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@BBCRadioLincs tech predictions for 2013 – @mrwilliam talks with Trefor Davies

Trefor DaviesFor the those of you who didn’t surface until after lunchtime on New Year’s day here are some links to my chat with William Wright on BBC Radio Lincolnshire yesterday.

In the first we talk about NGA/superfast broadband and 4G.

The second is about the snoopers charter and what’s happening in mobiles in 2013.

They are both around 15 minutes long but I’m told well worth listening to the whole lot :)

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6 thoughts on “7″ Android tablets for $40! How low can they go?

  1. PhilT says:

    Have played with cheap tablets and had problems with screen accuracy – the greasy glass interface can be a challenge if you can’t reliably hit a target. That was ~12 months ago though.

  2. I’ve played with and owned a few sub-$100 android tablets (I think there’s a few from Gadmei, ZTE and Ainol sitting around here somewhere) and with the odd exception (e.g. the excellent Ainol Novo 7 Aurora 2 with its sleek IPS screen) most have lacked key features. For example, I think even the Aurora 2 was missing a GPS and mobile broadband connectivity, not that I needed either.

    But in most cases the biggest problem for budget android tablets is usually with the quality of the screen (image quality, sensitivity and or its resolution). Many budget tablets have crappy 800 res displays or use older style LCD’s that burn your eyes with excessive brightness or, like Phil says, they’re so slow to respond when touched that you almost feel like hooking up a keyboard instead.

    If you are looking for a budget tablet and don’t care about build quality then my tips would be to go for one with..

    * An IPS screen
    * HDMI output (not MHL because most people own TV’s which don’t support that) because you need a reasonable CPU/GPU to do it properly
    * A recognisable CPU architecture/brand to avoid massive app compatibility woes
    * 1GB of RAM (because 512MB just won’t cut it anymore for the latest apps and OS on a heavy use tablet)

  3. Trefor Davies tref says:

    thanks lads – good inputs

  4. Geoff T says:

    I have android tablets, kitchen, bedroom, plugged into the TV via HDMI and one in my work bag. Very cheap ones are fine for email, twitter etc. A sub £100 one runs iPlayey fine via HDMI and my nexus 7 Jelly Bean tablet replaces a laptop for all but the bigger writing / spreadsheet tasks. I have USB keyboard cases bought for £9.95 which work perfectly well too. My (android) mobile works perfectly well with my tablets providing a wifi hotspot for mobile data. As our american friends say, what’s not to like?

  5. Pierre Ketteridge says:

    Excellent blog post, Tref – and amazingly prescient! I just bought my three boys Android tablets for Christmas, on eBay, and wanted them all to be identical and identically-sourced, so I could keep tabs (as it were) on them (and I am de facto technical support in the household). They are identical to the ones in your links to alibaba.com. Mine cost exactly twice that price plus postage, so I guess I’ll go direct to source next time! And there might be a next time – they’re not perfect, and nowhere near the quality of an Apple iPad Mini or a Galaxy Tab, or Nexus7, or Kindle Fire. BUT, they’re cheap, they work, and they’re good for basic functionality (Google Play downloaded games, email, SocMed (FB, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn), web surfing – Kindle app controls a bit quirky though). Build quality isn’t great – we’ve had dropped tabs popping the screen from its casing (but clicked straight back in with no untoward effect), so I wouldn’t say rain- or shower-proof, let alone waterproof. Two out of three power supply units broke within thirty minutes – plastic earth pin on the integrated PSU/Plug snapped off inside the wall socket, rendering the socket unusable (but better quality replacements – both AC Adapter and USB variants – are cheap and easily available). USB connectivity (data and power) and storage card slots mean the devices are expandable. For £25 including postage I couldn’t fault them (at £50 plus postage I did, but I couldn’t complain too much). I’m seriously considering ordering a couple more from source, for adult occasional use/child backup/spares and emergencies!

  6. Trefor Davies tref says:

    V interesting Pierre and thanks for the kind words :)

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