My Own Tablet Thinking At The Moment

People sometimes ask me to recommend a Chinese tablet.

I won’t do that. They each have their own problems and all of them have sub-par quality control, really making every single one of them basically a bet. I don’t want to be somebody’s fall guy for money wasted on a bad bet.

Still, they interest me. At least the iPad Mini clones do.

My own thinking of what I would buy is this …

LGGPad83006

1) The LG G Pad 8.3 is the top contender right now. Although it’s not the 4:3 I favor (for reading, that aspect ratio is best), its screen is nearly as wide as an iPad Mini and is full HD. I don’t expect buying it to entail any risk. But that’s not to say I will buy it. I must test it in person and then read reports from buyers. I won’t go first. And although I’d like MultiWindow Android, I’d go without it for less hardware buying risk.

ChuwiV88ZOLReview001

ICOOFatty22GB01

2) As for Chinese iPad Mini clones, the most powerful ones at the moment are based on the Rockchip 3188 CPU. Anything less than that power isn’t worth money. I’d also want 2GBs of memory. In my mind, there are just two contenders: The “Ice Green” Chuwi V88 and the ICOO Fatty 2. Both offer MultiWindow Android. What makes the Chuwi a risk is its ongoing AC adapter problems. On the other hand, the Fatty 2 got a scathing review of its build quality. And, yes, there’s also the Vido Mini One, but owner reports are filled with problems about its firmware, so it’s off my list.

RamosK1PCPop005

3) Having praised the 3188, I’m still interested in the Ramos K1 tablet because of its slick HTC One-like design. But I won’t believe the AnTuTu score being touted. The A31s CPU has just two-thirds of the power of the 3188. The K1 also has just 1GB of RAM. That’s a lot to sacrifice for the look of the HTC One!

tomatot219

TeclastP89MiniIDF

4) All of this thinking can change within a few weeks (or even days). I’d like to see reviews of the Exynos 5410-based Tomato T2 tablet. And I’m still waiting for more detailed information — especially from actual buyers — of the Intel Atom-based Teclast P89 Mini. So I haven’t ruled these out yet, either, if I was going to buy from China. I wouldn’t get MultiWindow Android, but if their preliminary AnTuTu scores are to be believed, I’d get something one-third more powerful than the Rockchip 3188 CPU.

Above all, I want a tablet that can easily handle massive Google Books PDFs. It’s not games that show the strength of a tablet, it’s these monster PDFs that do. Any tablet than can handle those will do everything else easily.

Oh, one more thing. Why not just buy an iPad Mini? Because it failed the Google Books PDF test. And I’d like to have card storage — I have lots of files I want to view on a tablet and the iPad Mini’s via USB cable method of moving them over is not my idea of fun.

But all of this thinking can change. And an iPad Mini with Retina display would upset all of the above.

14 Comments

Filed under Personal

14 responses to “My Own Tablet Thinking At The Moment

  1. E.T.

    Thanks for the summary and for the useful stream of links and insights.
    I understand that the Chuwi v88 also has an issue with shallow USB port and microSD card slot. Except for the color, its identical to the regular v88, right?
    I’m not sure I’d discard the Vido Mini one just yet as the company has a reputation for reasonable build quality.
    I would also consider the 2 tablets from the non-Chinese companies Acer and Archos that may provide stricter QC and easier support, returns, etc.: the Acer A1-810 ($170 in the US; main drawbacks: 1GB RAM, MediaTek MT8125T, Antutu ~12,000) and the Archos 80b Platinum ($200 in pre-order the US; main drawbacks: 1GB RAM).

    • mikecane

      Yes, the Ice Green Chuwi V88 is the same as the original white V88. I didn’t mention the microSD card and USB port problems because it’s the AC adapter that’s actually dangerous and possible fire hazard.

      I’ve cited the Acer A1-810 in the past but it’s on the periphery. Same with the Archos 80b Platinum, which isn’t even out — and we need to see how WiFi works with its all-metal back. WiFi can also be a problem with the all-metal back of the Chuwi V88.

      • E.T.

        Indeed, WiFi reception seems to be an issue in many Chinese tablets including some models marketed by Archos.
        Also ASUS just announced the MeMO HD 8 (1280×800; unspecified quad-core processor)

      • mikecane

        1280×800 is not 4:3. If I wanted conventional widescreen, there’s always the Nexus 7 2013. The G Pad 8.3 gets away with being 16:x for me because of the width of its screen in portrait mode.

  2. As an external observer, my impression is that whatever you decide to buy, it better have a solid warranty. I suspect you don’t want to have to go through the whole buying process a second time if your tablet goes all screwy or craps out on you after 18 months.

  3. I spend quite some time on finding the perfect tablet for me. Since the ipad mini clones got my attention the most I checked them out for quite some time. I’ve been following your blog, forums and gizchina to come the the following conclusion. The Pipo U8 had reported the least problems and good specs. So I decided to buy that one. I have it in use know for about 1,5 months and I’m still very pleased with it. All flaws of the ICOO Fatty 2 and Chuwi V88 are not present. The tablet just does it’s job really well. The only thing I find annoying is the default portrait rotation, but i can live with that. No tweaking on ROM’s needed, only rooted the device and installed multi user functionality. Battery life is great, WIFI & bluetooth reception are flawless, sound is decent. Really I would recommend it.

  4. Wojciech

    I am a Vido mini one owner. After last firmware upgrade all the issues disapear. As i am talking with other users they are verry happy with it now. My peace of hardware have a defect it turns off while charging(after about one hour) i am trying to fix that now with the vendor.
    All in all this Vido mini one is realy good. Antutu is 19600 and i did not found any software that have issues with it now.

  5. E.T.

    Great summary of leading options. Might be useful add the “iPad Mini Clones” label to this post.

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