This device looks a lot like another very popular device. The design of it is, and let’s be honest here, a clone of the Apple iPad.. give or take a few inches. Inside it runs Android 2.2 and there’s the very latest Flash 10.1 and an 800MHz CPU. All in all, not bad on the specs-sheet.
The device is currently available for $209.99 from Merimobiles.com and you get a free leather case. We also got a flexible USB keyboard which, I have to say, was a real bonus.
The device has an 8″ 800×680 pixel screen, 512MB DDR2 RAM, speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, G-sensor, WiFi, USB port and 4200mAh battery. Note the lack of GPS and lack of Bluetooth. Also note that resistive screen.
This is called the Herotab M802 but you may also see it as the APAD IMX515. At the bottom you’ll find a microphone, that 3.5mm audio port, data card slot, the “Apple-esque” connector and, to the right, an external speaker. The device certainly is thin and well sculpted, although we were were a little unimpressed with the “sponginess” of the screen – there seems to be a little too much “give” when pressing it.
On the right there’s a button to go back to “Home” and another for turning the device on or off.
At the bottom of the main screen and again modelled on the Apple, there’s a “back” button. Press this and you’ll go back to the previous screen.
The Android 2.2 OS works well, although there’s bits missing. The Android Market isn’t on here as I write, and most of the Google applications aren’t there either.
Browsing works well, and for the most part that’s what you’ll be doing. Quick “in front of the TV” browsing is simple enough and the on-screen keyboard helps..a little. Unfortunately that resistive screen and strange bouncy feedback makes typing a little… difficult to say the least.
With the keyboard, which I have to say is fantastic, your typing suddenly becomes a whole lot easier. The USB keyboard rolls up neatly and then, with the help of the Apple-to-USB connector, it’ll make typing much faster and, in effect, you suddenly have yourself a notebook.
The device comes with a leather case – slide the device in there and prop it up like a picture-frame. You can flap it closed very easily and carry it around
Here’s the USB keyboard, which rolls up, is shown here and is good for other devices – not just Android tablets. On a flat table it’s pretty great actually. Give me another USB port and a mouse, then I’ll be set.
We had a few issues when plugging in the keyboard – sometimes the device would lock and we’d have to reset it, and there’s a certain “unfinished” feel to the OS with a lack of Bluetooth, GPS and bits of Google fun missing. The lack of Android Market is painful, and no matter how many “Market-like” apps I installed I couldn’t quite get the range of applications and that resistive screen drove me slowly insane as I tried to use it. It’s not terrible, it’s just that capacitive screens are on pretty much every mobile phone now and people have got used to it. It’s natural, and the resistive screen, especially when combined with a bouncy creaky screen, isn’t.
It’s such a shame. I wanted to like this more. The build quality, resistive bouncy screen and lack of Android Market and Google apps were a major disappointment. We tried Angry Birds – it worked rather well, as did YouTube and the browser, although it did slow a little when zooming.
This is a bargain-basement device and, if you do stump up the $209.99 (around £131.94) you’ll be getting just that.
Link – Merimobiles.com