A good friend recently bought one of these very reasonably priced tablets for his wife to use (I suspect she had been eyeing his beaut ASUS Transformer) so I asked if I could borrow it to write a quick review.
Of course, this is a $69 (AUS) tablet so comparing it with $200+ tablets is unfair – this review is looking at it from the viewpoint of the target market which is kids and users who have fairly basic requirements like checking email, some web browsing, games etc.
First impressions are that it seems fairly well made (if you like the shocking pink bezel and back – my guess is that this model is targeted at the ladies and kids) and that the screen viewing angle isn’t that wide. You have to hold it virtually perpendicular to your face to prevent it fading rapidly – this is most noticeable when you tilt the screen downwards – it darkens very noticeably. Left to right tilting has less of an effect and if you turn the screen brightness to max the effect is less of an issue. Using the tablet you just have to remember to hold it at the correct angle that suits you and you soon get used to doing that. The screen resolution (800×480) isn’t that high, but this isn’t very noticeable on the 7″ screen size especially if viewing video or photos. However I found that text readability suffered in the Gmail app and in the web browser – but in most apps you can use ‘pinch zoom’ to zoom into the pages to make text more readable.
But enough of the screen – expecting a super high quality display on a $69 device just isn’t realistic.
The Audiosonic runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and is quite responsive with 500Mb RAM and 2Gb internal storage built-in (the KMart product page states it has 4Gb total but I presume that 1.5Gb of that is the reserved operating system area. You can add more storage for music / photos / videos etc using the external SD card slot – up to 32Gb.
Speaker volume is quite reasonable and there is a standard earpiece socket of course. The WiFi connection was quick to connect and managed a good signal reception a fair distance from the router and the connection was stable – watching a longish YouTube video was flawless with no pausing or buffering – mostly. A couple of times videos over 10-15 minutes just stopped playing altogether, I’m not sure exactly why and I couldn’t repeat the problem everytime.
The inbuilt battery is on the smallish side – only 2000mAh, so don’t expect to be able to play videos for hours at a stretch, but ‘couch surfing’ for 3-4 hours is achievable.
The single (forward facing) camera is too low in resolution to take reasonable shots – and hard to use as it’s on the front and you have no idea what you are looking at if you turn it around – but it’s intended for video calling use of course – like Skype for instance. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a video (or voice) call to work using the latest Skype version from the Play Store, which is a pity as it seems that others have had some success.
So, would I buy or recommend one?
That depends. I personally wouldn’t buy one – but only because I have experienced and used better (and more expensive of course) tablets and the screen would detract significantly from my experience with it.
Would I recommend one? To a first time Android user or for a family to buy one for their child – sure, but with the proviso that they understand the limitations of the device. One big plus though, is that it can be purchased from a local store AND the manual is in well written English AND it isn’t one that is intended for the Chinese market (I have no doubt it’s made in China but it is intended for the US or other markets) – AND at a reasonable price lower than an equivalent ‘cheap Chinese’ brand one from eBay!
For someone who wants to ‘dip their toes’ into the tablet market it’s a no-brainer. Just remember not to compare it with a more expensive Android tablet or any of the iPad range – they are obviously in a different bracket altogether – but you won’t get much change from $350 for the cheapest iPad Mini…
If you have one or have an opinion – let us know what you think in the comments.
Buy it from : KMart
Price : AUS$69