues.

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THE DOWNSIDES
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- Speed
As mentioned, this tablet does struggle with certain CPU/Memory-intensive applications. Every now and then a key press won't register for a second or two and other little annoyances. I was just about to type: "If you want a super-fast tablet, this might not be for you", but I really hope that nobody is looking at a $70 tablet expecting it to be "super fast". Again, after installing an app killer I found the performance to increase noticeably, so I highly recommend doing so.

- Sound
The built in speakers are not great. This may be a deal breaker for some, but I almost always use headphones or an external speaker any way and did so with my iPad too.

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WHO IS THIS TABLET FOR?
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I can think of a plethora of people who will enjoy this device, so I'm just going to list them:

- People who can't afford a more expensive tablet
- People who would only use a tablet for general media consumption (web surfing, youtube, etc.)
- People who want a cheap tablet for kids (this is an excellent choice)
- People who aren't sure about Android and want to try it cheaply
- People who don't care about having a fast device

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CONCLUSION
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Overall, I keep having to remind myself of the price. It's not the fastest or slickest tablet on the market, but did exceed my expectations for a sub-$80 electronic device. With decent performance, a really nice screen and a solid operating system, I can definitely recommend this product. Given that manufacturers like Coby are putting out far inferior tablets for the same (or greater) price, if you're in the market for a cheap tablet and you're not willing to spend $150+ on a brand name tablet, this is definitely one to consider.

I went back and forth between a four and five star rating (in regards to my title) - in the end, price won the battle. You simply cannot beat this tablet for the price, and in that respect, it deserves five stars for value for money. This is not meant to be an iPad, nor is it mean to be a Nexus. It is an affordable tablet that puts mobile computing in your hands for the price of family trip to the movies, and I'm overall quite pleased with it. If Amazon allowed half star ratings, I would probably go with 4.5 stars, but given that doing so is not possible, five stars it is.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 7, 2013 8:35:39 AM PST
Ken Sobel says:
This review is excellent. I didn't mind the wordiness because the details made it easy for me to really understand how well this tablet works. I will keep this short, but hooray s for the writer.

Posted on Nov 15, 2013 10:45:07 PM PST
Very helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this out in clear cut language.

Posted on Nov 20, 2013 7:36:04 AM PST
Nate says:
Hello, your review is very good. However, as an avid Android user, I want to point out that you should not be using an app killer. It was controversial whether they were helpful in older versions of Android, and it is universally understood that in any Android device newer than version 4.0, they actually hurt battery life and performance because they interfere with app-managing functions built in to Android. Just keep the screen brightness down, audio off and WiFi disabled when possible to extend battery life.

Posted on Nov 30, 2013 11:19:43 PM PST
Debra Wilson says:
Great review- you've almost completely sold me on this tablet. However, I have one question I have yet to see the answer to: How long will a full charge last on the battery? I'd be using it mostly for reading, a few apps, no games or movies, probably no music either. I've looked at the Kindle alternatives and the Paperwhite has an excellent battery life, but no bells, and the Fire has the bells, but only a 4 hour battery life. Ugh. Trying to find a middle ground.

Posted on Mar 22, 2014 8:00:04 PM PDT
Seattle says:
Excellent detail.

Posted on Apr 3, 2014 12:54:10 AM PDT
Ms. Mai says:
Loved reading this review, Amazon should send you a check! Ha, it really was great, I appreciate your your breakdown as it was exactly all the info I really wanted in what felt like an awesome one way conversation! Thank you sir or madam, Sold!

Posted on Apr 20, 2014 6:23:37 PM PDT
I hope you're still following the comments on your review. My grandson wants a tablet for his birthday in May. He's pretty responsible. But, I'm not buying him anything without a case. What one did you purchase?
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