Saturday, September 17, 2011

You get what you pay for

Just a kind word of warning: if you want an economical tablet with touch screen, make sure it at least has a capacitive screen, not a resistive one.
Just for fun I bought the very economical Tabtech (NATPC?) M009S tablet from Amazon UK (70 Sterling, 100 bucks). Well, it is amazingly affordable for an Android tablet, but... it's just frustrating to work with. The Interface is confusing, it's slow, some apps will be able to connect while others won't, and the screen is frustrating, you have to press hard to make it react, and it's not uncommon that nearby elements react instead. Also, the color and clarity of the screen is clearly inferior for discerning eyes.
As a gift to a five-year-old, sure, but otherwise...

Sure, I guess it's to be expected at such a low price, isn't it? Well, maybe some others are like me: I don't really expect it. I expect things to be made cheap by cutting features and complexity, not by simple overall crappy quality. Maybe I should have learned better by now, but it's just my basic level of think. Perhaps it is related to having grown up and lived til age 37 in Denmark, where you don't really find crap to buy. Sure, this makes things more average on the average, but they are much more pleasant to use, and they don't have to be replaced every 13 months.

On the other side, I continue to be pleased by the first-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab (7-inch). It's good quality and nice to use. I'm looking forward to their new generations with high rez screens, not the least the phone-slash-tablet, the 5.3-inch Note. (If Apple manages to keep these away from the market too, I'm going to Cupertino with a mob and torches.) (The kind with LEDs, to save batteries.)

4 comments:

Stephen A said...

The M009 isn't as bad as that. It isn't a Galaxy Tab or a Color nook by a long shot but it is a serviceable tablet for someone short on cash. I actually used it for a month just to see how functional it was. I was pretty happy with how much I could do with it.

Resistive screens largely suffer from people trying to tap lightly on the screen and when that doesn't register to press harder and harder sometimes breaking the screen! The trick in my experience is to tap the screen quickly like a drum. This usually registers quite well. In my experience with a little practice you can approach capacitive screen efficiency.

With companies scaling up capacitive and infrared touchscreens, we'll be clear of resistive pretty soon. I'm hoping cheap tablets will transition to the infrared tech used by the nook touch wich is nicely responsive.

On the other hand, I'm a big proponent of cheap tablets. For a poor person a cheap tablet is a lot better than none at all.

If you want to re-flash or tear down a tablet to see how it works or modify it, a cheap tablet is ideal.

In a year or the so called cheap tablets will be good enough to match the present top of the line SUV tablets. At that point things get very interesting as it becomes a safe assumption that many people own multiple tablets and most people own at least one. (Somewhat similar to the transition from cellphones being brick sized yuppie toys to items everybody owns.)

Keeping multiple devices charged and synced will be increasingly important. In addition using a cheap tablet as a remote control, and/or an alarm clock will be increasingly common. This will hopefully lead to the rise of ubiquitous computing.

TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"I continue to be pleased by the first-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab (7-inch). It's good quality and nice to use. I'm looking forward to their new generations with high rez screens, not the least the phone-slash-tablet, the 5.3-inch Note. (If Apple manages to keep these away from the market too, I'm going to Cupertino with a mob and torches.) (The kind with LEDs, to save batteries.) "

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of future revs of the Galaxy and...what you think of the Note. :-)

Bruce said...

I'm very impressed with the Galaxy Tab WiFi. I'm kind of surprised that a nearly year old model could be so nice to use, but it is.

I've used an iPad and several Android devices. The iPad clearly has the best software, but the Samsung software is better than other Android releases I have tried. Android 3 Honeycomb looks pretty good but I like the wide range of apps available for Android 2.x on the Tab

I bought mine recently for about $20.00 more than a new Nook Color. The Galaxy Tab is well worth the extra money.

eolake said...

Yes. I bought mine when it was still over-priced, but I haven't regretted it.