Top positive review
31 people found this helpful
Cheap and cheerful
on September 11, 2012
I received my tablet (the 7" 4GB MID70404W model) several days ago and have been putting it through its paces. I also bought a Google Nexus 7, so this is also a comment on the difference between a budget tablet and higher-end machine.
First off, the screen quality is adequate. You can see the individual pixels making up the display. For this price, that is what you'd expect. For prolonged use, I find it a bit tiring on the eyes however. The capacitive touch-screen works fine; if anything it is a bit oversensitive. I find it is possible to trigger the screen without actually touching the glass.
The tablet has 2 major weaknesses. The first is the 1.2GHz single-core A10 processor is really not up to the job of running multiple applications. When you try to multitask basic functions (like browse web while installing an app) then it can freeze up until one of the processes completes. Android frequently asks whether or not to kill a running app because it slows so much that it seems to have crashed. The tablet does come back after a few more seconds though.
The second major failing is the 512Mb RAM, this is really a bit too little because after starting up your background processes and widgets you're left with only around 100Mb and you will not be able to run more than a few apps at a time. By comparison my Nexus 7 easily has 10+ apps in the background without any slowdown. It is annoying when you are switching between the internet browser and an app and it has to reload the browser.
Annoyingly, the tablet doesn't seem to charge via USB, it has a whole other adapter. The battery life is not great. It bleeds away relatively quickly even when it is in standby. I highly doubt the 5 hour claim made by manufacturer.
Other functions: The gyroscope works very well, so it always seems to know which way you are holding the tablet. I tested the SD card port, works fine. This is great, it means you can buy a very cheap micro-SD card to hold your photos/movies and even apps. (By comparison, I had to pay 50 USD for just 8GB extra on the Nexus 7. The iPad too makes you pay through the teeth for more storage).
The tablet comes with Google Play, so you have full access to the largest app market (unlike some other tablets which give you a more restricted market such as GetJar. You can easily also install the Amazon appmarket.
The operating system is Android 4.0.3 which is almost the newest version (only the Nexus 7 has newer version 4.1) so it is current and should not run into many problems with compatability. However the device comes up as an 'Unnamed tablet', i.e. is not recognised specifically by Google Play, and so I've found a number of apps are not offered for this reason.
Additionally, the tablet comes pre-rooted, so those who like to tinker with the will not have to find a rooting solution.
The tablet comes with Flash 11 so you can use it to watch movies online but the hardware is really too slow to make this an enjoyable experience. I was able to run a video call with Skype without any problem (and somewhat surprisingly the 0.3MP camera was not too bad).
The browser pre-installed is some weird version of Chrome, not the latest one. When I installed Chrome-proper from the app market it worked but not very well (orange borders flash when it loads, runs slowly.) However Opera browser works very well on the tablet.
My tablet didn't feature the DragonTouch logo pictured; while I'd never heard of this company before I'd still prefer to have a 'no-name' brand rather than actually no brand at all. As it is, this could have been any other manufacturer's tablet and sent out and none the wiser.
Also, while advertised as white, only the back case is white. The front is black.
This tablet definitely leaves a lot to be desired, but for this price you can not expect any more. In fact it does almost everything you'd want quite adequately; it just doesn't do everything you'd hope for. I'm happy with the purchase as for this price it is still a very good deal.