A Brief Review of the SmartQ V7, pt 1
My SmartQ V7 just arrived in the mail, and I thought I’d post some thoughts. I’m going to compare the V7 with my SmartQ 7, which is the previous generation. I’ll post a more extensive review later, and this will cover all 3 OS options that come on the SmartQ V7. Both models are available right now, and I’d recommend EletroWorld if you want to buy one.
The 2 devices have a lot in common; they literally have almost identical hardware. They’re a 7″ touchscreen LCD tablet design with a curved off-white back panel. There are 2 speakers & a flimsy kickstand on the back, 3 button on the upper edge, 3 buttons to the left of the screen, SDHC card slot & reset button on the lower edge, and power, headphone jack, & USB Host on the right edge. The only major visual difference between the 2 is that the newer model has HDMI out.
Both devices have Wifi & Bluetooth, and they run the same custom Ubuntu Linux firmware. The V7 also comes with Android and WinCE pre-installed. The V7 has more RAM (256MB vs 128MB) and more internal storage (2GB vs 1GB).
I’ve been playing with the V7 for a couple hours now, and I can’t see any significant improvement in its performance over that of its predecessor. This is something of a relief for me because I’ve so desperately wanted a V7 ever since it was announced.
I’ve had the SmartQ 7 since August, and I like it. It’s not a terribly fast MID, and it doesn’t have Flash support, but I’ve found it to be a more than adequate ereader. It comes with FBReader and Midori (web browser), and you can also most common Linux apps.
When I use the SmartQ 7, I like to alternate between reading an ebook, browsing blogs & forums, and reading RSS feeds. The general e-reading experience is where the SmartQ devices excel. Actually, this is where LCD tablets usually beat epaper based ereaders because there are times where a fast screen refresh is worth it.
I haven’t used the Android or WinCE firmwares yet, so I can’t comment on them. But I will say that I like the SmartQ as general ereaders, and I’m beginning to lean towards recommending the V7 over it predecessor. I wouldn’t replace an existing SmartQ 7, but if I was making a new purchase I would get a SmartQ V7. I think the extra RAM, Flash, and OS options might be worth the extra cost ($189 vs $225 at Eletroworld). On the other hand, the SmartQ 7 is a very adequate in its own right, and you should ask yourself if you really need the extra features.