So I bought myselve a new gadget, a tablet. I wanted a couple of things, first of all I love the mythdroid app as a remote control for my MythTV, but as it runs on my phone and kids don't have a phone it was pretty much a blocking issue when I wasn't at home.
The second thing I wanted was a device for the kids to play small games on ... and I also want to use it for the kids to watch some movies while we travel. On top of that it would be handy if I could use it to surf the web from my couch while not having to open up my laptop.
I was looking into buying an Achos 10.1 which was due to be released earlier this month but I was fed up with waiting so I went googling for an alternative , and I found one .. it's an Apad, or an e-pad .. I still don't know .. the box says epad
ebay listed it as a 10.2" Android 2.1 Epad Apad 1GHZ Tablet PC UMPC Netbook It's not an iPad, .. it's chinese and it costs 1/3 of an iPad and it runs Android. Yes that's right .. I had it delivered from the UK within 2 working days for just about 200 Euro including shipping.
Ordered on thursday afternoon .. on my desk before 10AM on monday.
Opening the box was a bit scary .. it had a weird e logo on the side wich some people recognised as a kind of browser logo that I`m unfamiliar with and the acommpanying manual was only mentioning an platform I don't want to use , however booting up the device reassured me .. there was a nice penguin on the bootup screen and seconds later an android logo appeared.
The device is really easy to work with , kids can use it .. (that was the goal wasn't it ? ) It has a USB slot where you can plug in external storage
and it has a SD slot for similar use .. it came with a 512Mb SD card which I replaced with an 8Gb one . It has an ethernet connection an extention cable with a real RJ45 connection . Lots of apps are available from it's market
It's not your default Google Market, the device has no access to the Google App Market but uses SlideMarket, not all apps are availble for download that way, however nothing blocks you from downloading .apk files and installing them on the device. For now I just swapped the SD card from my phone to get all the apps I wanted in a quick way but I should actually test plugging in my Android Phone using the USB and install the applications from the backup as the phone does have access to to the Google Market (Update: this actually works)
Not all apps are using the full screen estate, they've been written with 3-4 inch phone screens in mind and not with a 10" tablet in mind. I've heard the same rants about using iPhone apps on the iPad. The fontsize of the device is configurable but not all text adapts to the new font size and it also looks like the wifi chipset isn't the best around.. I often have to reconnect to my wifi
Battery life is really not good enough .. it should last 3-4 hours but it didn't even last 2 hours when I first used it .. however I was busy installing new apps and testing lots of stuff so in
I haven't figured out how to configure gmail, gtail and other google services yet I should probably debug what's going on one day to see if it's actually a connectivity issue or if big G just blocks access from the device.
Would I consider it a 1 on 1 replacement for an iPad ? Probably not ... it's not as stylish as the fruit device but looking at the features I wanted compared to the price I paid for it , it's the perfect gadget ...
If I want to work I`ll open my laptop, when travelling I`ll be using my EEE , but to play with the kids and lookup stuff from the couch while watching TV it's going to be a 10" tablet.