If you are buying a tablet today you are most likely not an gadgets addict or you are and just performing an upgrade. Switch brain on and ask yourself few questions. Do I need a tablet? Do I need an “fancy and cool” Ipad 4? Do I need new problems in my life? Since almost everything is possible to rationalize I will stop asking questions. Nevertheless before buying it is wise to set some boundaries.
- screen ratio
- where to buy
I chose Android based, set a budget at around 200 euros, size between 9-11 inch, screen ratio of 4:3 and no preferences of shopping place. After that I made some research on various Android forums and came out with an Onda V972. It looks like a perfect match but I had to order it on-line from China. But where? So far I had many positive feedback from Dealextreme so I went there and order it. I added fast expedited shipping (+22 euros) because default free shipment takes 30+ days. Dealextreme needed six days to prepare but TNT Express and customs needed additional four days. Total of 10 days and device came from China to Ljubljana and into my hands. Roughly with all expenses for 260 euros.
Onda V972 specification
Allwinner A31 quad core CPU, octa core GPU, 9.7 inch IPS 2048×1536 Retina display, Android 4.1/2, HDMI out, 2GB DDR3 Ram, 16 or 32 GB nand flash, dual camera 2+5 mega pixel
First impression was very good. Since this is Chinese tablet there was Chinese settings and some applications pre-installed. Therefore I searched for an alternative update and came up with this custom ROM – it’s rooted, English, removed Chinese and almost all unnecessary applications + some small fixes. Tablet is running smooth but I recommend to install alternative launcher like Holo or Nova.
After week of usage the only problem was connecting to WiFi on some public locations. I hope it will soon be solved in next firmware upgrades. It’s solved in firmware V3.0. You can get it here. Tablet is on the same technical, close on aesthetic and close on build quality level as Ipad 4 for 1/3 of it’s price.
After a while I went and tried unofficial CyanogenMod / AOKP, which is based on Android 4.3 at this moment. There are few issues but generally it is much better than stock. I am using AOKP for few months and I have zero complains.