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And... more on the AndyPad!

12 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

I met with the AndyPad team today and have had a more full hands on with both the AndyPad and the AndyPad Pro.

First, let's remind ourselves about the prices. The AndyPad is going to land at £129, the AndyPad Pro at £169, both with free delivery.

The devices have a common look and a lot of common internals. They're both white with AndyPad branding on the rear, they're both powered by RockChip 1.2GHz processors with 512MB RAM and they both have mini HDMI, microSD, microUSB, 3.5mm ports.

The base AndyPad has a 7" WVGA resistive screen however the AndyPad Pro has a 7" 1024x600 capacitive screen. The AndyPad has only a front facing camera whereas the AndyPad Pro has a rear camera too (2 Megapixels). The AndyPad Pro adds Bluetooth and has 16GB internal storage vs 8GB on it's cheaper sibling.

So, the base Andypad - first impressions of the device (the first time i've used a working unit) are, to be honest, a bit disappointing. Although the construction feels decent and the device is solid, the screen is a real letdown. To be fair the resistive touch panel is one of the more responsive units i've tried, but the lack of multitouch across all apps is immediately apparent (I can't zoom in Angry Birds for example). This is something that the AndyPad developers hope to fix with 'software multitouch' but it's a concern. Far more serious however are the viewing angles of the screen and the fairly washed out colours. If you've used an Advent Vega you know what i'm talking about, except it's possibly even worse. The screen is pretty unusable anything other than viewing straight on, which is a big problem. On the whole the device feels relatively snappy (although the ROM isn't final so it's far too early to comment on overall performance), the accelerometer is a nice feature as is the vibration motor. Video playback of a 1080P AVI seems to be excellent, particularly when output via HDMI to a monstrous LCD in the room. That I was impressed with.

Thankfully such screen problems are not an issue with the Pro device - it's 1024x600 screen is bright, clear and viewable from all angles. Multitouch works properly as you would expect. The device is marginally thicker in construction but a little different in styling with a flush screen, although it's still noticeably a relation to the cheaper AndyPad.

Both devices feature a number of popular apps, many of which will be preinstalled at launch (1st September), however there is no confirmation as yet as to which app Market will be included.

So, what does all this mean? Well, for me personally, I feel that the base AndyPad is a far less appealing proposition than it first appeared. While the AndyPad team are keen to emphasise the low price point, i'm concerned that the screen is just too much of a unacceptable compromise even at £129... but of course time will tell and as i'm sure someone will point out... i'm not the target market...? The AndyPad Pro is a far nicer device, but at £169 isn't quite the bargain that the base model is (although it's still good value) - competing devices are dropping in price all the time and I know a number of companies are gearing up to launch pretty compelling tablets at the sub £200 price point. In my ideal world there would be a single AndyPad at ~£150 with a capacitive screen (i'd happily lose the rear camera, bluetooth and 8GB of storage to hit that price)... :)

One unknown is the CPU - the new Rockchip chipset shows promise but i've yet to use one in anger personally, so i'll reserve judgement.

Again, i'll be posting more news as I get it (and I expect to have some test devices next week) after which i'll have a better overall view of the AndyPads.

P

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Posted · Report post

I was excited to hear yesterday that the AndyPad was going 'Pro' for a "similar price" as the regular AndyPad. I think I've lost my enthusiasm for the device now that Paul has discovered that "similar price" is actually significantly more.

For £199 I could pick up the new Archos 80 G9 which is launching at the same time as the AndyPad and is much higher spec and also has Honeycomb 3.1 with Google Experience.

I really do hope the AndyPad sells well though, for £129 you can't go wrong!

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Posted · Report post

And therein lies a key question. £129 is still £129, so can you 'go wrong'? :) As I say in my post, i'm not the target market, so perhaps to the potential buyers the sub par screen will be an acceptable compromise?

re: the Archos, is UK pricing confirmed?

P

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Posted · Report post

re: the Archos, is UK pricing confirmed?

P

That pricing is what they had in their press release so I assume it's final pricing.

I have to admit, it's nice to finally see a true budget Honeycomb device. Out of current tablets the Transformer is great value for money but I'm still happy to see Archos get serious with Android!

As for the AndyPad - like you said Paul, we are not the intended target audience with the £129 model but I do wish them the best of luck!

They should speak to BestBuy UK, the store local to me has a massive tablet selection ranging from budget to high end - really think it could sell well in a store like that.

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Posted · Report post

I'm a bit disappointed with your finding if I'm honest Paul and would agree with you that they would have been better providing a capacitive tablet for £150.

I worry for Andypad based on what you have said and the fact that the Archos G9 is also on the horizon. Still, judging by what you said, the Pro version still sounds fairly promising.

You also mention some other manufacturers that are about to hit the market with budget tablets. Can you tell us anymore about these?

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Posted · Report post

And therein lies a key question. £129 is still £129, so can you 'go wrong'? :) As I say in my post, i'm not the target market, so perhaps to the potential buyers the sub par screen will be an acceptable compromise?

re: the Archos, is UK pricing confirmed?

P

Yes, you can. Walgreens (US version of Boots or Superdrug) $99 tablet review

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Posted · Report post

Talking bout the cpu... being used in anger etc etc...

When I met them.. they said the cpu comes underclocked out of the box... so there's some room for fun there! :)

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Posted · Report post

What were your thoughts on the screen?

P

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Posted · Report post

They're both white with AndyPad branding on the rear, they're both powered by RockChip 1.2GHz processors

Let me say that I don't have any inside information on this project so take this with a pinch of salt... but I expect the CPU to be a Rockchip RK2918 SoC. This is a 1.2GHz A8 Cortex with Neon instructions, 512MB cache and high performance 2D/3D. Also has native 1080P decoding so it fits with the information in the AndyPad image above.

I win :)

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Posted · Report post

A 2mb camera? May as well not bother with that low in this day and age.

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Posted · Report post

I win :rolleyes:

*golf clap* :)

P

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Posted (edited) · Report post

What were your thoughts on the screen?

P

I held it up to the light, and it did look very dim. And the first time I had a go on it.. I couldn't get the app drawer to scroll properly :/ it does seem a big waste to have a good cpu, and now have decent ram too and then go and spoil it with a barely responsive screen. :)

I totally agree with your thoughts on just releasing the single model for 150. But strategically, for their business, releasing two is probably the right thing to do. They will always attract the young audience with the first pad... but now they are going to attract the more geeky types with this second one, simply because they already have the hype behind them.. from all these sites reporting on it.

Overall.. for the first release, its like I said in the meeting with them.. its a bargain at the price.. so what can you expect for from it. U ain't gettin no singing and dancing shizzle on the base model!

Edited by philicibine
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