Newest Best Buy Trio Tablet Temptation: Don’t Buy It!, Part Two

I wound up fondling that Trio tablet at Best Buy again yesterday.

I did so because of a specific reason.

Due to #FuckCancer, there might be more hospital vigils in my future. And I’m sick of lugging this Battlestar-sized notebook back and forth during visits.

I was thinking maybe the Trio could be a cheapass triage tablet even if it lasted just a month. Not dragging this damn Battlestar Shit notebook would be worth the US$3/day if the tablet died in just a month of use. (I also think if I were to buy it, I’d get the Best Buy protection plan so that replacements for crap manufacturing would be on their damn dime, not mine.)

So, I ran AnTuTu again yesterday: 15,243. Which seems a wee bit high for an Allwinner A31 CPU.

And the performance … my god. Downloads were variable in speed. Despite Best Buy not being crowded, I wasn’t getting the full speed I expected. So I really think the limiting factor is the tablet itself. The internal bandwidth of the tablet must be the least amount they can get away with.

Plus, the 1GB of RAM is so insufficient that it couldn’t really handle my ordinary workflow of having a few (in this case, just three) Chrome tabs open and then popping to Home to check out something and then pulling down Notifications to see the progress of downloads. I’d return to Chrome and the tabs would have to each be refreshed! And these weren’t monstrous cloggy sites, either.

I downloaded the full big-ass version of The American Magazine, Success: A Novel, and three PDF apps: Foxit Mobile PDF, Google PDF Viewer (something new!), and PDF Reader.

Foxit displayed abysmal typeface rendering. And now I know this is a problem with Foxit, because the other two apps produced sharp text. Moving from page to page was not worth the damn effort.

Google PDF Viewer will only vertically scroll pages. This is stupid. If I wanted a vertical scroll, I’d want books on paper to be like that. The app is worthless to me until it offers horizontal paging. I won’t hold my breath on that. It too rendered everything very slowly.

PDF Reader underwent a vast UI change. It’s now totally cluttered, makes no sense, and in my mind is not even worth its price of free. Plus it spams now, with ads popping up over the PDF! And it was also very slow, like the other two.

So, for Google Books PDFs, this tablet would be crap. But I wouldn’t use it for that. I did the tests just to satisfy my curiosity.

What the tablet did damn well was accessing PubMed — which, for me, would be a primary use for it. The odd thing about that, is that free texts would open up some sort of web app reader in which I could read. And, surprisingly, that worked sort of well for what it was — a reader. One that was faster than the PDF apps I tried. Without the ability to download the PDFs, this truly would be a triage tablet.

For those who want to play at home, this is a page with a free text link; see PMC button at upper right. I wouldn’t get the webpage I’d normally get on this notebook. It’d open up in a web app reader, looking somewhat like a PDF. Leave a Comment with what tablet you tried it with and what result you got.

What I hate is waste.

And this tablet for anything other than as an intended triage tablet for this possible very specific and narrow use would be a waste.

My recommendation to everyone else is still to avoid it.

And yeah, someone is bound to bring up Chromebooks. I looked at that Acer Chromebook yesterday. Yecch. It seems very fragile. And Chromebooks are an entirely different class of beast that I’m not investigating right now. Plus, an iPad Mini-sized tablet would take up much less room in my shoulder bag.

We’ll see. Maybe there won’t be more hospital vigils.

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Filed under Google Books PDFs, iPad Mini Clones

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