Tag Archives: first impression

Asus Memo Pad 7: First Impressions

On Saturday July 25, 2015 – I have received the Asus Memo Pad 7 to replace the Alcatel Pop 7 when the screen cracked. The tablet is to function as a secondary tablet which is intended to remain mostly home, and suit for some of the secondary application roles that the Pop 7 did. One exception will be music playing which an iPod Shuffle was acquired as a dedicated day time player. The tablet has an Intel Atom Dual Core 1.2Ghz CPU, 1GB of memory, 16GB storage with a micro-SD card support (64GB). The tablet has Wifi-N, and Miracast. There is a .2MP (VGA) front camera, and a 2MP rear camera. There is an headphone jack, micro-USB, power, and volume. The OS is Android 4.4.2 with Zen UI.

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First Impressions: Hisense Sero 7 LT

My iPod Touch went dead (technically life support). It was failing to charge properly. It would stop for no reason, and act in an erratic behavior. Considering I had this player since 2009, I am satisfied with the work I got into it. However, 5 years ago was some better days. Simply put, there was no desire to keep a player where I will be forced to use iTunes which have been becoming more of a Pain in the Ass with every update. So with my iPod Touch about to no longer function, I needed a new media player. I wanted a few things with my new player such as:

  1. Android OS (iOS is too expensive, and iTunes has a lack of confidence)
  2. A sufficient enough screen to function as a bedside clock
  3. Sufficient space to hold a large collection of music
  4. A good dim setting on the screen
  5. Wifi-N

The Hisense is not a great player, but it is good enough. Considering I needed something on a budget as if I had $250 or more, I would have acquired a Nexus. I got the HiSense about 12PM today, and therefore had it for about 8 hours. I of course charged it which the plug gave me a hard time in plugging in. The Sero 7 has a dual core 1.6Ghz CPU, 1GB of memory, and 2GB of storage (although much is used by the OS, and software). It has a front side camera which I am not so interested in – but no rear camera. It connects with Wifi-N, and has no cellular connectivity. It has microUSB, HDMI, 3.5mm Audio, and a micro-SDHC (32GB capacity). All of these ports and jacks are on the top. The power and volume is towards the top left, and problematically close. The tablet is exclusively available at Walmart, and their page noted that it had Android 4.1, and Android 3.0. Obviously, one was a typo, and thankfully for Walmart, the tablet has 4.1 and would have been returned if it was lower. The tablet has most of the Google Applications, but for some reason is not capable of installing Google Keep. This means it will never serve as my primary tablet (and therefore still need such).

The Good

It was cheap. I bought it for about $90 with taxes, and S&H. While I would have wanted something better, my budget constraints will force otherwise. The screen resolution isn’t great, but good enough. Even after removing almost all of the software I would never use, I only had about 600MB of storage for applications. And Vudu can not be uninstalled. The screen is responsive, and the applications load well enough considering. The tablet also has a good enough shape for it as well.

The Bad

The back has been slippery. It went out of my hands twice today, and thankfully the headphones has lessen the impact. The front camera is horrible, and unusable for anything other than the most basic of video chatting in extremely good lighting conditions. The placement of the buttons, and connections are odd to say the least, and will take some getting used to. And while the CPU, and memory is sufficient, you have 2GB of storage. If you want to do anything beyond what they gave you, expect to get a micro-SDHC card. I personally spent $25 at Amazon for a 32GB card which will hold all of my media. Yes, you can use Pandora, and Play Music, but if you leave your home network, you better have a cellular router.

The tablet also has decided to disconnect itself when it doesn’t think it needs to be connected to the Wifi Network. If you want this device to provide a second screen for email, Twitter services, and other social networks, you may be giving this tablet a few choice words. It also gave me some problems with my WiMax router. And while I know WiMax isn’t the best choice, this tablet still gave problems with connections. It didn’t give any problems with home router

The keyboard is terrible. I am actually considering looking into another keyboard. Since I am happy with the Google Keyboard on my Nexus 4, I never thought of a suitable replacement. Which brings me to another issue. This tablet does not have stock Android on it. It has a somewhat modified UI, and while it is not the kind that screams in your face such as LG’s or Samsung’s – the placement of certain things is not where they should be with the stock version.

The tablet went through 3-4 updates, and while I never complain about updates, these updates didn’t update the OS (still at 4.1.1). This leads me to believe there were some serious bugs with the drivers, or the UI changes. In other words, Hisense didn’t take time to make sure their tablet worked properly. With so many updates in the first day, you would expect an OS update. And as I mentioned before, there are some software issues – even with Google apps. While Google Keep is a minor program, there could be other programs that won’t work. I guess it shouldn’t be a big issue since you only have about 600MB of storage.

There is no Bluetooth. With Bluetooth built into most CPUs, it would seem as if every device should have Bluetooth. If you want a wireless listening experience, you are SOL. Also, there doesn’t seem to be an Auto-Brightness feature which means no ambient light sensor. The accelerometer also seems to be a little too sensitive switching from vertical to horizontal on the screen at a whim.

The Ugly

Yes, I know this is a sub-$100 tablet, and you get what you pay for, but if Walmart is doing as Amazon where they hope to make their money on after market purchases (such as Vudu content), you would think that this tablet will have a value of $125. For that, I would have expected more storage and maybe someway to have a kickstand or other means of propping up the tablet. If they are shoving Vudu down my throat, you would figure they will put more thought in how a person will use the tablet. And as with many devices these days – no removable battery. At least I can store 32GB of content (with a Micro-SD card)

Final Thoughts

If you are like me, and very tight on money, this might be a Good Enough tablet. However, there is nothing great about this tablet. Most good things about this tablet is just Good Enough. However, it does seem as if you can eliminate all non-OS apps with the exception of Vudu. Again, app management is just good enough. Based on first day experience, the tablet will last most of the day. However, a better solution if you can spend an extra $50 might be the HP Slate 7. At least, there is a chance in hell to get an update. I have no confidence of any OS updates with the Hisense. If you are like me, and want a much better tablet, try to save the $250 for an Nexus 7. While this tablet (with the SD card) will have more storage, you will likely get a great experience.

However, this tablet will be a primary tablet until I can afford for a Nexus 7. Once that happens, it will be demoted to home media device. As a home media player with clock functionality, Good Enough is probably Good Enough.

Wimax – First Impressions

I have received the Wimax modem about 1PM yesterday, and figured I would write my first impressions. First, I decided to get Wimax as all of the other ISPs that I would have been able to choose if I moved would have been the same price or much more and at least with Wimax, I should be able to take the modem to another location (as long as I could plug in).

First, considering that the service was already activated – it was very easy to setup. I received the cheapest modem and rotated a lever to establish the feet so it could stand vertical. I then plugged the modem into an electrical outlet which supports a 2 prong connection. I plugged the router into the only RJ-45 port, and there is an RJ-11 port, but that is for Clear’s VOIP service. After that, I had to log into my router, and set my IP services settings to acquire from the ISP where the DSL used Static. Once that was done, everything worked perfectly, right? Wrong. Continue reading Wimax – First Impressions

You Just Turn Me On Every Night!

After almost a week of waiting the charging cradle I ordered has arrive. What does this mean? Well, for the immediate change of pace, very little. However, instead of me plugging my phone into the wall directly with a USB cable that connects to an AC adapter, it would be inserting it into the dock which would stand the phone up right in portrait mode and at a slight back angle.

And in the near future, I am hoping to get a battery for the phone which would plug into the back of the charger – effectively charging the battery in the phone, and a spare at the same time. This would allow me to get through the day as anyone with a high demanding smart phone knows – you can’t get through the day on a full charge. Another reason why not to get iPhone as you can’t switch the battery out.

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First Impression – HTC Magic (aka myTouch)

I went to the T-Mobile store on Forbes Avenue in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh PA for the new (to me) phone. Keep in mind that the myTouch is almost a year old, and while I would have liked a 3G phone earlier, it wasn’t until September of 2009. This would have defeated the purpose of having a 3G phone, especially since none as of yet supports UMA.

First, the phone, and included accessories comes in a bulky case. This makes it look important, but in the end, I would only use it if I intend to carry it in my backpack, or pack it away for a while. It also comes with a user guide, promotional material and a possibility for a free shell. As for the more useful items, an headphone which the pad anchors are a b**ch to get on, and of course the micro USB – 3.5mm headphone jack. Unlike the iPhone, or most other smart phones, there is no microphone on the headphones, but instead on the adapter. There is also a 4GB micro SD card which I would most likely give it when I sell the 8320.

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