View Full Version : 7" Android Tablet...?


ebookrights
12-12-2010, 10:01 AM
I'm almost settled on using Amazon's Kindle platform, for now. But would prefer getting an Android tablet and use the Kindle for Android app instead. I think it would be a better investment down the road.

I don't think I'll be getting a 3G model, just Wi-Fi.

So, besides Galaxy Tab, whose Wi-Fi only version is delayed into next year. What options are out there? I know there are some Chinese-made low-end models, which are still running Android 2.1 and lack good support. Should I wait for a few more months?

P.S. One thing I treasure is good support (fixes, updates), or an active community with custom ROM support.

P.P.S. The Nook Color looks good as well, but it doesn't run a "true" Android system.

asjogren
12-12-2010, 10:41 AM
The PocketBook IQ is a contender. Active community here on MobileRead. 2 year warrantee. $US149.

Runs Android 2.0, with expectations of 2.2 in January.

gtriever
12-12-2010, 10:44 AM
Looks like Q1 2011 is going to see a rash of new Android tablets, if you can wait. I couldn't so I have a Nook Color on the way, which I plan on rooting. I figure between Nookdevs and xda-developers the tech support is about as good as it's going to get.

MmavisO
12-12-2010, 10:47 AM
Pocketbook IQ runs Android including the Kindle app. It's brand new, just released a few weeks ago, and is still experiencing growing pains. But it does have good support including several company reps or vendors who post here in the Pocketbook forum. There was a new firmware update released Friday that fixed a lot of things, and it's starting to look pretty good. There is a wiki here: http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Pocketbook_IQ_701 about it.

wheatfree
12-12-2010, 12:07 PM
The PocketBook IQ is a contender. Active community here on MobileRead. 2 year warrantee. $US149.

Runs Android 2.0, with expectations of 2.2 in January.

I'm waiting to see if they actually release that update. Those of us with the Pandigital Novels heard the same thing. Velocity Micro said the same thing about the Cruz readers. If I understand this correctly, that IQ is just a Novel with hardware buttons. I'd love to get my hands on a 2.2 release for the IQ to see if we can take it apart and put it back together for the Novel.

So far, none of these companies have released the source code for any of their tablets, as they're required to do by Android's Gnu Public License. I don't have a lot of hope for either 2.2 or the source at this point. Maybe Pocketbook will the exception to the rule here. I'd buy one for that alone.

ebookrights
12-13-2010, 12:55 AM
Just took a short trip to the town center. Checked out the Dell Streak 5. Looks nice too. But I suppose a 7" device is still a (overall) better device.

Gotta wait for a few months and see how it goes. Meanwhile, will stick with Kindle for PC and Android (use on phone).

Like I said above, good support (not 1-year delay for firmware update) or custom ROM is a major factor in my consideration. If I just want something cheap I could pick up a Chinese 2.1 tablet for <US$100. No need to be particularly fast (e.g. dual core) but an up-to-date platform is also highly desirable (e.g. 1GHz, 512MB RAM).

neilmarr
12-13-2010, 04:03 AM
Anyone come across the soon-to-be-released Indian Adam yet? http://www.notionink.in/index.php. Cheers. Neil

Xanthe
12-14-2010, 12:17 AM
The white Pandigital Novel ereader can be modified into a full Android tablet. It becomes a poor man's iPad. I paid $139 for mine.

See threads here in the Android forum and on SlateDroid.com.

wheatfree
12-14-2010, 06:33 AM
Most of those no-name chinese tablets have crappy battery life. My novel will run about 5-6 hours with the wifi off, and I have an external battery pack for it that doubles that. I wouldn't buy anything I had to charge more frequently than this. It's frustrating enough that on days like yesterday when I spent the day trying out all the different firmwares available on slatedroid for the PDN, I had to recharge it twice. But for the record that 2.2 is FAST--FASTFAST. It's just not ready for primetime yet.

For a cheap android tablet with fairly good support on slatedroid, the Pandigital Novel is still it for me. $100 give or take with rebates and sales. You can buy it at places with very liberal return policies, and the different firmwares on slatedroid mean you can cut yourself on the bleeding edge of what it will run or take a more conservative approach.

I'm back running the Cruz UI firmware. I just like it, and everything works. I tried to live without the market yesterday, but even with all the other places to get apk files, I got frustrated by specific things I couldn't find elsewhere.

ebookrights
12-14-2010, 11:27 AM
It's reported that the Nook Color will see 2.2 (Froyo) and Android Market officially in January.

http://www.androidcentral.com/nook-color-getting-froyo-officially-january

That makes it an attractive model.

Speaking of custom ROMs. The Galaxy Tab is now Clockwork Recovered...

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=9770377#post9770377

ebookrights
12-14-2010, 11:34 AM
...It's frustrating enough that on days like yesterday when I spent the day trying out all the different firmwares available on slatedroid for the PDN, I had to recharge it twice...

Thanks for introducing slatedroid.com and the Pandigital Novel. However, 128MB RAM...? I'll take a pass and wait... :xmas:

wheatfree
12-14-2010, 12:40 PM
The black one has 128. The white one has 256. I have a white one.

The nook color has twice the RAM of mine, but it's also twice the price. If they do actually release 2.2 with full market access, it might make it worth it though. We'll see.

kwarner84
12-15-2010, 12:16 AM
I just got a Cruz reader and its great for the most part but i am having one problem. I can't watch movies. When I try to play something I have downloaded it just plays the sound and a blank screen. i don't know what i am doing wrong. I downloaded skyfire so I can watch youtube videos and other but when i try to play anything that i already have on my cruz it doesn't work. Any ideas???? anyone???

ebookrights
12-15-2010, 12:02 PM
I'm very leaning towards a Nook Color now, for USD250 with a high-res and capacitive screen and Froyo and Android Market coming AND an active XDA community.

Too bad it's not being sold to oversea customers yet.

ebookrights
12-17-2010, 09:59 AM
Creative ZiiO, USD250.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/17/creatives-7-inch-ziio-android-2-1-tablet-now-on-sale-for-270/

eFeeder
12-17-2010, 07:34 PM
Could someone please add the specs for the galaxy tab to the tab matrix for comparison?

RoboRay
12-18-2010, 01:27 AM
Creative ZiiO, USD250.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/17/creatives-7-inch-ziio-android-2-1-tablet-now-on-sale-for-270/

That looked like a contender until I saw that it uses a resistive touchscreen instead of capacitive. That dog don't hunt.

EZPuzzler
12-18-2010, 01:50 PM
I sprang for the eLocity A7. It has decent reviews. It is capacitive screen. But appears it is not multi touch. http://elocitynow.com/

GyGeek
12-18-2010, 02:50 PM
I got my hands on the A70 after two attempts. They can't keep them in stock. It has a capacitive touch screen with multi-touch, and although Google Market isn't preloaded, it is easily rectified. Web browsing is great if you stick to the mobile sites, normal news sites and blogs, but becomes hampered slightly with busy full sites.

Satisfied as a book reader, I use a pdf viewer and Moon+ book reader. It is very light, and has a good battery life. Should last all day with heavy book reading, not so much if one is prone to skipping off to the Internet a lot. All in all it is a decent alternative to the pricier tablets.

RoboRay
12-18-2010, 05:45 PM
After anticipating the Notion Ink Adam for a whole year, I've decided to get the NookColor instead. It really snuck in under the radar for me, but I've been researching it for the last few days and it basically offers everything I was looking for in the Adam except the Pixel Qi screen for half the price. It appears to be quite trivial to "hack" the NookColor into a fully-functional Android WiFi tablet.

I really wanted the Pixel Qi screen but Notion Ink raised the price for that version of the Adam and it is going to be $100 more than it was initially. Not to mention that Notion Ink can't/won't provide any information on when they'll even be able to sell me one with the pre-orders for PQ models having sold out in about an hour.

I can't really justify a 100% price-premium for rare outdoor usage, especially not when I can just hang onto my OLPC XO with Pixel Qi's display technology to take to the beach or wherever when I really do need a sunlight-readable screen.

And, who knows, maybe Pixel Qi will eventually offer a 7" panel for tablet upgrades like their 10" one for netbooks.

ebookrights1
12-23-2010, 05:06 AM
Another, Archos 70b...

We have all ideas that the 70b will look mighty weak after next year's spate of slates, tablets and readers hit the public view at CES, but with a price tag as diminutive as 99.99 ($130), who cares about bells and / or whistles? Spotted first in the FCC's lairs a few weeks ago, the Archos 70b e-reader is now up for pre-order in Europe, boasting a 7-inch WVGA touchpanel, 4GB of storage, 802.11b/g WiFi and an SD expansion slot. We're told that the battery will keep things humming for around ten hours (or up to 18 if using it strictly as a music player with the screen flipped off), and if we had to guess, we'd say it'll probably make the trip through the Panama Canal in Q1 2011. Question is: will you care?

http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/22/archos-android-based-70b-e-reader-up-for-pre-order-in-europe/

ebookrights1
12-25-2010, 12:10 PM
Have anybody tried the various "iRobot" series 7"...? I can get one for about $80. I know it's no NOOK nor Galaxy Tab but the price is tempting. I wonder if the screen is okay for ebook reading and if the battery has enough longevity.

Some discussions:

http://androidcommunity.com/forums/f63/apad-irobot-35026/
http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/rockchip-based/67-rockchip-7-inch-android-tablet-apad-irobot-moonse-e7001.html

Wow... Some people have even ported CyanogenMod to the "Apad batch 2"...

http://www.slatedroid.com/index.php?topic=13229.0
http://www.slatedroid.com/index.php?topic=10809.135

ebookrights1
12-26-2010, 01:06 PM
I've gone out to handle some of these tablets in a local computer mall today, and was underwhelmed. The interfaces were quirky, the build quality was poor, but the major issue was the unresponsiveness of the screen.

There were better models but they costed more. Quality clearly comes at a price in this case.

However, with the more expensive models, I'm wondering if I should just get a NOOKcolor instead.

RW2112
12-26-2010, 06:05 PM
If looking at the $250 price point I'd say go with the Nook Color and then root it. Almost everyone I've talked to who has one loves it.

denclock
12-26-2010, 11:57 PM
Most of those no-name chinese tablets have crappy battery life. My novel will run about 5-6 hours with the wifi off, and I have an external battery pack for it that doubles that. I wouldn't buy anything I had to charge more frequently than this. It's frustrating enough that on days like yesterday when I spent the day trying out all the different firmwares available on slatedroid for the PDN, I had to recharge it twice. But for the record that 2.2 is FAST--FASTFAST. It's just not ready for primetime yet.

For a cheap android tablet with fairly good support on slatedroid, the Pandigital Novel is still it for me. $100 give or take with rebates and sales. You can buy it at places with very liberal return policies, and the different firmwares on slatedroid mean you can cut yourself on the bleeding edge of what it will run or take a more conservative approach.

I'm back running the Cruz UI firmware. I just like it, and everything works. I tried to live without the market yesterday, but even with all the other places to get apk files, I got frustrated by specific things I couldn't find elsewhere.

I have seen several people mention external battery packs for Novels. I have a 9" and I am worried about battery life, and I wouldn't mind getting and external battery pack. Where can I get one, I look on the Pandigital site. If this isn't the right place, I am sorry.

wheatfree
12-27-2010, 07:34 AM
If the charger cords are the same for the 7" and 9"(output 12v 1.5a), you can use the Energizer ER-PHOTO Universal Digital Pic Frame Battery. It comes with multiple tips, and the smallest one fits my Novel. It makes for a nice, small external battery to carry with me when I'm going to be gone all day. I got mine on ebay for under $20.

gtriever
12-27-2010, 07:40 AM
If looking at the $250 price point I'd say go with the Nook Color and then root it. Almost everyone I've talked to who has one loves it.


:ditto:

For all the horror stories about hacking the Nook Color, mine has been flawless. The only drawback is no hardkeys, but the Softkey app is a good substitute.

Noah98
12-27-2010, 09:29 AM
I'm very leaning towards a Nook Color now, for USD250 with a high-res and capacitive screen and Froyo and Android Market coming AND an active XDA community.

Too bad it's not being sold to oversea customers yet.

My experience with my nook color has been fantastic thus far. I wanted a 7" android tablet, and finally settled on the nook color. I wanted a Galaxy Tab, but it was too expensive. I then looked at the Archos 101/70, but lack of availability, cheap build quality and lackluster screen killed it.

With my rooted nook color I have more apps installed than I actually even need. I can read with the original B&N software, or Kindle, Aldiko, Fbreader, etc. I also have the full, updated market. The Youtube app even plays videos in HQ. Live wallpapers look great, too. Lots of great games like Angry Birds and Raging Thunder 2 round out the fun :thumbsup:

jasonkchapman
12-27-2010, 11:13 AM
I have to agree, if it's primarily for reading, a rooted nookColor is the way to go. It won't fly if you need/want things like GPS and a camera, though.

DaleDe
12-28-2010, 01:09 PM
I just got a Cruz reader and its great for the most part but i am having one problem. I can't watch movies. When I try to play something I have downloaded it just plays the sound and a blank screen. i don't know what i am doing wrong. I downloaded skyfire so I can watch youtube videos and other but when i try to play anything that i already have on my cruz it doesn't work. Any ideas???? anyone???

According to the specs it only supports MPEG-4, H.264. By the way this unit is selling for $119.99 at http://www.tigerdirect.com/ (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6637789&SRCCODE=WEM2537C&cm_mmc=email-_-Main-_-WEM2537-_-tigeremail) today.

Dale

mgmueller
12-28-2010, 03:27 PM
Too bad it's not being sold to oversea customers yet.

You easily can order via services like USUnlocked.com.
Usually, it's about 10% uplift. Don't forget about customs and VAT though.
Over all, the original price in Dollar will end up around the same in Euro (fee, shipping, customs, VAT).

ebookrights1
12-29-2010, 10:52 AM
Thanks. I've also heard good things about comGateway (http://www.comgateway.com/).

Will wait and see how the January / February update goes.

ebookrights1
01-01-2011, 03:45 PM
Some people have reported that their rooted NOOKcolors are getting factory reset upon B&N shop access.

Something to keep an eye on...

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=873975

gtriever
01-01-2011, 04:51 PM
No problems here...

SCION
01-01-2011, 05:21 PM
None here. I "Shop" several times a week.

Noah98
01-01-2011, 08:10 PM
No problems with B&N store here either.

ebookrights1
01-01-2011, 09:34 PM
If you are having no problems, that's good. Still, it's something to keep an eye on because rooting the device is likely a grey-area issue.

travfar
01-05-2011, 12:18 PM
Why not try a Pandigital Novel? At $60, it's worth a go. Kohl's also has a very liberal return policy.

secretsubscribe
01-11-2011, 10:51 AM
If you can get a Pandigital for a really good deal, it might be worth it. I played around with the 7" novel sold at QVC (overpriced), and while I liked the form factor, 4:3, the screen caused a lot of eye strain and pain. It might be a different experience for others.

My wife has a Nook Color now and the screen on that is amazing.
I have an Archos 70 and while the screen isn't as crisp as the Nook, it works well as an ebook reader, especially with the brightness turned down to 0 and its been a more than adequate tablet.

bhartman36
03-11-2011, 06:12 PM
If a resistive screen isn't a deal-breaker for you, I would recommend the Craig 7" tablet. I got mine at CVS. It was $100, and can be easily rooted to run Android 2.1. (There's a custom ROM for 2.2, but it's not 100% stable yet.)

Just keep in mind 2 things:

1) Buy it from somewhere local, as you might need to exchange it. They've had some QC issues.
2) It's $100, so don't expect an iPad.