CVS is selling a 7″ Android tablet for $99. I’ve been trying to get one for a while now, and I finally got one when they added it to their website. It’s a pretty decent tablet for $99, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll keep it for my collection.
But I’m also seeing a weird battery issue, so
I’ve decided to amend this post with a recommendation that you not get this tablet.
It’s running Android v2.2 (I checked) and it comes with a great collection of apps. It has Skyfire, DroidReader, SlideMe, Youtube, and others. The apps give me a pretty good feeling about the quality of the software developer. It also has a pretty well designed custom home screen, which also speaks well of the software developer.
Update:While looking into this tablet I discovered that my unit is actually supposed to have HDMI out. That’s what the specs show on CVS.com. But that’s just a minor snafu compared to the hardware problems. CVS shipped me the wrong tablet. There are actually several models floating around under the one name, and if you buy one you won’t know quite which one you get until you open the box. That alone is reason enough to avoid this thing.
It has USB Host (a converter), Wifi, a microSD card slot, microphone, and a so-so speaker. There’s also a headphone jack but it appears to be a smaller size. (Don’t lose the converter.) Sound quality was pretty good over the headphone jack but the speaker sound quality is poor. There’s also a stylus, and it has a slot on the back.
It shipped in a huge box with just the 2 converters and the power supply. It also had a paper sticker stuck to the screen, so be careful when you pull it off.
The touchscreen took some getting used to. But after I calibrated it and gave up on using the stylus I quickly got used to it. The screen is not the greatest in the world but I don’t see any obvious problems. The general image qualities of the screen are great.
Responsiveness and Speed
This is actually a pretty fast tablet – while plugged in. I’ve noticed a change in behavior between when the tablet is plugged in and when it is not. I’ve noticed that turning on the Wifi while not plugged in tends to make it sluggish. But turning the Wifi off again seems to fix the sluggishness.
I think the battery doesn’t provide enough power on its own, and that concerns me.
Update: After using it for a number of hours I know that it is a crapperjack* tablet. It has multiple flaws; this is a tablet that should not be set aside lightly; it should be thrown away as hard as you can. Folks this thing has no Sleep/Suspend mode and an underpowered battery. It’s JUNK. This is most definitely a crapperjack* tablet.
The biggest problem is that it has no sleep mode. Once you turn it on you’ll have to leave it plugged in or manually turn it off. Battery life is about 3 hours, which is only okay because my sole reason for keeping this was to use it as a toy.
The other major problem is that the battery is underpowered. Whenever I try to run Wifi (without plugging in the tablet) the responsiveness would best be described as abysmal. That’s a pity because when plugged in this is a very speedy tablet.
I wouldn’t get this as my main tablet. It’s an excellent toy but the battery issue is a killer, IMO. But if all you want is a toy, knock your self out. P.S. I also haven’t found a sleep mode yet. If I have to power this off manually then it falls firmly in the crapperjack tablet category and it will go back.
* Crapperjack is a term I coined last year for Android tablets that were so bad that they might as well have come as a toy in a box of candy.