Onda V989: iambillbil Evaluation

iambillbil is well-known in Chinese tablet circles, especially at the IMP3Net forum where he tends to post very long, multi-part/thread evaluations of tablets. These posts are very detailed and are, for the most part, comprehensive.

He’s recently done a series on the Onda V989 but I’ve held off mentioning them here because things were changing quickly with that tablet — two firmware updates in a short period of time — and his benchmarks were quickly becoming obsolete. Since this is a tablet still categorized as being “beta,” this is to be expected.

Well now he’s done a post with tests based on the version 1.0.2 firmware (the latest, at post time) and this is worth reading because I think we finally get a real sense of what this tablet using the octa-core Allwinner A80 CPU is like [Google Translate].

To his credit, he won’t post an AnTuTu score — because everyone knows they’re bullshit right now. Onda is doing some sort of cheating and until it’s been uncovered and blocked, no score makes any damned sense. (Onda itself is laughably saying it hits near 60,000! Pull that leg…)

This seems to contradict a user’s experience with a prior firmware and PDF reading:

Office software, this software pull 200m pdf file size can reach 50-60fps, basic full frame.


But it’s unknown what particular “office software” he’s using there and the type of PDF (is it scanned images, like Google Books?). I’d also like to see that user do a follow-up to confirm this. That’s an iffy proposition.

On the whole, he praises the tablet for being really fast and having one of the fastest frame rates around, entirely suitable to all the big games people love to play.

It will run hot, however, with the brightness up full and the CPU going full throttle, with the back surface temperature reaching 35 degrees Celsius (that’s 95 degrees Fahrenheit). But when reading, with the backlight on low, there’s no such heat threat.

For additional clarity — cue bitter laugh! — also run his evaluation through Bing Translator.

People who have specific video playback needs should especially read his post, which lists a variety of file playback tests.

Unsurprisingly, the tablet he chose for himself is the CUBE Talk9X [Google Translate], but he has no problem recommending the Onda V975w (which he has yet to post about), the Onda V989, or Teclast X98 Air (which isn’t even out, so I don’t know if has an advance unit or if he’s basing it solely on the tablet’s size).

And here is something that will probably be a disappointment. Someone asks about 7.9-inch tablets with the Rockchip 3288 or the Allwinner A80. He replies:

Such machines are not suitable for high-temperature heat is too focused on the small size

He thinks the heat those CPUs generate make them impractical for small tablets.

If that’s true, that leaves the Intel Z3735D-based Teclast X89HD — in Android and Windows editions — as the sole choice in 7.9-inch (as far as easily-available tablets are concerned; there’s still the Xiaomi MiPad too). (Note that on the next page of the thread, he contradicts himself and says to choose a 7.9 tablet using the Rockchip 3288… so, you know.)

His report makes me wonder if the Onda V989 is personally worth considering. I’d lumped it in with the Pipo P1 as not being worth the time. Perhaps it is after all. Let’s see what happens with further firmware releases and what other owners have to say.

For newcomers: My primary use for a tablet is to read Google Books PDFs (see all my tests here). These are large PDFs of image scans of the original book and magazine pages. Until recently, even the iPhone and iPad struggled with these. So finding a Chinese tablet that will do them is my prime aim and what I’m looking for should not be a guide for your uses.

Previously here:

Onda V989 Press Material Laundered
Onda V989: 1.0.2 Firmware, Root
OndaBBS Now Works, V989 Beta User Posts
Onda V989 Firmware 1.0.1 AnTuTu
Onda V989: Release Of Firmware 1.0.1
Onda V989 Updated User Report, Benchmarks And Videos
Video: Onda V989 Vs. Xiaomi MiPad With PDFs
Onda V989 Gets First Review
Demo Video Of Onda V989
Behind The Scenes Peek At Onda V989 Packing
Onda Acknowledges Two Iterations Of V989
First User Reports: Onda V989
Onda “Sells Out” Second Tiny V989 Beta Test Supply
Onda Makes Battery Life Claim For V989
Onda Ships Beta Test V989 Tablets
Onda “Sells Out” Tiny V989 Beta Test Supply
Onda Adds V989 To Their Site
Onda V989 Goes On Beta Test Sale July 14th
Onda’s Benchmark Claims For V989 A80-Based Tablet
Onda Leaks Allwinner A80-Based V989
Onda’s New A80, Windows, And 4G Tablets


Filed under Android

2 responses to “Onda V989: iambillbil Evaluation

  1. @Mike. This is not a request for a recommendation. If you had to buy a Chinese tablet right now for your purposes (Google PDFs), which would it be? Don’t know if it’s something you covered before.

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