So these days it seems that every man and their dog is making an Android slate. Now although this is a very good place to be as it give the consumer a multitude of options, it is also a potential minefield for the 1st time buyer. This buyer that I am creating for the purposes of this review is not a geek and does not know a huge amount of techy stuff like most of us on this here site. However they are keen to embark on the great liberating journey that is the tablet train. So let’s dive into the murky waters and find the £50 BWC 7 Inch Kidi-Value Tablet.
The tablet comes in a wholly unremarkable box with a picture of the device on it as well as company Logo’s etc. Once we get into the box we can see the tablet itself with its 7″ screen beaming out at us.
Of to the side is a small box that contains all your charger requirements and low and behold the device charges via micro USB happy days, this is a trend I would like to see more of please. Picking up the device it is very light and doesn’t feel as cheap as you would expect. Around the back we have a textured finish to help with grip.
Up at the top is the busy end with from left to right; Micros USB for power, 3.5mm headphones, Micro HDMI, Micro SD card slot, Volume up and down Camera and then Power on/off.
Down the both the right and left hand side we have nothing at all and then on the base of to the left we have a speaker that is marginal but tinny.
As I mentioned the screen is 7″ diaganol with a 16:9 aspect ratio meaning it is the tall and skinny style that Nexus 7 users are accustomed too. The tablet doesn’t look that bad on the surface of it and if you were to see it on the other side of a train or bus you could be mistaken for thinking that it was a Nexus device however that is where things take a turn as when I powered up the device I saw why the price was so low.
The screen is very poor and can only really be used with high brightness levels and you need to be very careful with what background wallpaper you choose. The colour levels are not helped by the screen reflectivity levels. Let’s just say I have had less reflective mirrors. I have tried to capture the differences on camera but it is very difficult to do this so you will have to take my word for it.
I thought well my issues are because I am used to high quality screens ofthe iPad, Xperia Z1, Nexus 7 and Lumia 1020 so I let a college use it and she was as appalled as I was so it isn’t just me. However their is a flip side to every coin. As this tablet is running Android 4.2 it will support Miracast if you have it available and if not then Micro HDMI is also available meaning that this could be used very effectively as a media streamer if required. On that note I had no issues with the device reading from a 16gb micro SD card or streaming BBC iPlayer.
Lastly all of the hardware is kept ticking along by a 1.?GHz dual core Mediatek chip set which has 512 mb Ram and 4gb of onboard storage which is a bout average at this price point. I tried running benchmarks but more on that later.
Here are the Specs of the device.
|Product Dimensions||26.8 x 14.2 x 4.6 cm|
|Screen Size||7 inches|
|Processor Speed||1.5 GHz|
|RAM Size||512 MB|
|Hard Drive Size||4 GB|
|Battery Charge Time (in hours)||1 hours|
|Average Battery Life (in hours)||3 hours|
As I have already mentioned we are running a Vanilla version of Android 4.2 here and it has access to Google Play and all the other Google apps. This cannot be said for some other tabs at this price point so well done BWC for that. There are a few apps that have been added by BWC in order to make things more user friendly but other than that no crapware happily.
No for those hoping that this device will keep up with Android development and get JB or even KitKat (which it would benefit from) it is pretty much assured to not get these updates. At this price point the manufacturers can not really keep on investing in a product that is on the sales floor so they don’t bother and they will just release a new product with the new software. This is a shame as KitKat would really help on this device due to its smaller memory footprint. And yes I’m sure you could grey a new ROM from XDA Dev but this is not going to be doable by the intended buyer so that is out.
As I mentioned I tried to run some benchmarks but this proved to be a fruitless exercise as none of them would run due to some sort of chip set issue. In day to day use you will experience a bit of lag but nothing that is crippling. To be honest it is akin to using an entry level smartphone with regard to user experience.
While yes you can buy a tablet for £50 you probably shouldn’t unless you really have very limited usage scenarios or you just need the very basics such as Web browsing and email. That being said the BWC table this well equipped for its price but it is just let down by the screens viewing angles and reflectivity. If you are going to hook this up to a TV for viewing videos or streaming content then fire in otherwise I wouldn’t look for something with a better screen such as then Nexus 7(2012) as these are coming down in price now particularly 2nd hand and refurbished units.
Another segment were this will fit well is for a kids tabletv as if they destroy it which most kids will try to then you have not spent a huge sum of money and will not be that out of pocket.