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 …
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.
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.
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!
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.