Rockchip 2808 Dual Core “aPad” Android Tablet Review
My Rockchip 2808 Dual Core Android Tablet arrived almost over 3 weeks ago and I have been playing around with it for a enough time to have an opinion about the product. First off, I got the devices from amazon.co.uk for €170 which included delivery, and, like many of the Android tablets avaible these days, it’s one of those generic devices that are pouring out of China. From what I can tell from the information on the tablet it’s an “aPad”.
For those of you who don’t like reading (like me), I made a video showing off the tablet with most of this in it. The delivery of the tablet was good enough, not fast but it did arrive within the estimated time. The tablet comes with the following paraphernalia:
- Charger with Chinese/US plug
- One micro USB for connecting the tablet to a computer
- One micro USB to standard USB converter for using a keyboard or mouse
- A decent pair of 3.5mm headphones
- A faux-velvet carrier sleeve
- 3 pin-plug
The last item on the list didn’t service its purpose, or maybe it did and I just got impatient wanting to play with my new android tablet. Either way, the 2 pin charger didn’t seem to fit into what seemed to be a 3 pin adapter, so I just got an adapter for about four euro. I charged up the tablet for less then 2 hours and couldn’t wait any longer so I turned it on, I was greeted by Tux (the Linux mascot) and then a pulsing android logo, see the video for boot time. It was my first time using an Android device and I must say its extremely easy to navigate. I connected to a wifi network with no problems, signed into my google account and the tablet came alive with notifications for my gmail, Google calendar, Google docs etc. It integrates seamlessly with Google services, but that’s what you’d expect considering Google make the OS.
Look and Feel
The case is made with sturdy aluminium and has a nice heaviness about it without feeling like you’re holding a brick. The back face of the tablet has quite an iPad-esque look and feel. The buttons, switches, lights and ports are nicely finished and overall the aPad tablet looks very nice.
The tablet comes with Android 1.5 on it which is a very old version of Android at this stage, though you will find it hard to get a device this cheap with anything higher then 1.7 and from what I can tell its upgradeable. I hope to get around to upgrading it soon, though I can install any app I find in the market with no problem.
Battery life and Wifi
The battery life isn’t great, with just over 3 hours battery life with Wifi on and full brightness on the screen and 5 hours without both, though sometimes the tablet almost seems to draw energy from the atmosphere, going from yellow to green on the charge indicator. The device does charge extremely quickly, too. The Wifi range isn’t that great but does the job, for example my computer registers a good signal where in the same position the tablet registers fair.
The screen is a 7 inch 800×480 display. The touch screen can be somewhat sluggish and requires a little more pressure then usual for the tablet to register the input, but for the price its very good and once you get used to it, it’s fine.
Audio and Video
The audio playback on this Android tablet is good through the headphone jack as it uses an independent audio chipset. The built in speakers at the side of the device are not very powerful, which is to be expected.
Overall, I’m quite happy with my purchase. It’s cheap, so I don’t feel like I’m after spending loads of money on something I am not going to use 24/7. It’s a lovely device for reading PDFs, eBook, blogs, etc. I’m quite excited about developing apps for the Android platform (more specifically, games). Surprise surprise, a games development student wants to make games.
- RK2808 Chipset (ARM9 @ 600 MHz + DSP @ 550 MHz dual-core)
- Operating System: Android 1.5
- Internal 2GB HD with expandable Micro SD slot up to 32GB
- Networking: 802.11 Wireless G
- Sensors: Accelerometer ( G-SENSOR )
- 2 micro usb powers
- 3.5mm standard headphone jack
- micro SD card slot
- 1.3mp webcam
Product Description (source amazon)
- CPU uses the Rockchip RK2808 chipset. This is the only 65nm ARM9 plus DSP core currently made in China. The CPU runs at a frequency of 600 MHz, and supports hardware acceleated 720p playback in various formats. The ARM 9 with the right blend of applications and platform makes it comparable for use on any PC, even though ARM9 by itself is not that powerful. the dual core allows 720p video. Just as with multi-core CPUs, the RK2808 is not just any single-core processor.
- Using an independent audio chipset, the audio quality is good, particularily through the 3.5 mm jack.
- Uses a 7 inch 800×480 display. You can go online via wifi, read ebooks, go on instant messaging via MSN, play games, watch Youtube and much more. Uses a resistive single point screen (no multitouch).
- Has a built-in accelerometer and TransFlash (micro-SD) memory expansion up to 16 GB. Typically 4 GB should be enough for most users. The memory expansion card is very important, as applications installs and other uses are through the memory card.
- Internal wi-fi component, supporting connecting to the internet via wi-fi.
- 3000mAh capacity battery. Current batch has about 3 hour battery life with wifi enabled, and around 5 hours with wifi disabled.
- Last but not least, access to over 30000 both free and paid applications using the android market.