Caffeine Mark Score - 4853 Quadrant Score - 1693 NenaMark1 Score - 52FPS So this is the next level in the Skytex Alpha line. I was surprised to see a new pad so soon after the release of the original Alpha, but was not disappointing. Skytex listened to what it's customers were saying and came up with a nice successor in the Alpha 2. Let's start with the specs. A faster Cortex A8 bundled with the Mali 400MP graphics processor. This is a big deal if you are into gaming. With the Mali and a faster A8 the Alpha 2 handles some newer game Surprisingly well, GTA 3 anyone? Now this will not take the place of a Tegra 2 1GB tablet, but within this price range it is a more than respectable showing. Start with the full specs: Screen Type: 7" (diagonal) color LCD Display Resolution: 800x480 WVGA Touch type: Capacitive with 5-points of touch CPU 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A8 GPU Mali-400MP Memory 512MB RAM Storage 4GB Internal microSD Card support (up to 32GB) Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n I/O mini USB OTG 2.0 port micro SD card slot 3.5mm Earphone Jack HDMI 1.4 out .3MP front-facing camera Power Voltage: 100~240VAC, 50/60Hz Battery: 3000mAh Rechargeable Li-Polymer The case is a much sleeker and lighter design. Skytex took the issue people had with port placement wand went with all the ports on the right hand side, Speaker, Microsd, Earphones, Mini USB OTG, HDMI out, Power, and Mic. They have placed the power button on the top right corner, and added hard buttons for volume up and down. The Back, Home, and Menu are on the front right face and are the soft sensor type button, ala Coby Kyros. This design has my one and only pet peeve. When holding the Alpha 2 in portrait mode with both hands the speaker is covered by my hand. Not a huge issue except in games. The speaker itself is very good for watching movies or gaming. They have given up Bluetooth in favor of HDMI out which in my opinion is the best trade they could have made. Bluetooth is a very nice feature, but the quality of the new HDMI out is great. Add a 32GB Class 4 or better and you have a killer little media player. The capacitive touch screen is very responsive. With the factory protector on, which is about twice as thick as a normal screen protector, the pad suffered no response issues. I had read some "pre complaints" that it was "only 5 point touch". Seriously? Unless you are a direct descendant of Tom Thumb there is no way a 10 point touch could even be useful on a 7" inch pad. As with many pads it does not come with Android Market installed. Now for anyone who thinks this is a bad thing, many tablets do not. And they don't to save you the consumer money. No licensing fees, no additional cost to us. That being said there is a misconception that not having it is the same as not being able to use it. Pretty much anything that says Android OS can run Market with a few minutes of your time. And your tablet does not have to be rooted. The Alpha 2 comes with the alternative 1 Mobile Market. This is not Getjar, Slide-me or any of the other semi market places. 1 Mobile is a serious market contender with access to Netflix, Flash, Skype to name a couple. I have not yet not found the app I was looking for. But if you combine this with something like Amazon App Store you have all the bases covered. Personally I think whoever suggested hooking up with 1 Mobile was a genius. Speaking of apps, like the original Alph, the Alpha 2 comes with a bare bones install. This is good for several reason, no bloat slowing the pad down, you control what you want/don't want. It comes with your basic media player, file browser, email app. One other nice little app is Recipes, a recipe search engine that actually works. You can type in what ingredients you have, or look for specific recipes. Which brings me to my next "feature". While I cannot say it will remain this way, my tablet came with full root access already in place. Skytex has always supported the mod community if this remains the standard I think the mod community will begin to support Skytex. Within 10 minutes of opening the box I had all my favorite tweaks and managers installed and running. No rebooting, adb pushing, downloading, or hacking. Just go. Nice. The quality of the mic is much better than the original Alpha and in lower light camera works very well. This is another point that should be brought up. Unless you order a tablet that has cameras on both sides, the camera is not intended for taking stills or making home movies. You can try but these are basic web cams for apps like Facebook, Skype, Fling. I tried the latest release of Netflix, and like people are reporting on other tablets the audio is a little out of sync. I will try some older version, which as been reported to fix it. Wifi is actually better than a lot of my pads. I don't get quite as high of KBS transfer as some others, but the connection is rock solid, If I am getting 2 bars, it doesn't waver or bounce. Another new feature is the Skytex will now charge off of USB as well. It took about 5 hours off to get a full charge, when it is on with Wifi off it continues to charge, with WiFi on it seems to just hold it steady, which is about average. With A USB cable and a car USB charger you would be good to go. The tablet comes with your basics, a charger, headphones (surprisingly good sounding) and a USB cable. Overall it is a fast and responsive mid range tablet, a very nice sophomore effort. I can personally see me going one brand if the line continues to expand. Many of the features are direct from customer input like HDMI, USB Charge, and the capacitive screen. Another feature I am looking forward to the announce Ice Cream Sandwich OS coming for the Alpha 2. The new firmware flash is pretty simple and painless compared to the original Alpha. Pros Competitive pricing Capacitive Touchscreen HDMI out New Slimmer Design Good Market Alternative USB Charge Cons Speaker placement is the only real complaint I have that isn't aesthetic over function I would deduct points for the speaker actually, but the GPU and being pre-rooted more than make up for it. At this price range with this performance it's a great choice. I would like to note, when I rate a product it is always within class. I do not compare apples to oranges. If you buy a resistive screen device and complain it is not as nice as capacitive, well yes, but you new it didn't have capacitive when you bought it so it should not be a complaint. If you bought a single core tablets and complained it could not perform as well as a dual core with twice the memory, I would like to know what planet you have visited where it could, and do they ship intergalactic?