Tuesday, 6 September 2011

zpad - first look

Despite ranting on elsewhere about tablets versus netbooks, I am now the proud owner of an Android powered tablet computer.

Why did I buy it?

Convenience, for access to evernote and my mail

What did I buy?

A zPad - which is an Android 2.2 (Froyo) tablet with a ZMS08 CPU @ 1GHz, 16 GB SSD, 1 GB RAM and a 9.7" capacitive screen. It's styled to look like an iPad and Android has been skinned to make it look a little more like iOS than usual.

What was in the box?

A zPad, a fairly skimpy Chinglish manual, a USB cable, a power supply with a Chinese straight pin end and a converter for Australian power sockets.

What did it cost?

Around half what an equivalent iPad would cost and around a hundred bucks less than an Acer Iconia

How did I buy it?

Mail order via DHGate from a wholesaler in China. Service was prompt, efficient and the unit was well packed and took a week to get here.

What's it like?

Rather good. The screen is bright and clear, and as responsive as my iPhone 3. The keyboard has a PinYin mode which caused me some confusion at first but it works well as an English language keyboard once you realise how to avoid going into PinYin character choice mode. All the Android apps downloaded so far just worked.
WiFi setup was also trivially easy. I've made a couple of stuffups along the way, including breaking calendar syncing that I'll need to fix, but that's due to my unfamiliarity rather than anything wrong with it.

What next?

I need to spend more time with it and use it seriously. Certainly it looks very promising.

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