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Warning to anyone interested in the Eken/Apad/ $100 Tablets

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by mrspeedmaster, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. mrspeedmaster

    mrspeedmaster Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I'm gonna save everyone the trouble to those considering this device (or anything similar from mainland China).

    These are really cheap,slow,horrid devices. I bought one out of curiosity,. I had no delusions on what it would be. I didn't believe any of the specs. I figure I needed a slow-low end Android device for app-debugging. Worst case scenario, I would use it as a 7" Picture frame.

    1) Slow. These machines are advertised at 600mhz. In reality,the sellers combine the CPU/GPU to get the total figure. Some are advertised at 1.2ghz,etc. OK, at 600mhz divided by 1/2, I thought I could live with a 300mhz cpu. Boy, was I wrong. Running sysinfo (See picture), the thing is running at 174mhz. I don't even remember an old Dell Axim x3, Treo, Palm, or compaq running this slow.

    2) Low on memory. 128MB is the advertised spec. Well, with nothing running, I only have around 30megs free. I am constantly killing tasks.

    3) Unresponsive. Screen is beyond un-responsive. You really need a stylus. I don't have one extra lying around. Accidental launching, accidental clicks are abound to happen.

    4) Horrid screen. I have a bunch of 7" LCD screens - displaylink, the first eeepc, some digital picture frames, a liliput. So I know about poor/avg quality. This thing is beyond horrible. Color dithers so bad. I think it only supports 256 to 16,000 colors. It is like a really badly dithered GIF. The colors are completely washed out. Forget the idea of a picture frame. I've seen 10 year old Nokia cellphones that look better.

    5)Slow. I just want to bring this up again and drive the point home. Playing video is only low-bitrate 3GP. Youtube does not work. Music playback is choppy. E-book reading is laggy.

    6) Battery life. I don't think I ever got more than 30 minutes out of mine. I've been reading the "fan boards" on this device. The failure rate is abysmally high. I had it fully charged and turned it off so I could show a friend. 6 hours later (with no use/completely turned off), the battery indicated I only had 45% left. Something is seriously wrong. I don't think I have an isolated device. Again, reading online, the failure rate is high.

    7)Shoddy build quality. At night, the led lights over-power the machine, you can see it leak light from different crevices and panel gaps. The plastic is so flimsy.

    8) No marketplace. I'm still looking for an APK. Hopefully someone cooks a new ROM. Until then, my opinion of this device will not change.

    Overall, I don't mind the slowness that much. It is slightly useable for twitter/facebook feeds IF it didn't have the unresponsiveness. They really needed to include a stylus with this.

    If they made a d-pad, I could at least navigate among icons and links on a webpage. Well, the d-pad controls the volume regardless of what you do.

    I also wish you can just use a regular USB cable. What is with the fake iPod connector which can't even charge the device.

    1) The Eken doesn't try to be a knock-off iPad like the aPad. It has all the Android keys (home,return,menu)
    2) full size SD slot
    3) Wifi works with WPA.

    Attached are 2 picts.-- Edit: The pictures didn't attached. I guess a session timed out.

  2. koppit

    koppit Well-Known Member

    Amen. You should post the pictures in a separate post, just so people can see for themselves. Has your screen started peeling away yet?
  3. rainor94

    rainor94 Member

    Would like to see the pictures too.
  4. mrspeedmaster

    mrspeedmaster Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Pictures didn't attach last time. Let me try again. 175mhz

    Attached Files:

  5. koppit

    koppit Well-Known Member

    Ah it looks so familiar. The speed and instability are why I sent mine back..
  6. ccphilly1984

    ccphilly1984 Member

    these are the ones they have on ebay, right? i was thinking of doing the cheap under 100 dolalr netbook and running android x86 on it...
  7. mrspeedmaster

    mrspeedmaster Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Yep, these are the ebay "slatedroids"

    Android x86 isn't all that either. If you are using an x86 netbook, why not ChromeOS or a light version of Ubuntu.
  8. koppit

    koppit Well-Known Member

    That would be what I found in my inbox....
  9. ccphilly1984

    ccphilly1984 Member

    chromeos is out? and i am running ubuntu now... 10.04 on my gateway eeepc... love it to death... ubuntu doesn't run on really slow hardware though... i was thinking of getting one of those 100 dollar netbooks and blowing away windows ce and putting some linux distro on it... just for fun...

    chrome os is out now?
  10. mrspeedmaster

    mrspeedmaster Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    There are a few developer builds out. Google Chromium usb boot. I have it booting off one of my laptop. Very snappy.
  11. Lukehluke

    Lukehluke Android Expert

    It would be good if these companies stopped selling these ipad rip off tablets.

    People will probably start to think that android is only run on these rubbish devices.

    Can't wait for the better ones though :p
  12. RichP

    RichP Newbie

    I was tempted by these but decided to buy an ipad instead(on Ebay at less than retail). I knew i would be happy with the resistive screen and shoddy build quality.

    Im hoping someone will hack Android 2.2 on to the ipad like they did on the iphone and iphone 3g because you have to admit hardware-wise the ipad is very good.

    If I wind up not liking the ipad i think it will still make a good DVD player type device for my 2.5 yr old son...Im sure there are some decent fun educational games(these seem to be lacking in android market).

    We probably wont see any decent Android tablet until Q4 2010.
  13. IanGClifton

    IanGClifton Well-Known Member

    I was in the same situation, wanting to get an extra device to testing and debugging. I looked at the one posted by mrspeedmaster as well as the "APad," but I knew they would be pretty terrible. Still... I only needed a debugging device and didn't expect it to really serve as a tablet. After debating for a while, I ordered a "SmartQ V7" a few days ago. Supposedly it triple boots (Ubuntu, Android 2.1, Windows CE) and is halfway decent, but I am keeping my expectations low for now. I'll post when it gets here and I actually have a chance to play around with it.

    Thanks for the warnings, mrspeedmaster.
  14. koppit

    koppit Well-Known Member

  15. MrDangerous

    MrDangerous Android Enthusiast

    I wonder why all of these devices seem to be running Cupcake or on occasion, Donut? One would think that from a value-added standpoint, getting one out there with Eclair or even better, Froyo would be a big step in the right direction.

    I can assume maybe the reason is, the people making the pad and the software people are completely separate groups. Perhaps they have some kind of common platform and they paid the software people one time to port over 1.x and they just keep rearranging the hardware to fit inside the device but keep it common (with different CPUs but compatible)

    I see a lot of reviews of things like this but have yet to see a device taken apart.
  16. mrspeedmaster

    mrspeedmaster Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Because they just dump the stock build with no customization or hardware
    optimization. They're just out for your money. I downloaded a firmware that stated it was a dev-firmware and actually timed out after 15 minutes.
    They also don't pay any licenses because mine had the full licensed documents-to-go with a hack key.

    They're very "shady"

    I'd wait for a mainstream company to bring one here like the Khols/JC Penney e-reader. You pay a little more and it runs Android 2.0
  17. koppit

    koppit Well-Known Member

    I agree, it could very well be the case. Maybe they all buy the same flash chips with the same software flashed on them?

    i did see a teardown on another forum: Aimless TearDown
  18. davemonfl

    davemonfl Lurker

    The $100 ones have a Via chip and are pitifully slow, (the picture shows a Via chip model) The ones with the Rockchip CPU are snappy and many people like them, if you manage to get one that's not defective. Quality control is terrible and by the end of the summer there will be many choices. I bought mine early on with the intent to sell it when the Notion Ink Adams come out and I enjoy using it for surfing, etc. Don't like using it for tasks that require a lot of typing.
  19. jiohdi

    jiohdi Lurker

    not everyone has had bad experiences. I for one am happy with mine. dont know which kind of chip is in it, but its unmarked, no eken printed anywhere on it. I found a 2 gig cache of apps on rapidshare in 16rar files... took two different internet ip's all day to get them on free downloads... but found a youtube that works... once you goto menu more and view normal quality... for bathroom reading, which is what I primarily bought it for, It has surpassed my expectations.
  20. Brookstone

    Brookstone Lurker

    So far I have read a lot of reviews or comments on those iPad knockoffs, such as APad, iPed, WePad, TouchPad, Epad and other XPads. No one give a good comment to those knockoffs because of their poor performance - slow, coarse build etc, even they are so cheap.

    Why are they so poor? A fact is, before iPad was officially released, those XPads have been released. That meant there was not any time for those knockoffs manufactures to optimize hardware/software for their "masterwork" :). They JUST wanted to eat the first scoop of soup in iPad market. So speedy release and low price were their prior weapons.

    iPad brings such a prosperous demand of Tablet PC, so I don't think those knockoffs will give up the cake and they are also aware of their deadliness. In the near future, they will drip-release their enhanced XPads. That is also a optimization process, just coming a bit late. Let's be a bit patient!:)
  21. Matthew77ask

    Matthew77ask Lurker

    I got one of these stuff...

    But I can't get youtube running.. Andriod 1.7...

    what can I do...

    Please help me...

  22. jiohdi

    jiohdi Lurker

    you down load the replacement youtube player... and it will not work for video until you click on menu > more > normal quality.
  23. colen35

    colen35 Lurker

    I also bought one of these xpads. I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by mine. I got it primarily as an ebook reader and with the Kindle apk I find that it works just fine. There are also other reader apps available, but the Kindle has the widest selection of books. However the touch screen is difficult to navigate. If you are not careful in setting your locale and language on the device you will wind up with a language that you don't understand making it extremely difficult to restore it to your own language. Anyone know how to update the firmware?
  24. j.smith

    j.smith Lurker

    very easy. copy the /script from the distribution to your SD card, stick in the M001 then reboot via power down/up. when complete, it will say remove SD card. power down first, then take out SD card. reboot - that's it. remember to remove /script from your sd card or else if you ever reboot with it, you will reflash your apad. you'll get a few seconds warning...
    colen35 likes this.

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