CES 2012 Tablet Roundup

Device Overview

  • Acer Iconia Tab A700: 10" 1080p screen with a quad core CPU
  • Acer Iconia Tab A510: An update to the 10" Acer Iconia A500 with quad core CPU and Android 4.0
  • ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF700: An update to the 10" Transformer Prime TF201 with a new design, 1080p screen and 2MP camera
  • ASUS Eee Pad MeMO ME370T: 7" quad core Android tablet for a great price of US$249
  • Lenovo IdeaTab S2: 10" Android 4.0 tablet with optional keyboard dock
  • Pantech Element: 8" LTE tablet with Android 3.2
  • XO 3.0: The One-Laptop-Per-Child (OLPC)’s US$100 tablet targetting developing nations

Acer Iconia Tab A700

Acer Iconia Tab A700 - via Engadget

  • 10" 1080p (1920 x 1200) "IPS like" screen
  • Quad-core 1.3GHz Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB RAM
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • HDMI-port, microSD and micro USB
  • Expected in Q2 2012
  • Links: Engadget, The Verge, TechRadar, Image via Engadget

Acer Iconia Tab A510

  • 10" (1280 x 800) screen
  • Quad-core 1.3GHz Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB RAM
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • An updated Iconia Tab A500 but with quad core CPU and ICS
  • Links: The Verge, PhoneArena, Android Central

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF700

ASUS Transformer Prime TF700

  • 10" (1920 x 1200) super IPS+, Gorilla Glass screen
  • Quad-core 1.3GHz Tegra 3 CPU
  • 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • Android 4.0
  • Skyrim w/ splashtop
  • Compared to older Transformer TF201: New design, higher resolution (1920×1200 vs 1280×800), better front facing camera (2MP)
  • Links: ASUS press release, The Verge, Engadget, Android Police,

ASUS Eee Pad MeMO ME370T

Asus Eee Pad MeMO MT370T - via Liliputing

  • 7" (1280 x 800) IPS screen
  • Quad core Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB RAM,
  • 8 MP camera
  • Android 4.0
  • There is an older configuration (ME171) which is the original MeMO device with a specialized bluetooth headset and stylus that was previously in the news months back. It has a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU with 5MP rear camera and 1.2MP front camera
  • US$249.
  • Links: ASUS press release, The Verge, Engadget, NVIDIA blog, CNET, Image via Liliputing

Pantech Element

Pantech Element

Lenovo IdeaTab S2

Lenovo IdeaTad S2

OLPC’s XO 3.0


Optus MyTab / ZTE V9 Review

Optus MyTab box

I managed to pick up an Optus MyTab (which is a carrier branded ZTE V9) for AUD$129 back in September and have been thoroughly happy with the purchase. The MyTab is a 7″ Android tablet with full phone capabilities and I bought it to test the 7″ form factor for use as a tablet as well as ereader. I found myself mainly using it as a MiFi or a portable hotspot device that will share your mobile (3G) data over WiFi.

7″ is big yet small
The V9 is small in size and portable, with it easily being put into a back pocket or handbag/man-bag. I found 7″ to be a good size for reading text and saved web pages via ReadItLater however browsing websites may be a hit and miss experience. Since the device doesn’t have multi-touch, it was harder to zoom in and out of web pages that are not formatted for mobile, thus it may be considered too small to view websites in full ‘desktop’ mode comfortably. The width of the device was also just small enough for me to hold it comfortably in one hand. Obviously this will change from person to person but the Galaxy Tab (and Galaxy Tab 7 Plus) are wider and it is not comfortable for me to hold.

Weight is good but could be better
I also found the device a bit heavy when holding it up in one hand above my head while lying down to read: I’ve had some near misses of dropping the device on my head. The only 7″ tablets that I know that are lighter all come from Samsung (Galaxy Tab at 380g, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus at 345g, Galaxy Tab 7.7 at 340g).

Resistive touch gets old over time
Some apps will have problems with the resistive screen which does not support multi-touch. Gestures like pinch to zoom are not possible and thus apps that rely on this may have problems: there is no way to zoom in or out in Angry Birds. For non-game apps there should be less of an issue as a zoom in/out control should appear; however I recently noticed it stopped showing in Opera Mini thus the only way to zoom in and out is to double tap the screen. While capacitive touch is desirable, resistive is sufficient for most of my use cases.

On a side note, the resistive screen does not have a uniform responsiveness: on some parts of the screen it is pretty responsive requiring only a light press or touch to active, while other parts require a heavier press. This could just be an issue with this device but is something to note when looking at resistive devices.

No Speed Demon
Having only a 600MHz processor means that this device is not meant for high end apps/games and can be slow at rendering web pages and opening complicated PDFs (eg with embedded vector images) but it is possible albeit slow at times. Not an ideal situation and not a good reading experience for graphic filled PDFs like comics. It also doesn’t support Flash in the browser.

The Camera is so-so
Quality is not great but I believe it is there just to meet the Google requirements in order to get Google apps on the device. The Android Market is highly important has some cheap tablets do not have it and make getting apps more difficult than it should be.

Sample photos (3.1MP: 2048×1536)

Sample Photo 1 (1536x2048)

Sample Photo 2 (1536x2048)

Phone/Hotspot Use
While it is possible to use as a phone, it can be a bit cumbersome as it only has speaker mode unless you use a headset – similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab. I do like Android’s portable hotspot feature for the device and is something I use very often, which is one thing I dislike about the iPad w/ 3G that doesn’t support Internet tethering.

Battery Life is pretty great
Using as a wireless hotspot sharing 3G over WiFi to my phone: can get over 8 hours of continuous usage (tablet mostly idle in bag but access Internet on phone). I recently put the device into a drawer for several days and accidentally left 3G mobile data on and it still has 90%+ of battery left.

Notification lights are awesome
The notification light, located at the bottom-right corner of the device, has 2 colours: green (to indicate > 90% battery when it is charging) and red to indicate unread notifications or that the device is currently charging. It is truley a joy knowing if you have unattended notification without switching on the device to check: a productivity plus.

Weird Audio
The MyTab comes with some Dolby sound enhancements that lets you specify settings for different media that you play, similar to an equalizer, but I found the default settings set the volume too low and sounds distorted. I had to create a custom profile to be able to listen to audio properly.

Charging via microUSB is fantastic
The device comes with a 5V @ 1.5A charger but it can be charged with a standard microUSB cable. With most phones having microUSB connections (the EU has even standardized this for consumer and environmental reasons), the convenience of having only to bring a single cable and charger to charge your devices is so great. I did find that the MyTab does charge slowly over USB (connected to a computer) when tethering 3G data (something my Optimus One is not capable of: it discharges slowly as power drain is higher than charging power)

While the device isn’t fantastic, it is a good deal for the price: cheaper than a dedicated MiFi device but with much more functionality. I certainly am very happy with this device even though I doubt it will get anymore official updates but it has made me comfortable with the smaller 7″ form factor and I’ll will be looking out for a similar 3G tablet but with better specs in the future.


  • Cheap clearance/end-of-life price
  • Great hotspot battery life
  • microUSB charging


  • Resistive touch
  • No updates
  • only 160MB+ for apps
  • slow CPU: slow opening documents, no Flash in browser


  • Screen does not have uniform responsiveness


  • 7″ 800×480 resistive screen (non multi-touch)
  • Android 2.2
  • 600MHz CPU
  • ~160MB for apps
  • RAM: 400MB+
  • 3 MP rear camera (no front camera)
  • 3G (full SIM slot)
  • microSD slot (supports up to 32GB) (comes with 2GB card)
  • microUSB for charging and computer connection
  • 3400mAh battery
  • Notification light, Accelerometer with auto rotate
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2, Tri band UMTS (900, 1900, 2100MHz), Quad band GSM
  • Weight: 403g
  • Dimensions: 192mm x 110mm x 12.6mm

Huawei S7 Slim

Huawei S7 Slim

Along with the Huawei Ideos X5 we managed to take a look at the Huawei S7 Slim which is an updated version of the Huawei S7. A more budget friendly (B$499) 3G tablet with phone capabilities, it has a similar UI to the original S7 which is a more landscape oriented and also has a lot of space for apps (2.7GB+). The original Galaxy Tab is currently going for B$575 at Shopping.com.bn and thus the S7 Slim may be a hard sell at the current price (the Galaxy Tab has less space for apps 1GB+).

(YouTube link to video)

The Good

  • A decent Android tablet at B$499 with ample space for apps
  • Support for Flash
  • On customer request the device will be rooted and upgraded to Android 2.3 running CyanogenMod

The Bad & the Ugly

  • May not have Android updates
  • The Galaxy Tab is less than B$100 more


  • Android 2.2 / Android 2.3 (upgrade to 2.3 upon customer request)
  • 7″ WVGA 800×480 capacitive multi-touch screen
  • 1GHz CPU
  • 2.7GB+ space for apps
  • 400MB+ RAM
  • Rear and front facing cameras
  • Full SIM slot
  • microHDMI, microUSB, microSD card slot, propetariy dock
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS

Note: We would like to thank TenTen for allowing us to film this at their shop in Kiulap. TenTen offers many Huawei and they also have battery packs for your iDevices or generic battery packs with a USB output to charge for your phone

Sample Photo (max resolution: VGA, 640×480)
Rear camera
Huawei S7 Slim sample photo - rear camera
Front camera
Huawei S7 Slim sample photo - front camera

Sample Video (max resolution: 352×288, 3gp file with h263 and amr mono encoding)
Rear camera (YouTube link to video)

Front camera (YouTube link to video)

The HTC Flyer

We managed to get our hands on the HTC Flyer at Yappe Computer, Serusop, and it seems like a good 7″ Android Tablet: an alternative to the older Galaxy Tab. It’s selling for B$859 (cash price) / B$886 (credit card price) for the 32GB model.

(YouTube link to video)


  • 7″ 1024×600 multi-touch capacitive screen
  • Stylus for use with the active digitizer screen
  • Android 2.3 with Sense 2.1
  • 1.5GHz CPU
  • 32GB storage (~7GB available for apps, ~20GB available as storage)
  • 1GB RAM
  • microSD card slot
  • 5MP rear camera with auto focus (no flash)
  • 1.3MP front facing camera
  • Standard micro-USB (no HDMI out)
  • Wifi: 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Audio supported formats:
    • Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 9)
    • Recording: .amr, .aac
  • Video supported formats:
    • Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 9), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3), .xvid (MP4 ASP and MP3)
    • Recording: .3gp
  • Battery: 4000 mAh
  • Supports Adobe Flash

(Specifications from HTC Flyer Website, GSM Arena)

Notes on the Stylus

  • works in apps that support it otherwise touching the screen takes a screenshot that you can annotate
  • cannot be used to ‘touch’ all controls / buttons only digitizer palette brought up by touching the icon with the digitizer (not your finger)
  • requires a single AAAA (yes 4 As) battery which I have not seen in shops
  • has 2 buttons: 1 highlights text, other erases

Bundled HTC Apps

  • Notes application syncs to Evernote and allows infinite vertical scrolling. Allows text input, photo embedding, handwriting annotation as well as voice dictation
  • Reader application is a reading app linked with Kobo for in app purchasing
  • Watch application allows renting and buying of movies (but doesn’t seem available in Brunei, thus can only watch previews/trailers)

Other Notes
While it is a 7″ Gingerbread (2.3) tablet instead of Honeycomb (3.x, which is the tablet optimized version of Android) it seems to be the better choice at the moment as apps will run on it with the only issue may be the way it looks. Currently is only one 7″ Honeycomb tablet: the Acer Iconia Tab A100 and it was released yesterday. It is the first device to have Android 3.2 which is supposed to provide better support for 7″ tablets compared to the regular bigger 10″ Honeycomb tablets. However there seem to be some force close issues and app incompatibilities reported by This Is My Next and ZDnet (i.e. more work for the developer to fix problems).

On the entertainment side it supports 720p video playback, supports quite a few file formats and codecs but there is no HDMI output unless you get the dock to use with the extended microUSB connector on the flyer. The HTC Watch app is a nice feature but not being available here makes it of no use. For office use, there is support for Microsoft Office documents that allows editing with normal text entry and even the stylus (however, not all file formats are editable). Battery life seems a bit mixed with the Engadget review being impressed by it while TechRadar and CNET UK rated it has having bad battery life. BGR and Android Central give it decent battery life with typical use of 2 days per charge.

While I wished they didn’t remove the calling ability of the device, the usability of the pen to annotate and take notes is pretty appealing. A good alternative to the Galaxy Tab if you don’t plan to use it for calling. Smaller and more portable than an iPad it is made more for mobility. The main reason to get this device is the active digitizer and stylus combo or if you just wish for a tablet faster than the Galaxy Tab whose age is showing. Nice to see HTC innovate with the Flyer and hope to see more with the upcoming Puccini, their shot at the 10″ tablet category.