When it comes to tablets, everyones first thought is the iPad. A lot of people don’t even realise that there is anything else! While the iPad is a lucious piece of kit, it is extremely expensive. At £400 it is out of reach of many peoples budgets.
The ePad tablet is made in China to suit the lower end of the budget. These tablets are seriously cheap! You can get one for just a little over £60.
But, are they any good? The old adage, you get what you pay for comes to mind. And with this device, the reviews are mixed. Certainly the older versions were terrible. Although largely functional – you could surf the web and watch your programs satisfactorily – they have a reputation for not really being useful for anything else. There were problems with the screen – it was very unresponsive, and the build quality was terrible. This is fine if you just want basic use out of it, but anything more intensive and you will quickly become frustrated. They also didn’t ship with the Google Play store app. This meant you were unable to easily download new apps onto your tablet. Many people felt that even at the cheap price, they were a complete waste of money.
With Android tablets, there are always things to be wary of.
The truth, it seemed, was that if you needed a tablet that was of any use at all, you had to fork out the cash of the iPad. Nothing else was good enough.
The LB-01 ePad tablet
However, this has all changed with the release of the LB-01 tablet.
The LB-01 tablet comes pre-installed with Android v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It has an HD Superslim 7 inch 5 point multi-touch Capacitive screen, A10 1.5Ghz processor, 512Mb DDR II memory and an 8GB NAND Flash hard drive space which can be upgraded to 16Gb via the Micro SD memory slot. It has a built in 0.3 mp front facing camera. It won’t win any awards – but it is adequate for Skype.
Networking is via its build in WiFi card. There is no 3g, but this can be added via the USB slot if necessary.
Plus it comes with the Google Play Store installed. Via the Google Play Store there are thousands of apps available that can be downloaded and installed instantly.
Does it stand up to the mark?
This all sounds very good, but does it work in practice?
The build quality is much better. It is solid and feels robust and comes in a nice shiny black finish. The look and feel is of quality. It feels good to hold and at 365grams it is feels light and comfortable to hold.
The screen has also been hugely improved. The touch is now light, responsive and accurate – on par with the iPad. No stylus is necessary when operating this tablet. The display quality is good. Obviously the iPad outshines here, but this more than adequate for watching films and playing games on.
Setup is easy. Icecream Sandwich is a huge improvement over vn 2.2 of Android. Within 5 minutes I had it setup, connected to the internet and downloading apps.
The WiFi connection was excellent. Videos streamed with no buffering and were smooth and easily watchable. The build in speaker is admittedly a little tinny, but with headphones the sound quality was fine. I was also able to plug it in to our television via the HDMI port and watch the films from there.
On the downside, the charging socket is a thin DC pin, which does feel a little flimsy. I wouldn’t risk being rough with this as it could quite easily be damaged.
So overall, this tablet is excellent. At the price it is an absolute steal! Would I have an iPad instead? Probably – but I would just sell the iPad on ebay and buy this tablet instead, pocketing a large portion of change. I prefer Android over iOS, finding it’s flexibility and power exactly what I need in a tablet. Now I have a tablet I can use and I can still feed my family. Bonus!