• Showing posts with label Tablet Review. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label Tablet Review. Show all posts

      Wednesday, May 14, 2014

      Archos 80 Titanium Review and Specs

      The Archos 80 titanium boasts an 8 inch display with acceptable quality given the price, though lacking some major features like Bluetooth and GPS, the Archos 80 make up for its sturdy built and fluid performance, for more of the Archos 80 titanium please read my full review.

      Archos have been making tablets way before Acer and lenovo released their iconia and ideatab series, though their previous tabs have been festered by bugs, unstable performance and dreadful battery life, archos have come a long way since then, the A80 titanium is an entry level tablet that has a lot to show, and this feisty device proved that being cheap doesn't mean you go plastic all the way, its solid construction and affordable price might make others consider adopting one, but is the archos 80 titanium all looks and no frills? Let's find out.

      At first boot you'll immediately notice the low resolution screen, while viewing some sample photos I can't help but look at the visible pixels from every corners of the picture, zooming doesn't help much either, though to be fair the 8 inch screen has superb viewing angles, tilt it from any directions and you can still see the pictures retain their colors. Archos opted for a 4:3 aspect ratio rather than the omnipresent 16:9 which is a far better screen for watching movies, however, the 4:3's wider screen allows better web browsing and book reading, while the larger real estate gives extra room for swiping and gesture commands, making it easier for your fingers to move around freely, what's more the A80 titanium comes stock with a matte screen protector which did a good job reducing glares and unnecessary reflections thus making the screen still visible outdoors.

      Design wise the A80 titanium is pure goodness, the back is made of an aluminum metal alloy which gives the device a premium feel, though similar in design with the iPad, the A80 tries to be unique in its own way, the soft matte back, the Archos logo and the awkwardly placed buttons on the left side when held in portrait mode are detractions that end their similarities. The "thin is in" persona has put manufacturers under pressure to create a device as thin as it could possibly get, the A80 titanium is a slim tablet by stature with high quality materials built into it, the curvy edges and the soft matte back gives better and more comfortable grip to the hands, so heavy users like me won't have to worry too much about hand sprains, though, using a tablet stand is probably a better option, as this tab is not by all means light.

      Archos is not messing around when it comes to specifications and performance, underneath the hood the A80 titanium is powered by a dual-core processor at 1.6 GHz coupled with a 1gig RAM DDR3 and boasts a quad-core graphics chip for enhanced gaming experience, transitions between homescreen is smooth with no signs of stuttering, and with little to no lags when transitioning from one app to another, you can tell on paper that this device is a serious contender and can stack up to most of its nearest rivals.

      Quadrant Benchmarks results:
      CPU: 7709
      MEM: 4273
      I/O: 6354
      2D: 1042
      3D: 2027
      TOTAL: 4281 "GOOD"

      *AVP extinction runs smooth even if set to the highest graphics settings, though visuals are not that stunning due to the A80's low resolution screen*

      Web browsing using Google chrome is fast and fluid enough, browsing through heavily loaded websites didn't stop the A80 from doing its job well, scrolling and pinching is accurate with almost no noticeable delays, my test showed that even with the music player turned on you can still browse the web with relative ease, notifications aren't a problem as the A80 lets you shift from one app to another as easy as clicking an icon without having to wait too much, even while browsing the web.

      Archos has left jellybean 4.1.1 mainly untouched, no bloat wares and no skinned UI just pure stock android goodness with the exeption of two archos preloaded apps namely, archos music and archos video which I think is a far better alternative than the stock android media player apps. The archos music app has an MP3 player based interface which gives you a lot more ways to navigate, play and manage your music files, while the archos video app is just as similar with some inclusions like online TV and movie subscriptions coming from multiple online providers including archos itself, plus you'll get a wider media and codec support compared with the stock android video player offerings.

      Affordable tablets almost comes natural with terrible cameras, and the archos 80 didn't detract itself from that age old tradition, as the 2mp rear camera takes grainy pictures and even worse it lacks colors and details, but on the bright side it's not very often that we take pictures with our tablets, so most, including me will put those issues aside, the front camera is no different either, though it's still useful for video chatting.

      Battery life has always been the weakest link for Archos devices and the A80 titanium is no exeption, the A80 lasted 4 1\2 hours on video, and will probably last 5 to 5 1/2 hours
      with continuous web browsing, on gaming you'll probably get 3 to 3 1/2 hours tops as games consumes far more battery than usual depending on brightness and graphics settings.

      We really can't argue about what the Archos 80 titanium can bring to the table, though I find it difficult to find a viable reason for Archos not to include Bluetooth and GPS on board for the same price, I've seen cheaper tablets with similar specs with Bluetooth and GPS lining up their arsenals. As a result the Archos 80 titanium may have to excuse itself from pairing up with a Bluetooth keyboard, thus relying solely with the on screen virtual ones.

      PROS: Affordable, fast and fluid performance, capable in gaming, good built quality, excellent viewing angles.

      CONS: Low battery life, poor camera, no bluetooth and GPS, no USB charging support.


      DISPLAY: 8 inch IPS LCD (1024 x 768) 160 ppi, multi-touch

      CPU: Cortex A9 1.6 Ghz dual-core

      MEMORY: 1GB RAM/8 GB internal storage, expandable via micro sd card 64GB max

      GPU: MALI 400 quad-core GPU

      OS: android 4.1.1 jellybean

      CAMERA: 2MP rear, 0.3 VGA front

      CONNECTIVITY: WIFI b/g/n, Micro USB 2.0, mass storage device, USB host, HDMI

      BATTERY: 4400 Mah

      OTHERS: gyroscope

      Wednesday, May 7, 2014

      Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite review

      The Samsung Galaxy tab 3 lite is a scaled down version of the tab 3, Samsung has made it a little less powerful than its other tab 3 siblings, but on the bright side taking away some of the goodies also mean making the device a little less expensive or should I say a lot more affordable, despite the cut down in components the tab 3 lite still delivers a solid performance.

      The first thing you’ll notice on the device is the lack of a front VGA camera, Samsung’s deliberate move to break the tradition for the Galaxy tab 7.0 series to create a more desirable price point, obviously that is what Samsung aims for with the tab 3 lite. The lack of a front camera may not be a hindrance to some but on the other hand avid skype users and selfie addicts will have something to complain about, however the absence of the front camera is the only downside you’ll get on this tab because what’s left will absolutely blow your mind.

      The device features a 7 inch TFT LCD display with 1024 x 600 resolution at 170 ppi, you may notice that the 170 ppi ratio seemed a bit underwhelming for a 7 inch tablet but magically, the screen holds its own, pictures appear sharp and vibrant with rich colors and good contrast something you’d rarely see on a screen with this resolution more so, in an affordable tablet, kudos to Samsung for a job well done! and as far as responsiveness goes, the Tab 3 lite is by far one of the best out there, it's somewhat comparable to Apple products in terms of overall touch response, transitions between homescreen is buttery smooth, on top of that, swiping and gesture commands only require minimal effort and what's even more surprising is how fast it opens an app, yet, all those nitty-gritties don't end there, as the tab 3 lite will also provide you with a fairly good viewing angles.

      The tab 3 lite makes other competition eat dust in terms of web browsing and overall performance, though the lite variant receives the cheapest chipset Samsung has to offer, the Marvell PXA986 chipset with 1.2 ghz dual-core processor is not to be underestimated, for one, opening a web page doesn’t require you to wait a couple of seconds or more than what the other competition currently does (Acer iconia B1), what’s more scrolling and zooming doesn’t show any signs of hideous lags and notably clear is the stable UI, during my short test with the Tab 3 lite I haven’t encountered any irritating hiccups or obscure UI related issues and it proved so, with some heavy apps currently running in the background, The Samsung touch wiz UI really works well on top jellybean 4.1.2, more so, the 1gig RAM helps a lot in giving the device a solid multitasking ability.

      *The Galaxy tab 3 lite is a full 2 seconds faster than the Acer iconia B1 in opening a web page*

      Gaming is probably one of the key selling points of the tab 3 lite, the VIvante GC1000 GPU works well in harmony with the Marvell PXA986 chipset along with a 1Gig RAM, Dead Space and Shadowgun works well on this tab with jaw dropping performance and stunning visuals, though the tiny 8Gig of internal memory will knock gamers off their feet, however, you can always expand it by doing so, with a micro SD card, though it’s known that games tend to work better if installed in the internal memory. That said, the Galaxy tab 3 lite is another reason for gamers to think twice before buying a dedicated portable gaming console, at 7,999 Php you’ll get a dedicated tablet and a capable gaming machine.

      *Another PSVITA and 3DS killer*

      In addition to its already awesome arsenal, the tab 3 lite also features Bluetooth, a 2MP rear camera and a GPS. The tab 3 lite tops the shelves in the affordable price tag category putting the Acer iconia B1 and the Lenovo ideatab A1000 on the bargain table, though, that extra price gives you a faster more reliable experience, and of course a name that’s almost unrivalled in the world of consumer electronics.

      PROS: affordable, compact and easy to hold, very good overall performance.

      CONS: no front camera, plastic construction all the way.


      DISPLAY: TFT LCD 1024 x 600 resolution with 170ppi

      PROCESSOR: Marvell PXA986 chipset 1.2 Ghz dual-core

      GPU: Vivante GC1000

      OS: android 4.1.2, touch wiz UI

      CAMERA: 2MP autofocus rear only

      MEMORY: 1Gb RAM, 8Gb internal memory

      CONNECTIVITY: WIFI b/g/n, Bluetooth, micro USB

      OTHERS: accelerometer, GPS, light sensor

      Sunday, January 5, 2014

      Acer Iconia B1 review

      Acer has come up with their own version of a budget android tablet the Iconia B1, nothing stellar on this one but for the price you’ll most certainly get more than what you pay for, over the past months budget jellybean tablets has been selling like pancakes and one might ask how does the Iconia B1 fare from its nearest budget jellybean rivals, well for starters, it’s one of the cheapest and has the Acer logo on it, so revealing it in public won’t be an embarrassing moment, and you’ll also get the full Acer on-line support right out of the box for just only 5,999 pesos.

      So what do we get from a 5,999 peso tablet, well performance wise we’re obviously getting a lot from the iconia B1, this is no slouch of a tab and its price belies everything on and in it, performance and built quality is something you’d get on a mid-range tablet and one thing that separates the B1 from the competition is its 16GB storage in which most of its nearest rivals only offer an 8GB variant, though, I’d be grateful if Acer generously gave the B1 a whole gig of RAM, but for the price we really can’t complain!

      Aesthetically the iconia B1 is made entirely of plastic but honestly it doesn’t look nor feels cheap at all, the materials used are high grade plastics which surely gave the B1 a notch ahead than most entry-level tablets out there, however, the blue plastic lining along the sides somehow detracts from what is otherwise good design. Acer did gave the iconia B1 a minimalistic look but the same thing cannot be said on its performance, surely the B1 is anything but minimal in terms of performance, usability, and reliability.

      The iconia B1 may have a youthful look on it as it generally targets the young users but looks can sometimes be deceiving because under the hood the B1 is as serious as an executive in coat and tie, as this tab is powered by a mediatek chipset with a 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor, power VR GPU and half Gig of RAM, lag is something that’s out of the B1’s menu, well I may be exaggerating on that one, but yes! I can say that its barely there and swiping from one home screen to another is fairly smooth thanks to its responsive touch screen. --- Acer opted for a jellybean 4.1 and an update for a 4.2 is unlikely to happen, at least for the time being, but for a tablet thats more than capable of optimizing 4.1 jellybean for half the price of a nexus 7, one cant complain!

      Half a gig of ram is somewhat thin, however the iconia b1 can do some light to moderate multi tasking without serious notable lags, although games that use a lot of memory will seldom crash but for non power users 512 mb of Ram will do just fine --- As a budget tab one might expect a horrid looking screen, true to most entry level tablets but the iconia b1 really stands out from the rest it has a 7 inch (1024x600) screen resolution at 170ppi viewing angles are also wide enough and won't give you too much problem while watching HD movies or playing games, the numbers aren't that impressive but for the price it's definitely eye catching, there's no doubt Acer has done it right this time, and one more thing my jaw dropped when I first learned that it has bluetooth, for a tablet this cheap and a reputation that of Acer's it's a rare catch, nonetheless.

      Web browsing and SNS are things that are best done on the iconia b1, you'll be surprised how quick it is to open a web page, scrolling and zooming is also fairly responsive with almost no disappointing lags, uploading photos to Facebook is faster than any budget tab I've tried, it makes me wonder was the B1 made for SNS? considering its a tab designed for the younger audience whom we know are the most active members of Facebook twitter and the likes, well, it could be! --- And what’s significant about this 5,999 peso tablet is that, it gave me a solid 4+ hours of web browsing on a 60% brightness level, not bad especially if you’re only gonna shell out a quarter of the ipad’s price, even more so, the difference between the two (performance wise) is not that far off as their price tags suggests, I mean literally the iconia B1 just exposes how overpriced the ipad is.

      Some racist reviewers or ipad worshippers described the iconia B1 as ugly and horrid-looking, because of its thick bezel around the screen, well I say it’s there for a reason, try holding it with one hand in portrait mode and see where your thumbs rest, it’s obvious that Acer opted for comfort rather than good looks, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that having more grip areas around it guarantees less hand strain in the long run.

      The iconia B1 is no cheap tablet that can’t play games, surprisingly, this budget tab is pretty much capable in handling the most demanding 3D games; Dead Space, Shadowgun and Mass Effect to name a few, are all running smooth on the iconia B1, however, the battery is in conflict with the B1’s somewhat excellent gaming performance, sadly, it only gave me 2 hours and 53 minutes of Mass Effect, as the saying goes “you can’t have them all” well at least it’s cheap! And it’s still is a win win situation in my opinion.

      PROS: Affordable tablet with bluetooth, competitive brand name, good overall performance.

      CONS: Only 512MB of RAM, battery drains fast in gaming.


      OS: Android 4.1.1 Jellybean

      SCREEN: 7' capacitive multi-touch (1024x600) resolution at 170ppi.

      PROCESSOR: Mediatek 8317 chipset, 1.2 Ghz dual-core, Power VR GPU.

      MEMORY: 512 RAM, 16GB Flash internal storage also available in 8GB.

      CAMERA: Front 0.3mp VGA.

      OTHERS: GPS, bluetooth, accelerometer, micro SD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack.

      Thursday, August 1, 2013

      Cloudpad 700d by Cloudfone review and specs.

      Android tablets has earned their rights as the most wanted gadget of all time, the abundance and flexibility of it ranging from brands, price and specs has made it even more popular. The Cloudpad 700d by Cloudfone is one of the new tabs on the block, catering the entry-level market, sounds good, as more and more users now opted their way to the budget android world but will the Cloudpad proved itself as a worthy competition? Let's find out.

      The Cloudpad 700d is another ipad "wanabe" that shares a lot of the ipad's design but doesn't come near the ipad experience, I don't know much about the company's history but I'm guessing it's a company that re-brands Chinese made devices much like Cherry mobile and myphone which by the way is slowly congesting the electronics consumer market in the Philippines, to say the least --- That doesn't sound good as far as the competition is concerned but in general it's the consumers that will benefit from it , more choices and soon more price drops either way we consumers always ends up as winners.

      The design is not much to look at and you won't be impressed by its cheap looks and feel yet you can easily hold it with one hand vertically, grip it firmly and you'll start to hear it creak, which makes you worry that it's doom to a short life, the screen is made up of soft plastics, so soft you can see warped areas on the sides, and once you apply a little pressure on your finger you can feel the screen bend almost touching the inner part of the LCD, though it doesn't surprised me at all for this type of materials and built quality is a flat-out standard on Chinese made budget tablets.

      The Cloudpad 700d may not be a good-looking tablet but it definitely pack some features which won't be left behind by the competition and most of it works at its favor, at 5,999 pesos it's one of the cheapest 3G wifi tablet around. Furthermore, the Cloudpad does have some serious hardware specs it features a Mediatek 1Ghz dual-core processor (MTK6577), with Power VR GPU (SGX531) and a 512 mb of RAM, swiping through the homescreen is seamless at first, probably so, because the test unit that I have barely have apps on it, so I decided to install as many apps as I can and try to cram the homescreen with as much widgets as possible, then that is where things really starts to change, the once seamlessly gliding homescreen suddenly became laggy at some point, but to some extent it still is snappy when opening apps closing it though, varies from one app to another. Despite of the occasional lags it still is a decent tablet, nonetheless.

      The unit that I have runs on android 4.0 ICS but later release will have jellybean on board good news for chrome browser users, speaking of browsers the Cloudpad does excel in this category regardless of your browsing needs the Cloudpad will gladly do the favor for you, though I'd recommend that you switch the browser agent to android for an optimized tablet browsing experience, reverting it to desktop drastically increases the load times, more so, wifi signal is relatively weak on the cloudpad 700d, once I'm inside my room it can no longer connect with my wifi router where as my Archos 70 still has one bar on it but occasionally disconnects.

      The cloudpad 700d does come with viber pre-installed, I've used the app and surprising enough it did not disappoint me, viber does seem to work natively well on this tablet, haven't tried skype though, but it's a given fact that both app uses VOIP so I'm guessing it will also do well on the cloudpad, don't ask me about the camera for both the front and rear has grainy resolutions, so there's not much need to talk about it. --- In fairness phone features works surprisingly well, SMS is now in an upscale version, no more glasses for grandpa! phone calls do work fine as well, however that won't exempt you from looking silly while answering calls, using a headset though, will prevent you from looking one.

      The screen won't impress you at all at 800x480 resolution and 133 ppi, 2010 surely wants its LCD back, though to be fair it plays HD videos at 720p not bad for an average person but if you're the meticulous type this will probably bother you until sanity leaves your head and did I forgot to mention that it has crummy viewing angles too. Gaming on the other hand works fine, the Power VR GPU and Mediatek processor has once again proved its worth in gaming, Dead Trigger is playable with minimal lags and I'm pretty sure that some graphic intensive games will also be playable on the Cloudpad 700d.

      The most significant downside of this device is the poor battery life, in a single charge it lasted roughly 3hrs of continuous use with wifi on, the 3,000 mah battery is pathetic for a 3G tablet, given the fact that 3G itself consumes generous amount of power, and the staff at cloudfone states that it only has 1 day of standby time, pathetic! Bringing a tablet at work is hassle enough, all together with a charger is definitely not worth the bother.

      My review is based on my overnight experience with the Cloudpad 700d, thanks to friends at Cloudfone who had given me the chance to review one of their demo units at home, if you got something to say please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.



      2G Network GSM 900/1800
      3G Network WCDMA 2100
      Single Sim


      Dimensions 198.0 x 122.0 x 9.9 mm
      Weight 200g
      Single SIM
      Hard Buttons Power, Volume
      Capacitive Buttons Back, Home, Recent Apps, Menu


      TFT capacitive screen, 16M colors
      7.0”, 800 x 480 pixels (~133 ppi pixel density)


      Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
      3.5mm jack


      Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB
      Internal 4 GB ROM, 512 MB RAM


      Speed HSDPA 7.2
      Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wireless
      Hotspot via Data
      Bluetooth 2.1
      microUSB v2.0


      Primary 2 MP
      Features Geo-tagging
      Secondary VGA


      Android 4.1 (jellybean)
      Chipset MTK6577
      CPU Dual-core 1 GHz
      GPU Power SGX531
      Sensors Accelerometer (G-sensor), gyroscope, proximity
      Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS,
      Email, Push Email
      Browser HTML
      FM Receiver
      GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
      Colors Charcoal Gray
      Google Services Calendar, Docs, Gmail, Gtalk, Latitude, Maps, Navigation, Places, Play Store, Search, Street View, Youtube ,Preloaded Apps,Facebook, Twitter


      Li-ion 3000 mAh

      Sunday, July 21, 2013

      Archos 7o Internet Tablet 250gb review.

      French tech maker and award winning innovator Archos has launched the first 250gb 7 inch slate in the 1st quarter of 2011, it's a mid range tablet offered by Archos which is priced at roughly 350 US dollars on the day of its release and costs at around 11,900 pesos in the Philippine market, it's ground breaking indeed for no other 7inch slate in its competition offers that much storage. The Archos 70 is also available in 8 gigabyte flash version.

      The Archos 70 250 HDD variant is quite pricey for me, but then my uncanny ability to sniff out sales led me to a clearance sale at electronics boutique, the Archos 70 250 HDD has a cut out discount of 50% and is available until supply last. That said, the Archos 70 is an old device that needs to be cleared out of the inventory, in fact the OS itself is a tell tale sign of how old this device is, the A70 currently runs on android 2.2 froyo and an upgrade is unlikely to happen considering it's a 2 year old tablet, however 2.2 froyo is not to be overlooked, it is where the android OS really starts to kick off and still is quite competitive to date.

      Archos has designed the A70 to be as slim and as light as possible, the 8gig version is just 10mm thick and weighs only at 300g, though the 250 gb variant is a tod thicker than its 8gb sibling and is somewhat heavy for a 7 incher, but then again, you have to reconsider the 250 gb hard drive inside its guts, so no complaints there!...... The overall built of the Archos 70 is excellent it doesn't come near the built quality of most, if not, all the entry level tablets out there and the design is uniquely Archos.

      Under the hood, the A70 features a speedy 1ghz cortex A8 processor with DSP (ARM V7 architecture) but despite of it, the A70 is still laggy at times, especially when it comes to screen orientation, although to be fair it's a bit snappy when opening apps, and web browsing is decent enough, backed-up with a fairly responsive capacitive touch panel. This lethal combination made the A70 a serious web browsing tool nonetheless, though Archos didn't specify a clear description on its system RAM, but some reviews say it's a bit thin at 256 mb, so don't be surprised to see long lags while returning to the homescreen, bear in mind though, that you can always use the built-in task killer app to free up some extra memory. Well, infact I'd recomend that you make that a habit on the A70.

      The A70 has a screen resolution of 800x480, a bit low for today's standards, however the A70's screen still manage to do a good job, color saturation is vivid enough to give it a crystal clear resolution but definitely not something to brag about. The 250 gb version is tailor made for multimedia on the go, a bigger storage could only mean bigger library for your movies, music and photos, and with a wide array of multimedia formats and codecs support, compatibility will never be an issue...... Watching 720p HD movies on the A70 is excellent and the built-in kick stand added more spice to the experience, though the lack of good viewing angles ruin the whole HD experience, tilt it downward and the WHOOO! will turn to BOOO!, but it's no big deal so I'm not complaining.

      The A70 doesn't do well with skype, video calls works but loud statics interfere with the whole conversation, in fact you can't barely hear each other, skype chat do work fine though. What the A70 can't do good on skype it will do well on social networking apps such as; Facebook and Twitter, surprisingly, facebook is quite fast on the A70 and the built-in twitter app produced fast results and most importantly the 6-7 hrs of battery life will keep you in touch with friends for longer period.

      Gaming on the A70 is more on the casual side, it has 3D OpenGL ES 2.0 graphic acceleration for improved gaming performance, but it's just isn't there, so don't expect Dead Trigger and Shadowgun on this one, it's just too under power to handle the latest 3D games, so if you are a hardcore gamer this is probably not for you, nevertheless, the inclusion of Bluetooth and a built in webcam is a welcome bonus on the A70, the front VGA camera which acts as a webcam captures both stills and video recordings, but the grainy resolution leaves much to be desired.

      BOTTOM LINE: The A70 is one of the best froyo tab in its time and still is a capable tablet to date, however the lack of full adobe flash support tend to ruin the whole internet experience, it's been two years and still no full flash support from Archos! SHAME!

      PROS: 250gb storage, Bluetooth, fast browsing speed, good built quality, 6-7 hrs battery life, HDMI out capability.

      CONS: AppsLib market is thinly stocked, occasional lags, lacks full flash support.

      Thursday, May 2, 2013

      Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt Quad-core Tablet Review and Specs.

      I admire Cherry Mobile for their continuous effort to offer and serve cheap but quality products to our plates, and they’re on it again with their latest offering the Fusion Bolt, just to give you a glimpse on the specs it is a quad-core tablet with 1gig ram and on board is android’s latest iteration “jellybean” if that wasn’t enough, then hear this because the best is yet to come, amazingly! CM gave it a staggering price of just only 3,999 pesos, sounds impossible but CM stands their ground and strongly pushing their campaign for the fusion bolt as a true and legit quad-core device.

      The fusion bolt is cheap in deed, however the idea of it producing quad-core processing results may seem far fetched, and if you truly believe that a 3,999 peso device can live up to its claims, well I guess this review will knock some of your senses back.

      The Fusion Bolt is powered by Jellybean and on board is Project Butter, for all I know project butter is some kind of OS optimization software that makes the UI run faster on any device regardless of hardware specifications, the fusion bolt, being a jellybean device makes use of it, sadly you’ll still experience slight lags and occasional hiccups, bear in mind that the fusion bolt is a 3,999 peso tablet, so I advice not to expect too much on its quad-core processing abilities, as to all cheap device we should always learn to accept the issues that goes with it, or otherwise settle for the more expensive ones.

      The fusion bolt may be sub par in comparison to other quad-core device like the Nexus 7, however, at 3,999 pesos, it definitely has all the advantages of a stable device, it’s so obvious that the price is the fusion bolt’s greatest ally.

      At first glance you’ll be impress by its well built design, slightly resembling the Nexus7, the back is tattered with what seemed to be a snake skin covering, which personally I consider useful and ergonomically designed, for one, it wards off fingerprints and smudges, and it’s comfortable to hold even on long period, at the right side you’ll see all the basic ports of a traditional tablet including the HDMI out, an extra feature in which as far as my test concerns, works well on flat screen TVs, at the top right you’ll see the power button and the volume rocker which somehow I find it awkwardly placed, the buttons are deeply planted making it harder for users to touch-locate and press, though it does not appeal to me as a major setback. All in all the fusion bolt is a handsome and solid beast, except for the warped indentations on the sides of the screen.

      One thing that stands out on the Fusion Bolt is the 5 point touch 7” inch HD super IPS capacitive touch screen (1280 x 800) resolution, its High Definition for the masses a sure value for money, the screen is so sharp and crisp that even the smallest text can be read with ease, since it uses IPS technology the screen remains sharp even when viewed on different angles, who says cheap products can’t offer high-end features, oh! And did I mention that it can also play HD videos up to 2160p with great results.

      Internet browsing may be the primary reason for owning a tablet, nowadays internet users demands faster connectivity on their device in which only a quad-core tablet promises to offer, fortunately, the fusion bolt guarantees fast browsing speed, it may not be as fast as other quad-core brands but for its price I can definitely say that it is still a fast tablet. The fusion bolt is powered by a 1Ghz quad-core processor ATM7029 (Actions Semiconductor) with a Vivante GC1000+ GPU, top up with a 1gig DDR3 memory, the chipset may be the reason why the fusion bolt can’t spar with other quad-core brands, but given the reason as an entry-level device, Ainol actually did a good job, no other quad-core brand can compete in this price range. The 1 gig DDR3 RAM, however will provide users adequate memory for multitasking, and yes! It is still priced at 3,999 pesos.

      Benchmark result using Quadrant Standard: The fusion bolt got a fair score of 2,766 which earned its place on the top 3 position, as a quad-core device it should have bag in more scores but nevertheless, it's a fair catch and to see the fusion bolt beat the living daylight on some expensive well known brands is heart warming.

      The fusion bolt is equipped with two cameras, one at the back and the other on front, the primary camera is a 2megapixel shooter (back), don’t expect good results from it though, in fact even the fusion bolt’s vivid screen can’t fix the bad photos taken from its camera, nor made it look an inch better. The front VGA camera is used primarily for online features, like skype and other video calling services, you’ll be surprised that skype works well on the fusion bolt, another neat feature that you can fancy on this 3,999 peso tablet, of course it all depends on your preferences, mine just happens to fit the fusion bolt’s skype overall performance.

      Battery life: The Fusion bolt manages to squeeze-in 3 to 4 hours of non-stop use, with 2 to 3 days of stand-by time on a 60% brightness level, a bit short for a device advertised of having a 4,000Mah battery capacity, perhaps the Fusion bolt’s high definition screen has taken its toll on battery performance, it’s an acceptable trade off in my opinion.

      When you think quad-core you think gaming, the fusion bolt is no exemption, fortunately, it can handle graphic intensive games but only a few of it, some might work and some might not, or some will just simply run sluggish on the fusion bolt, I think it’s the weak GPU who’s to blame (Vivante GC1000+ GPU). Arnova tablets use these types of GPUs and they are known the world over as a bad gaming tablet, if it not for its quadcore processor the fusion bolt would have suffer the same fate, but don’t get me wrong the fusion bolt is a capable gaming device, just to show off a bit, here are the list of games I currently have on my fusion bolt; NBA 2K13, Dead Trigger, Anomaly Korea, Deadspace HD, Virtua Tennis. These games all run smooth on the fusion bolt.

      NBA 2K13 an all time favorite comes to mobile, back then it was only playable on high-end tablets but now you'll be surprised to see that most Cherry Mobile device can handle this game, the fusion bolt is by far the cheapest tablet that can handle NBA 2K13 the way expensive tablets do so.

      Anomaly Korea is a real time strategy game with PC like graphics, the game looks great on the fusion bolt's high definition screen details are excellent and there are hardly no visible frame drops during game play, a must have for fusion bolt owners.

      Bottom line: The Fusion bolt is the only quad-core tablet under 4k that does its job well (in relation to its price), it may not go head to head with the Nexus 7, but given the price, it is definitely a good tablet to hang around.

      PROS: Affordable quad-core tablet, fast browsing speed, vivid High Definition IPS screen

      CONS: Occasional hiccups, Sluggish keyboard


      OS: Android 4.1 Jellybean

      PROCESSOR: 1Ghz quad-core ATM7029 (Actions Semiconductor)

      GPU: Vivante GC1000+

      DISPLAY: 7"HD IPS, 5 point touch panel, 1280 x 800 resolution.

      RAM: 1GB DDR3

      MEMORY: 8GB internal expandable micro SD 32GB

      CAMERA: VGA front, 2MP back

      PORTS: 3.5 mm audio jack, micro USB 2.0, HDMI

      BATTERY: 4000mAH

      Wednesday, January 23, 2013

      Cherry Mobile Fusion ice ICS tablet review

      Cherry Mobile has launched, yet another low-end ICS tablet that's light on the budget but heavy on features, it sells at around 3,690php, now that's low-end at its lowest, a price tag that directly compete with the generic no name tablets that you can buy at your local tiangge.

      The Fusion ice as CM named it is actually known as the Altina A600 in China, in fact the Opera app store still recognizes it from its former brand, a product originally manufactured by Ainol, which was then re-branded by Cherry Mobile then was reintroduce thereafter as the fusion ice........ I bought this tablet for my 4yr old son basically to aid him learn the alphabets, numbers, colors etc. until recently I found out that it was me who was reaching for it more. The Fusion ice is anything but flawless, something that you'd expect on a cheap device, the browser is a bit slow and it's not what you'd call a smooth web browsing experience, lags are visible too, but at such a low price it is almost forgivable.

      CM Fusion ice, Arnova 7 G2 comparison

      The CM Fusion ice and Arnova 7 G2 both clocks at 1Ghz, Fusion ice using A13 processor and the Arnova 7 G2 with Cortex A8 both having the same amount of RAM (512MB). Based on user experience and live side by side comparison, the Arnova 7 G2 out-perform the Fusion ice in almost all aspect, except gaming, the features highlighted the most was browsing speed, stability and responsiveness, the Arnova 7 G2 clearly was on top of the Fusion ice, but surprisingly, benchmark results using Quadrant Standard tell a rather different story; results shows that the Fusion ice have better overall performance than the Arnova 7 G2, scoring a total of 2,128 while the Arnova 7 G2 only got 1,021 barely half of what the Fusion ice had scored.

      Fusion ice benchmark result

      Surprisingly, with an emphatic lead over well known brands like HTC Desire HD and Samsung Nexus S, scoring a total of 2128.

      Arnova 7 G2 benchmark result

      Lags far behind the bottom position with a total score of only 1021.

      LCD on the Fusion ice is sharp and is capable of playing HD videos up to 2160p, unfortunately it suffers from poor viewing angles, "a catch from the price" it's kind of cliche` to see a 7 inch screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio it became the norm for most tablets, however, the Fusion ice is unique, it is the only 7 inch tablet with 4:3 aspect ratio that I've seen so far. The square screen provides better room for your fingers to move around and give better visuals on your documents and presentations, it also did great in displaying web pages; in a tablet's perspective. Music on the other hand is great on the Fusion ice I was completely blown away by the audio quality that this cheap device could give whether on speakers or headset. The mono speaker at the back of the tablet is loud, loud enough to fill up a mid-sized room and is great in watching online videos and playing games without the hassle of a headset wire.

      The battery life is a tablet user's must-know feature and has great effect on the device overall ratings, fortunately the Fusion ice dealt with it with flying colors, the 3700mAh battery lasted for more than 4 hrs of non-stop use and gave me at least 2 days of standby time, though charging time is frustratingly long, still, fare enough for such a cheap device.

      Internet browsing may be full of disappointments on the Fusion ice but Skype on the other hand will greatly exceed your expectations for a device as cheap as this, I did a lot of Skype calls with this tablet and so far it handles it well, conversations between two parties are well understood, all features of Skype are in working order including video calls, I actually prefer using the Fusion ice for Skype calls rather than my W500 Titan mainly because of its bigger screen.

      CM Fusion ice as a gaming console

      The Fusion ice is quite a gaming machine, the combination of a 1Ghz A13 processor with mali 400 GPU and a 5 point touch panel did well in handling games of sort, but still not strong enough to handle games like Dead Trigger and the likes, but to everything else you'll find it amusing here on the Fusion ice.

      Arcane Legends online RPG, I first had this on my Titan but later on I find the 5 inch screen a bit small for mmorpg games, so I decided to play it on the Fusion ice without any disappointments, honestly it did better on the Titan but the bigger screen put the Fusion ice on edge, you get to read the text and messages a lot clearer and see the mmorpg world in a bigger picture, more details on a sharp 7 inch screen.

      Predators, not much of a game too much expectations from fans put this game down but still a nice game to play with, it runs smooth on the Fusion ice and the 7 inch screen with 4:3 aspect ratio added more spice to the game.

      Call of Mini zombies, a zombie shooter game wherein you get to mingle with cute characters, even the zombies here are cute but not as cute as the zombie dogs, you'll have to fight your way a day at a time to finish a level, it is a fast pace full 3D shooter that feels almost at home on the Fusion ice.

      Bottom line: The Cherry Mobile Fusion ice may have its shortcomings, but given a chance, it still has a lot of good features to offer. For those who just wanted an ICS tablet experience and doesn't want to burn holes in their pockets, this tab is for you.

      PROS: very affordable, comes pre-loaded with useful apps i.e, viber, Kingsoft office, ES task manager, instagram, excellent multi media device, capable in gaming, works well with Skype, excellent slim design, decent battery life.

      CONS: slow browsing speed, visible lags, screen is warped. long charging time.


      PROCESSOR: 1Ghz A13 with mali 400 GPU.

      OS: Android 4.0 ICS.

      DISPLAY: 7 capacitive screen, 5 point touch panel, 4:3 aspect ratio, 800x600 resolution, 16 million colors.

      CAMERA: Front facing VGA 0.3 mega pixels.

      MEMORY: 8GB(ROM), 512MB(DDR3), expandable via micro SD 32gig max.

      USB: High speed USB 2.0, mini USB.

      WIFI: 802.11 b/g/n.

      BATTERY: 3700mAh.

      Thursday, February 9, 2012

      ARNOVA 7 G2 Review and Specs.

      I was saving money to buy a tablet, and my brand of choice is the Archos 7 HT (Home Tablet), as soon as I got the money, I went to the store where I saw that brand, but unfortunately it was out of stock; instead, I got something better, the Arnova 7 G2 android tablet. The Arnova 7 G2 looks exactly the same as the Archos 7 HT, the only difference is the brand name embedded on the device, in fact ARNOVA 7 G2 was made and designed by Archos, specifically targeting the entry-level market.

      I did mention that the Arnova 7 G2 is better than the Archos 7 HT, “YES” it’s true, the Arnova 7 G2 is better than the Archos 7 HT in many ways; it out muscled the Archos 7 HT in the power house division, a 1ghz ARM Cortex A8 processor with 512 MB of RAM vs. an 800Mhz processor with 512 MB RAM, the Arnova 7 G2 uses android 2.3 gingerbread, while the latter uses 2.2 froyo, and the most visible advantage of the Arnova 7 G2 is the front facing VGA camera, in which the Archos 7 HT lacks, of course this advantages doesn’t come free, for the Arnova 7 G2 is a bit expensive than the Archos 7 HT, but still has the Arnova affordability.

      The device is almost bare, it comes with only a handful of applications most of them, podcast, RSS, and news widgets from Europe, but it is not a major set back, for android is known for having tons of apps and games ready to be downloaded via the Android market, although the Arnova 7 G2 uses appslib instead of the android market that we grew familiar with, appslib is designed specifically for Arnova tablets , probably to ensure apps and game compatibility. The 1ghz ARM Cortex A8 processor is truly the bread and butter of the Arnova 7 G2, with it, surfing the net is as smooth as ever, it also plays Full HD video up to 1080p.

      We all know that browsing speed also relies on the internet connection, so I did a comparison to different types of connections, first at home using broadband, with only my brother currently connected using his desktop computer, browsing the net via wi-fi at home in my Arnova 7 G2 is fairly fast it made me a couch potato making me want to surf the net all day long, then I tried it in a public hotspot with medium volume of people, I prefer McDonalds, I took a seat and scan the area, there are only few people connected mostly using cellphones, again, I was amazed by its performance, it’s not as fast as it did at home, but still decently fair. Now for my last test a public hotspot with large volume of people, preferably a mall, I chose SM City Masinag, browsing speed is a bit slower than my second test, but still, you can surf the net in a fairly decent manner, I would say mediocre, and the good thing about this device is the battery life, it has 5hrs of juice as Arnova claims, well, I say maybe more depending on your brightness level. It is also 3G ready, but only compatible with the Archos G9 3G stick, in doing so, you must update your system with the latest firmware at www.arnovatech.com. Bottom line, the Arnova 7 G2 is without a doubt a reliable internet tablet.

      Arnova 7 G2 as a gaming console; I have a couple of games currently installed in my Arnova 7 G2, though some 3D games won’t work well, but HD games such as Samurai II, and Drift works perfectly well, alongside Angry Birds Rio, and Plants vs. Zombies, I did tried to install 3d games with PSP-like graphics, namely Don 2, the game is well-suited for a 7inch screen and the graphics, awesome much better than the PSP, at first it's doing great, with the main character walking around exploring the area, until the enemy approaches and the action begins, the game suddenly turned to super slow-mo mode, making it unfit to play, leaving me no choice but to uninstall it in my device, so if you think of playing Backstab, Dead Space, and GTA on the Arnova 7 G2 you can forget about it, you just can’t, the arnova 7 G2 simply lack the power to run these AAA games.

      Here are some games that works well with the Arnova 7 G2, TNA impact! Zorro Shadow of Vengeance, Plants vs. Zombies, Halfbreed, Samurai II Vengeance HD, Deadly Chambers HD, Shadow Cave, Tiki Kart 3D, Mortal Skies, Raging Thunder, Dead Strike, and Zombie Fields. Dead Strike will run sluggish when dealing with Bosses and multiple enemies, but still playable, that is why I decided to keep it installed in my Arnova 7 G2, it’s a great game to pass the time. You can download all this free and cracked games at www.androidgamesroom.com, Enjoy!

      What comes inside the box?
      ARNOVA 7 G2 tablet
      Micro USB cable
      Quick Start Guide
      Charger with multiple socket
      ARNOVA 1yr warranty card


      Capacity - Flash memory 8gb and 4gb, expandable via micro SD
      Operating system - Android 2.3 gingerbread
      Processor - 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 with integrated Vivante GC800 GPU, 512 MB RAM
      Display - 7" capacitive multi-touch screen, TFT LCD, 16 million colors
      - 800 x 480 screen resolution
      Connectivity - WiFi (802.11 b/g)
      Video playback - H.264 up to 1080p resolution- 30fps/5mbps
      - MPEG 4- 30fps / 2.5mbps
      - Realvideo up to 720p resolution- 30fps/2.5mbps
      - extensions avi, mp4, mkv, flv
      Miscellaneous - built in stereo speakers
      - microphone
      - G - sensors
      Battery - Lithium Polymer, 5hrs video playback
      Dimensions - 203mm x 107mm x 12mm(8"x4.2"x0.5") -370g/13oz

      PROS: affordable and durable, does what it supposed to, decent battery life.

      CONS: a bit laggy, crash issues, does not have a built-in calendar app.

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