Ever since the Apple iPad came out I have wanted to get my hands on a touchscreen tablet PC. The iPad just wasn’t an option, the most basic one costing £439! I kept telling myself that I didn’t even need a tablet pc, what with already owning an iPhone and iTouch and a desktop PC but I kept looking at pictures of them and thinking well, I haven’t got a laptop.
I was keeping an eye on the budget tablets but they all seemed to have worse specs than the basic cheapo netbook so I played the waiting game.
Christmas was now upon us and I’d decided I’d really like a Tablet from Santa (my BF) so I started looking again. I saw a few that I quite liked and a friend that was also looking suggested one or two to look at as well but as usual they were out of stock – or discontinued! it was Christmas after all. Shops kept offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab while that would have been wonderful the price tag of around £400 wasn’t so fantastic. I just could not justify (BF) paying that price.
We decided to wait and see what the January sales produced but still there was nothing much on the market.
Until the day that my friend told me about the Sonix7 7″ Android 2.1 Tablet, that he’d discovered which was a really good price for the specs. It sounded brilliant and cheaper than most of the budget tablets, I was tempted but I was a bit saddened that the 2.1 didn’t support java or flash. He said to wait to see how he got on with it, so I did. Which was a good thing as it turned out as he had some problems with it, as he tells us here at Wolfiesblog.
However, he informed the supplier, and amazingly they replaced it with a new version that they were just putting on the market, that was only a little bit more expensive but much better. This was an 8″ Android 2.2 Tablet !! which did support Java and flash, still for less than £200. Please note however it doesn’t have 3G only Wifi, but you can get a MIFI pay as you go to use 3G.
Sonix7 8″ Android 2.2 Tablet
Windows XP or higher, Max OS X
Processor / Memory
CPU Speed: 1GHZ
Memory: DDR 512MB
Hard drive: 4GB NAND FLASH
Micro SD card slot
Built in stereo speaker
Standard 30pin dock connector & USB adapters
3.5-mm stereo earphone jack
8″ TFT LCD touh screen, resolution 800×600
Support up to 1080P
JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG
Google Android Market access, Youtube video playback
English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese
Longtime standby with low power consumtion up to 6 hours
Built-in 3900mAh lithium
Multi formats supported include: MPEG1, MPEG2, WMV9, MPEG4-SP, ASF, DIVX, H.263, H.264, RMVB, Mov, Mkv, TS, FLV, WMA, MP3, WAV, OOG, AAC, EAAC
I really liked the sound of this one, and feeling a little impatient now, I didn’t wait to see what it was like this time, I just ordered it.
Delivery was very speedy.
The size is just great, the screen is big at 8″ and yet you can still easily hold it with one hand comfortably.
What first struck me was how easy it was to set up.
First thing I did was to add my WiFi simple, next it asks you to put in your Google address so that you can access the Android Market place, and you are away adding applications, there are loads of great free applications in the market place too – or you can download from the App store.
I had to change the keyboard as it had very strange keyboard with a Chinese or Japanese option, and to do this you have to click and hold in the browser search and you can change it to the English Android keyboard.
For me the touch screen isn’t especially responsive, (unlike my friend who says his is) now I’m not sure if that is because I am used to the iphone, and maybe I’m asking too much from a £200 tablet but it does work just fine most of the time, occasionally it takes a few taps. I cannot draw with it however this is too shaky but I can’t draw with my finger anyway as we saw here with the Nokia N900 sketch app ha! I will see how it goes now I have reset it again and that I have now read these FAQ’s.
I have had to reset the unit twice, once when it froze and recently because an application just refused to open correctly. I believe this could be due to compatibilityproblems. The first time I couldn’t find where to reset it so I emailed the suppliers on a Sunday afternoon and they immediately emailed me back. Very impressive service.
One of the problems I had was with Angry Birds crashing, and playing Angry Birds on this tablet is amazing, so I had to have it. Since the reset its been fine, and I am enjoying playing it again. (I’ve recently read that this could be because there were too many things running taking up the 512MB memory, I’m not sure.)
Tweetdeck didn’t seem to be available on the Android Market place which I found strange but I found another Twitter client to use, which I hadn’t used on mobile devices yet and that is Seesmic and I love it, no going back now.
The battery life on this tablet is good too – it keeps going for at least 3hours constant use, having many applications running. It takes about 4 hours to fully charge (less than an iPad) but normally 2hours is enough to get some good usage out of it.
So even though I may have had a few little setbacks with this tablet, I am very pleased, you really cannot complain with the price and the specs – if you want something to just check emails, Twitter, Facebook, play games and surf the web, you can’t go far wrong with this tablet. Although obviously it still does a lot more, with all of the various Apps available, I haven’t got that far yet, but I am looking forward to doing so.
Edit: I’ve had a couple of people ending up here as their flash isn’t working – download Adobe Flash player from the store and you are away.
Update: 24/2/02 Since writing this blog I have had no problems with this Tablet, haven’t had to reset it again, and everything is working lovely, would recommend.
This turned out more of a story than a review but I hope this helps you in deciding what to get if you are looking around for a budget Tablet.
Drawing by me, photo by me, yes I know its awful.