16

Oct

Ematic 10.1 Android Tablet Review


 

First Impressions:
Lightweight, nice screen resolution, widescreen.

 

Cons:
Naff keyboard (hit and miss), slow.

 

Overall: 3 out of 5 stars (OK)

 

The tablet market is becoming red hot thanks to the first launch of the iPad in 2010 by Steve Jobs. Now the market is in a flurry with Android tablets hitting the scene and offering a much lower price point than the Apple equivalents. Granted that the big companies such as Samsung are touting their tablets in the same price range as Apple’s iPad, there is a whole spectrum of tablets in the lower cost end that is just warming up. These tablets are mainly imports from China but what electronics are not these days, right? What we are witnessing is that businesses are aware of this growing trend and clambering to get into this end of the market. China has the manufacturing capability and all they need are good distributors of the cheap tablets and we have a great business. However, not everything is rosy since there are very good reasons for the existence of companies like Samsung and Apple where their products can be twice or three times the cost of these Chinese counterparts. They will put enormous investment in design, quality and reliability of its products that for many users the extra price is easily justifiable.

 

However, like many of us, who like to get exceptional value for money, the non-branded tablets appearing from the Chinese mainland maybe a good option. My reviews here will try to assemble my own quality and assurance checks on these products and identify which ones are worth plucking for. I want to make sure that users do not find themselves with a product that ends up being a door stop! Here is the first review of the Ematic Eglide XL2 tablet that on paper has impressive specifications. Unfortunately, as you will see in the review, this is only skin deep and underneath the product is a major disappointment.

 

I picked up the Ematic Eglide from a distributor on the Amazon.com site and for around 100 bucks. The 10.1 inch screen and some of the specs. sold me to the idea that this was definitely worth checking out and having.

 

First Impressions:
The box that the tablet came in contained the usual stuff:- the tablet, power adaptor, short usb cable and short user manual. The unit was surprisingly lightweight for its size and has the regular buttons (power – on/off, volume – up/down, reset, microSD, power input, USB (standard), headphone socket). It also has another input which looked like a USB input but not sure what it is used for. Unlike some other tablets, it also has a useful big button on the front facia next to the screen, a bit like the button found in Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Powering up revealed a very nice screen, better than what I had expected and you can see the quality of the images on the video and images shown along with this post. There was no model or serial no at the back except for the model name, which I found unusual.

 

What really let me down was how erratic the behavior of the touch screen was. I tried adding the wireless network passcode and it was a struggle, and when pressing the appropriate keys on the pop-up keyboard, it would randomly select the next keyboard character. It took a few attempts before I was able to do this simple task. I am not sure if this problem was inherent in my device alone or a problem with all these shipped tablets. The other thing that users need to be aware of is the type of touch screen. Most manufacturers have a habit of leaving out this important piece of information because the capacitive screens are much more responsive to the resistive screens. I suspect (even though the manufacturer does not state it), this is using resistive technology since it was really difficult to register a touch and always needed to be pressed firmly on the screen. Bear in mind that all resistive screens do not function poorly over the capacitive screens since the technology has been used by Nokia and HTC in their own devices.

 

When testing tablets, I keep in mind that users will do very common tasks with their own tablets. This will include browsing, opening up applications, downloading applications, playing music and I have tried to do this on the video to keep it short. You can see how it performs on the video. Here are the tasks that I did on this tablet and aim to do this for other reviews to keep consistency of the reviews and make a direct comparison to each of the tablets and make a fair unbiased judgement on each. Here are the tasks that I carry out on each:

 

  •  Download and install the free Android drawing app called Paintology
  •  Test out Paintology (this highlights sensitivity of screen, performance and especially the edge sensitivity of the tablet)
  •  Open up a browser and go to Google, then Google news and select the top news headline.

 

Granted that the news site may take some time to download, I also go directly to Paintology.com to check the speed at which pops-up. Any lag time will indicate a poor processor and hence the performance of the tablet.
– Open up other apps such as the calculator, gallery – this clearly shows the details of the images and the resolution.

 

Conclusion:
The tablet is severely let down by the erratic behavior of the resistive screen and when using the pop-up keyboard we can end up playing hang-man, trying to guess the key. The big screen has a surprisingly good display and would be a perfect host for all your family shots and perhaps video (although this part has not been tested). If you can overlook the tablet as an alternative to your iPad and simply use this device for picture viewing and maybe a showcase as a digital frame, then it does the job very well. However, as a serious tablet user, the lagging speed in browsing and the awfully hard keyboard entry and touch screen makes it unusable for this kind of activity.

 

Overall Value for Money: ⅗ stars
Performance: 2/5
Ease of Use: 2/5
Battery Life: 4/5

 

Specifications:
Ematic Tablet PC Featuring 10″ Touchscreen:

Technical Specifications:

  • 1GHz Dual-Core (800 400 MHz)
  • 4GB on-board storage memory
  • 10″ multi-touch screen, 800 x 480 resolution, virtual keyboard
  • Built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi

 

Additional Ematic Tablet PC Features:

  • Mini-USB 2.0 port, HDMI port
  • 4GB onboard storage
  • Add up to an additional 16GB with an optional MicroSD card
  • Supports up to 1080p HD videos
  • Includes a built-in 3-axis gyroscope
  • Built-in voice recorder
  • Weighs 1.57 lbs.; 10.63″ x 6.69″ x 0.43″ dimensions

 

Software and Applications:

  • Android 2.2 OS (Froyo)
  • Includes Slide Me application store, Email, Internet Browser, eReader, and more
  • Android Music Player and Video Player
  • Media Formats: PDF (non-DRM protected), e-PUB, MP3, WMA, AVI, WMV, JPEG and more

 

What’s in the Box:

  • eGlide XL 10″ tablet and AC adapter
  • User Manual
  • USB cable, Earphones

 

Specs:

Platform:Andriod
Primary Color:Black
Processor Brand:ARM
Processor Type:ARM 11 Processor
Processor Speed:1.0 GHz
System Ram:N/A
Hard Drive Size:N/A
Laptop Screen Size:N/A
Screen Type:Multi-touch LCD
Battery Type:Lithium Ion
Network Connection:802.11 b/g/n WLAN
Connector Type:1 x HDMI, 1 x USB, 1 x MicroSD
Operating System:Google Android
Accessories Included:AC Adapter,Battery
Operating System Version:Android 2.2
Model No.:eGlideXL
Shipping Weight (in pounds):2.99
Product in Inches (L x W x H):10.63 x 6.69 x 0.43

 

 

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