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back to article Ten... budget Android tablets

Tablets, eh? A nice idea but a shame about the price. From the iPad to the Xoom, the PlayBook to the TouchPad prices starting at or near £400 are a little on the steep side for many folk. Well, the TouchPad maybe an exception these days but only very recently. You’ll pay a premium to buy into fondleslabs from Apple, HP or RIM, …

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Happy

You missed at least one...

What about the Hannspree Hannspad 10.1? Its around £150 and has a dual core CPU and 16GB storage running 2.2.

Granted it doesn't come with a camera or GPS or the real Google Market but its a bargain. Mine arrives next week.

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Unhappy

wot no archos 101

I have an Archos 101. Only had it a day, so cant comment fully. But it's 10" with a capacative screen and can access the full Android marketplace. First impressions are that it's ok and worth the £150 i paid. Would'nt have paid more though.

Would say more but i'm typing this on the tablet and its rather annoying

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Silver badge

Archos G9 sounds awesome

Can't wait for the review of that. Assuming the screen is okay and nothing else is obviously wrong then I'm buying one. It's the first tablet I've seen which is sensibly priced and running Android 3.2.

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Silver badge

That Viewpad 7...

...looks ASTOUNDINGLY like my old Commtiva "Linx 7" N700. Same processor and RAM spec too. Perchance, was the SIM and SD slot held behind a plastic flap around the rim like the N700, as well? Even the speakers seem to be in the same place as the old N700.

The problem with the N700 I found, and the reason I now own a Tab 7 despite the extra price, is that three different N700s all started exhibiting the same charging problems after about a month of ownership. If the Viewpad 7 is just a rebranded N700, I'd suggest keeping hold of that review model a little longer and trying it after plugging it into, say, a computer USB port a few times as opposed to the official adapter that comes with it. See how it holds up after a few weeks.

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Happy

there is alot more out there..

checkout slatedroid.com there is a large community working on these devices; i'm new and still waiting for mine to arrive. i opted for 8" capacitive 1.2 samsung chip 512ram hdmi out with a known manufacturer known as herotab. others are apad, epad, superpad...

did find out the otherday that the cpu's don't support standby which is why you read so much about poor battery life. you have to boot up and down continually....

i'm getting mine from merimobiles, its the recommended distributor from slatedroid, they also seem to be very active on the forums which is nice.

Hope all this helps someone else :)

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Big Brother

Andypad? Looks like Teclast T760

Andypad Pro looks just like my Teclast T760, but with different firmware and more internal SD storage.

I agree with the assessment though, Teclast T760 (Andypad Pro?) is really awesome. However I doubt it runs at 1.2 GHz. Teclast themselves have yet to push it beyond 1 GHz with the latest released firmware (2.03). Having said that, even at 1.0 GHz, it all just works, beautifully.

If HP was not dumping their pad, I would say that Teclast T760/Andypad Pro is currently the best value, high performance tabled on the market.

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Bronze badge
IT Angle

Someway somehow a strange renaming...

"Andypad" just doesn't sound professional, so a "pro" version makes it sound even weirder.

Also strange, in the review: I've never heard "warmer" as a positive review point (in the Kogan paragraph).

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Paris Hilton

A bit worried

I just clicked on the Amazon link for the Kogan, guess what? There is one review where the reviewer says it's rubbish. I really wanted a HP Touchpad and have been looking through this article for a cheap, but good tablet device. I am confused now.

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HP Touchpad

Have you played with one? I found the position of the speakers along the lower side (with sharp edges) to be quite nasty to hold! Just a thought!

PS: re BB Blaybook (not in the list I know!), but can anybody here tell me how you get past the WiFi login screen if none of the networks are the one you want to join?! I was playing in the airport & was totally stumped!

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Anonymous Coward

Hannspree Hannspad Tablet Touch LED 10.1"

DUDE,

I got a Hannspree for £129

they are still available for £154

Dual core A9 CPU and 16gb HDD

I can casually use the web version of iplayer without skipping a frame ( no d/l thou)

Honeycomb is being refined as we speak by the community

The CPU will take this tablet all the way through 2012

battery life is 8 hours+ of youtube videos

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Anonymous Coward

vegacomb

http://tabletroms.com/forums/vega-rom-development/1923-%5Brom%5D-%5B3-2%5D-vegacomb-3-2-build-7-a.html

Hcomb for Vega a number of months away!! Been around for a couple. Latest build near perfect :-)

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Thumb Up

Honeycomb 3.2 on Advent Vega

I'm surprised that such a tech savvy site would miss such an incredible custom ROM. There have been VegaComb ROMs available for a few months at least now and the latest which is based on 3.2 is the best yet. Full flash in the native browser, hardware accelerated and smoother than any other ROM I've used on it. C'mon Reg, get it together!

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Thumb Up

Missed that one!

I haven't used my Vega for a while, didn't realise they had changed the image wholesale.

Must check that one out!

Steven R

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Silver badge

VegaComb

I was intrigued by this, so I had a look at what you get. These bits from the release docs stuck out for me:

"""Rebooting to CWM causes a stale boot, you have to hold power to turn the tab off, then on next bot you get CWM. Still no camera, bluetooth isn't working."""

""We BELIEVE that the "Overheating speaker" issue is now resolved. Audio levels are now well within the safe limits, and voltages are back at what should be a very safe level. But as always, please be VERY careful, unfortunately we cannot be responsible for any hardware failures"""

Pass, thanks.

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well..

I took the plunge and installed Vegacomb and couldnt be happier works great for internet movies etc etc much better than the stock rom.

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Happy

Kogan Agora 7

It looks good to me, at about the price I'm prepared to pay for one. That s, less than half the price of a netbook.

I was going to wait to see whatever Amazon is rumoured to be about to release but...

Amazon only has one. Buying direct from Kogan looks the best bet.

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Bronze badge

A day easly for the ARCHO 7" Android SIM free with 3G/GPS for £150 - the number one car gadget?

Its out now, the Archos Arnova 7c.

The very first budget tablet that is actually useful?

Very impressive in the car, what?

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FAIL

kogan

just sold my Kogan on ebay

Absolutely awful. Terrible screen. UI is sometimes slick but often misses gestures and stutters.

poor port of android 2.3. Eg wakes up every 10 mins to look for a 3g signal that will never come. No contacts app so can't sync contacts. Due to the wake ups chews battery on standby and a disturbed night if you leave it by the bed.

Not faulty this is normal according to Kogan support.

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Pint

Disagree

I had one of these from launch, and paid £106 delivered.

It works fine. You just need to shut it down instead of leaving it on standby. Why would you need to sync your contacts to it?

It can play up to 1080p MKV without re-encoding, which makes the Agora worth every penny, even if the screen has TERRIBLE viewing angles.

Mine also had an accelerometer which was completely unusable and shook like it had parkinsons.

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Screen size?

God forbid you should tell us the screen size. Even the andy pad website won't obviously admit to it.

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Silver badge

Or just go to slatedroid

A WM8650 based tablet, Android 2.2 , genuine market + flash, webcam and 800x480 resistive is $75 delivered from HK

Yes it's going to suffer running advanced fluid dynamics simulations but it plays angry birds, does youtube and reads ebooks and PDFs for the price of a night out

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Alert

from the author

@ zxcvbnm - apologies for the oversight, the AndyPad's screen is 7 inches corner-to-corner.

re. the Archos 7c and Hanspree etc as is often the case with these round-ups it's not always possible to lay hands on all the desired kit in the allotted time frame.

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Stop

I just don't get it

Why would anybody buy cheap crap just to have something new? Come on! You can get a second hand, good quality tablet (either Android or iOS, take your pick) - with a capacitive glass screen and a decent amount of storage - for about the same price as one of these nasty plastic toys. Less probably, now that the looters are running scared and trying to offload their ill gotten gains!

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Thumb Down

Second hand iPad?

For about the same price as one of these nasty plastic toys? Where, exactly?

iPad 1 second-hand is normally not less than three hundred quid - a bit higher than the £100-£230 this lot go for. I saw an iPad 1 with a broken screen shift for £200 on eBay.

(To be fair - that is one good reason to pay the extra - the second-hand market in iPads is pretty good.)

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Silver badge
Trollface

"....in fact it looks like a big iPhone 4 with it’s squared-off aluminium sides........"

The writ is in the post.

SJ

Sent from his iThingy.

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Stop

Just Remember...

None of these tablets are proper Androd tablets, for that you have to pay proper money and be running the tablet version of Android (Honeycomb). These are all running a hacked smartphone OS, and this be what Apple fanboys (wrongly) think all Android tablets are like.

A proper Honeycomb Android tablet like the Asus Transformer, The Galaxy Tab, The Xoom, will totally spank all of these (and the iPad2)..

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Silver badge

Sheesh

When you can tell me what the big advantage of the 3.x UI is over the 2.x UI, I might consider it. Until then, the only thing I see is "you should have Honeycomb.. it's like, version 3! That's one more than the other guys!" Really, if and when I upgrade to another tablet, one thing I'll want to do is to find a launcher that resembles 2.x. That's without going into the under-the-hood changes like not allowing Mass Storage mode over USB any more. Proper bluetooth keyboard support might be nice, but with the rest of the changes it's like giving with one hand and taking with the other.

I'm happily using 2.3 on this Tab 7. Yes, Galaxy Tab, 3G version. What is the compelling case to go out and hack a 3.x OS onto it, asides permanently losing pixels to a navbar that I don't need?

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Silver badge
Meh

Well durrr.....

"A proper Honeycomb Android tablet like the Asus Transformer, The Galaxy Tab, The Xoom, will totally spank all of these"

Everybody but you has noticed that these tablets are cheap n' (hopefully) cheerful pieces of electronic fun. There is no question that the devices you mentioned will 'spank' all of the devices in this review. But the devices you mentioned are also several times the price of most of the devices here.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Misinformation

I don't know who told you that USB mass storage was missing from Android 3. It's working here just fine.

If you want the killer feature of Honeycomb, then it's app scaling, where smartphone apps can be scaled to work correctly on tablets, so they don't look shit.

http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/07/11/android-3-2-to-add-new-zoom-mode-for-viewing-non-honeycomb-apps/

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Linux

But ... Which one runs Linux (Debian)??

My usual question here, all the time. I want one that allows me to install Debian (Ubuntu).

Please, spare me the usual answers of 'Android runs a Linux kernel' and 'you could try in a chroot'.

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WTF?

Fine, I'll give you the other "usual" answer:

Buy a (used) Windows 'slate' instead. They're just PCs. You can install whatever you bloody well like.

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Bronze badge

The answer as others have indicated

is Slatedroid. Porting Debian to tablets is an official sport over there.

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Archos Gen 8

Debian is available for the Archos 70 and 101.

http://www.openaos.org/archives/732

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Linux

Linux tablets and Archos

Firstly my wife's Archos 70 with Android 2.2, google apps and 250 gig hard drive works not too bad as a media machine, with web and email thrown in

Even plays Angry Birds

I looked long and weary for a Linux tablet last year and early this tear. Coarse I came was either vapourware or an Italian Ekoore tablet PC

I think there s a view sonic tablet that does Windows 7 from Maplins, you could maybe install Linux onto that. Maybe

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Kogan Agora 7

Australian reviews of this tablet complain of poor battery life and bad display.

The battery life problems is due to the tablet waking up every 10 minutes to look for a 3G signal, except that it has not got 3G! This constant power up - power down reduces battery life by 50% and the question is..........was this "feature" in the review tablet or has the fault been fixed??

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Missed out the most popular ones...

This misses out ALL the top selling tablets on amazon. Best bet for sub £200 tablets with resistive screen are the Flytouch 3s and 4s (rebranded variously as NATPC, TabTech, Tabtronics, A1CS x220 and others) and with capacitative screen probably the Hannspad for 10.1 inches, and Tabtronics fpr capacitative but 7 inches

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Unhappy

Yep...

...was waiting for a review of the TabTech M009S or M010, which look like fun. Silly The Register for missing these.

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Happy

Great review!

A question!

Having never used Android what's the deal with screen res & some apps not working? This would seem like a very strange restriction, i.e., PC progs work regardless of monitor res. Why don't the apps just scale as normal? Is there a "standard" Android "everything works" res?

Cheers!

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Devil

Reminds me of the VW advert...

Reminds me of the VW advert... it's a bit like an iPad (but not).

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Meh

Cheap and...

Cheap and nasty. Between myself and a few colleagues we have tried a few of these cheap tablets - they are not worth having and when you compare to an iPad (even a gen 1) you would never be satisfied.

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Silver badge

screen size

Early android (<1.6?) coded for a single screen res, now there are sizers which will stretch the screen out for higher res but it doesn't always look pretty.

Then apps that are designed for a1024*800 10in tablet aren't going to be great on a 340 pixel 3in phone so you are recommended to write different versions for each product

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Mushroom

I had to laugh...

"The ViewPad is also a nice bit of design, in fact it looks like a big iPhone 4 with it’s squared-off aluminium sides, black back and flush-fitting glass screen."

It's also just like the iPhone in that it won't play flash, or locally hosted files too.

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Bronze badge

Check the forums before buying

If you're going to buy a cheap tablet, it is best to check the forums first, to see what is being developed for tablet(s) you are looking at and what pros and cons others have discovered.

Many of these devices appear under different brand names but with identical hardware e.g. the P10AN01 tablets are identical: Advent Vega, Viewsonic Viewpad 10s, Mobii,.....

Modaco, tabletroms, xda-developers are good places to start.

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Alert

from the author

re. the Kogan Agora, the screen and UI were just fine on my review sample (I'd like to know what "terrible screen" actually involves), nor did I notice any powering up/down issues looking for a 3G signal though I did have the Wi-Fi radio switched on constantly.

Assuming the power/up down issue is real I'd try turning off the auto-sync and background data options.

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Reply from the author

Contacted Kogan Uk, and they confirmed the fault which occurs in " some samples" and tech service are working on it. In Oz, they tried "flight mode" but that also failed, so there must be a serious fault in the firmware> Until such time that it is fixed it is a no no.

If you had a car that switched itself on every 10 minutes to check if there was air in the tyres, i dont think you would buy it

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Color Nook

No one give the Color Nook any respect. Ive got 2 now, one stock, one rooted to Gingerbread. Picked the second one up for $160 US as a refurbished unit.

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Thumb Down

Urgh.

I have used a few cheap Android tablets and it actually spoils the whole experience of using a tablet when you compare it to an iPad. They really are in a difference league albeit different price as well.

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Archos

Had the Archos 70 250Gb for a month or so now, it's not for the faint of heart and does require a little monkeying around to get running nicely.....but I'm really pleased with it for the price.

Also got the 11 year old the Archos 101 for her birthday last week and it has literally not left her hands for more than a few seconds.

They're obviously for the slightly nerdy type who doesn't mind getting under the bonnet every now and then, but for the money they're really nice solid gadget toys. If not these I'd have gone for the Hannspad or the Advent Vega.

I'm never going to pay 400-500 quid for a toy, I won't even spend that on my main system. Good to see some companies understanding what they need to do to woo the non Apple buyer, make them reasonably priced and functional rather than aspirational lifestyle products.

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Unhappy

Damn you, HTC!

Having played with an HTC Flyer has set the Android tablet bar too high, anything since has just seemed not up to scratch. But the Flyer is waaaaaay too pricey. Damnation!

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Kogan Agora 7 & Flash/HD

What is the "Kogan Agora 7" like with Flash & HD playbac? It looks like one of the best if it is OK with that too?

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