Yesterday I got a loaner tablet in the mail. This is a budget tablet disguised as an ereader, and it is being sold by the same folks as the funky Android tablet I reviewed last week.
The Reader2 is based on a standard 7″ LCD screen with a resistive touchscreen. I haven’t found the specific CPU info yet, but I do know that it is running Android v2.1 with 4GB Flash storage, Wifi, a microSD card slot, headphone jack, as well as a speaker and microphone.
Before I go further, let me state that I don’t have unreasonable expectations for this tablet; it’s selling at Best Buy for $120.
This is a budget tablet and it feels like one, and if you want a good point of reference then you might look at the Next2 that I prepped last week as a gift. They even use the same reading app and a similar home screen (you can see the Reader2′s home screen in the gallery below). I’m not sure why anyone would design a home screen this way but clearly at one point it was a popular idea.
But the Reader2 feels like a cheaper and less solidly made clone of the Next2. The case is adequate, and the ports along the lower edge (USB, microSD, power, mike, headphone jack) offer the basic abilities you’d expect from a budget tablet.
In terms of weight and balance this is an okay tablet. It is heavier than any of my ebook readers (the K5 comes closest), but it’s also larger than the ereaders. Just to put it in perspective, it’s also lighter than some 7″ Android tablets.
The first thing I noticed was that the touchscreen isn’t very good. It’s resistive, which is normal in this price range, but it’s not very responsive. It is also not very accurate even after I calibrated it. I made any number of typing errors with the onscreen keyboard. The Reader2 misread the key I was trying to press far more often than any other recent tablet.
I’m also having trouble playing one of the included games. Ant Smasher is played pretty much the way the name suggests, but with this screen it’s difficult to smash the ants.
I plan to post a review next weekend, and I’ll be playing with this tablet on and off until then.
The Reader2 comes with much the same apps as its sibling, the eGlide Reader Pro (which I reviewed last week). It has 2 reading apps, both the Kobo Android app and the stock reading app which I have come to expect on certain Android tablets. It also has:
- browser, email
- video & audio players
- pucture viewer
- Appoke Appstore
- Advanced Task Manager
- file manager
- voice recorder
- several games
- Box.net (free 5GB online storage)
It needs more apps, but that’s a good start. The Kobo app and the other reading app both work okay, and I’ve already set up my account at Kobo.
I have the spec sheet here.
- 1GHz CPU
- Android v2.1
- 7″ (800×480)
- resistive touchscreen
- 4GB Flash
- microSD card slot
- ebook format support: ePub, TXT, PDF, MOBI, LRC-FB2, RTF, HTML, PDB
- audio/video support: MP3, WMA, FLAC, AAC, OGG, MPG, RMVB, WMV, WAV, MP4, AVI, FLV, ASF, 3GP, RM, DAT