In Pursuit of the Sub-$100 Android Media Player: Elsse 4.3
For the past few months now I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a cheap Android handheld to use as a pocketable media player and ebook reader. I still haven’t found one, but today I came across another 4.3″ tablet that almost met my needs.
My target device would best be described as the Android equivalent of the iPod Touch. The first device I considered was the Pocket Primer from Skytex, but then Brad Linder reviewed it at Liliputing and the poor hardware and the repeated failed attempts to install apps shot it out of the water.
I then considered the Ematic Twig, but the unit I bought had a defective touchscreen and it also had issues with installing apps. And it looked to be the close cousin of the Pocket Primer, so I didn’t see a need to get a second unit and try again (I expected to find the same issues).
Today I found another 4.3″ Android tablet. It looks to have much better performance than either the Twig or Pocket Primer.
The Elsse 4.3 (no model name) is listed on Amazon for $69. There’s no mention of the CPU, screen resolution, or Flash storage, but the listing does mention that it’s running Android v2.2 with Wifi, a microSD card slot, a speaker, and video output. Curiously enough, it comes with both a set of earbuds and the video cables, but there is just the one spot to plug both of them in.
The price and general design suggests that the Elsse 4.3 is closely related to the other 2 tablets, but this one appears to be a much better tablet. I found a video review on Youtube, and this tablet did quite well with Angry Birds. It also has a g-sensor (and can use it), which puts it a step above the Twig.
The video doesn’t show much, and the reviewer didn’t install any extra apps, unfortunately. But I did find a hint on SlateDroid that the Angry Birds app was customized for a MIPS CPU. This tablet was also reported as shipping with the Android Market, and one owner commented that the supply of apps was sparse.
BTW, I’ve gotten mixed reports on the battery life. The Youtube review said it only had about 3 hours (with a standby time which is measured in hours, not days.), but an owner reported getting over 6 hours with Wifi off. That’s a big difference and it almost makes this tablet worth getting.
Based on the comments from owners I’d say that this could be the tablet for me. But I already have gadgets coming and CES is in the near future, so this one will have to wait.
- 600MHz Ingenic CPU
- Android v2.2
- 4.3″ resitive touchscreen
- microSD card slot