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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9 responses to “Five Technology Leaks iPad Mini Clone With Retina-Class Display”
I believe this is one tablet many have been waiting for. Looks great. Hoping the up the throughput like you said. Multi-window not that big of deal for me.
This was always on the cards and I’m a little surprised that the other Chinese manufacturers weren’t faster at following with a retina ipad mini clone.
I’m happy that iFive are the first to follow, as the Mini3 and X2 are both good quality budget tabs – it gives me some confidence that they’ll exercise some quality control before putting this to market.
Excuse the naive question, but does the fact that you’re dealing with a 7.9-inch screen vs a 9.7-inch screen give the RK3188 any chance of performing?
Would be great if you could follow this one (and any other retina ipad mini clones for that matter!)
The size of the screen makes no real difference, it’s the pixel density that causes problems with the current tablets. The CPUs and GPUs aren’t made to process that many bits — and the throughput of RAM is especially too low for things like hi-res games. It will be interesting to see what the eventual AnTuTu X score of it will be. Even if they go with the Rockchip 3188, this is bound to be pricey, possibly over US$300, just like the Tomato T2 (which isn’t Retina-class but has an octa-core CPU).
I’ve ordered recently a PiPo U8 from China (which is still on it’s way). In my country, a non-Chinese tablet would either cost considerably more, or entail considerable compromise in the specs. So I choose a Chinese maker that seems to be making a good name recently.
Your blog was very helpful for me in selecting the from factor and navigating the myriad of iPad mini clones and I’ll be happy to give my impressions when it arrives.
Thanks, first I’ve heard of the RK3288. Looks like this model has a slightly higher clocked CPU vs. the RK3188 (1.6Ghz vs. 1.8Ghz) and a MUCH BETTER GPU (Mali400MP vs. Mali T720MP).
Agreed that this product is stuck in the mud in regards to it’s SoC. NAND I/O speed for many RK3188 tablets has really hampered it’s responsiveness. I’m not sure if this is the problem with all RK3188’s or just the model I have, but I agree with Mike, Five Tech has made a mistake when pairing the RK3188’s GPU with a tablet with this high of a resolution.
Here’s a good article comparing RK3188 and RK3288 (scroll down to middle of page).
The KitKat update for iFive X2 has brought wonders in the zippiness of the UI, even for older models with bad NANDs. Since they’re putting memories with better throughput here, maybe the tablet will be good and usable. However, I share the sentiment that they should use a more powerful GPU in these new retina tabs.
The things is, iFive has a new 9.7-inch Retina-class tablet out. And it still suffers the same throughput problems and game-playing problems of past tablets. I’m not optimistic.
Mike aside from games, which I only play mainly Angry Birds or card games, would this be a drecent tab for movies and ebooks, either kindle or Google books? This would be my concern.
Yes. All the past reviews of Retina-class tablets say they’re best for reading and viewing movies, but not for intense games. So, if your primary use will be reading, video, then it could be good for you.
EDIT to add: Here’s a very lacking review of Five’s new 9.7-inch Retina-class tablet —