Five Technology — whose original iFive Mini 3 was too late to the iPad Mini clone party — has officially leaked [Google Translate, Google Translate, Google Translate, Google Translate, and Google Translate] that it intends to be first to market with an iPad Mini clone with Retina-class display.
Although the leaked speculation has it with 2GBs of RAM, which is good, it also has it coming with the Rockchip 3188 CPU, which would be bad and another sales-killing misstep by Five. Unless they really up the throughput of RAM and do some real hat tricks with Android, this is bound to be as disappointing as past, larger tablets with Retina-class screens. They should go with the new Rockchip 3288 CPU [Google Translate]. They’re going to charge a premium anyway, so why not make the price worth it?
In addition to those landmines, Five likes to slather its own UI over Android. There are few companies that can do that and get away with it — Samsung’s latest Magazine UI/UX for its new Pro tablets is a rare example of success — and Five just isn’t one of them. Although judging from the images below, they seem to have dialed back on that somewhat with their tiling scheme now being customized widgets …
… and no longer taking over the entire screen, hiding Android.
Given that 2GBs of RAM is a necessity for this upcoming tablet, what I’d like to see it have is Rockchip’s MultiWindow Android. But since Rockchip has not hyped that for months nor, as far as I have seen, provided Android updates past 4.2 with it, that dream might be dead. A Retina iPad Mini clone with MultiWindow Android could excite people, especially outside of China. But even here, Samsung’s MultiView in its new TabPro line might be good enough.
Having said all that, is this still too little too late? The HP Slate 8 Pro offers, at least on paper, “good enough” high-res at 1600 x 1200. And the new Samsung TabPro 8.4 even beats that.
Does the world — or even China — want or need this?
Let me know in Comments if this is a device I should continue to follow.
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