On the Perils of Buying a Generic Android Tablet
Last week I took possession of a truly generic Android Tablet. It had no brand, model name, nor even any identifiable features. And now it’s dead.
The tablet died within just the first few days, and I do not know why.
This was my first venture into the back-alley gadget world that is Shenzhen, and it will be my last.
When it was alive, this wasn’t a bad tablet for the price ($130). The device felt cheap, the performance was so-so, and I never did get a chance to test the battery life. It wasn’t terribly good, but my standards were low. So long as it could do basic tablet stuff (and Angry Birds), I would have been happy.
I went into this knowing that the tablet effectively had no warranty. This didn’t bother me before I got it. In spite of my usual bad luck with gadgets, I didn’t expect this one to die (at least not so fast). But now that it is dead I am forced to consider if this really was a good idea.
So what was it like to use? I don’t really know. I had been planning to take it with me to conference (I just got home) and use it intensively, but I gave it up for dead before I got a chance to know it. But my first impressions were generally positive. For cheap tablet, it didn’t seem bad.
But I’m still returning it, not exchanging it. While I know that not all generic tablets are as likely to fail as this one, a second tablet from the same production run will likely have the same risk of failure. And from where I sit, the risk is too high for me to be comfortable with it.