An affordable tablet that you can do without.
UI and Apps
The Xpad runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is good because it irons out most of the kinks that plagued Honeycomb. But the downside is that because the hardware here is so underwhelming, the actual experience of enjoying ICS is completely lost. Apart from the usual Google apps, there only seemed to be two custom apps, one for recording voice notes and another for playing back videos and photo slideshows. There are also no widgets available besides the stock options, which is good because anything more than two widgets being active at the same time causes the tablet to drag.
Screen and Touch Interface
Ah yes, the screen – the 7” 800×480 display won’t be wowing you with its performance, but for basic web browsing and viewing videos, it tends to be up to the task. Watching a HD clip off the internal storage played back fairly smoothly, while YouTube videos tended to be a bit grainer even at 720p. The screen also takes a good couple of seconds to wake up when you hit the power button, as well as when you turn the tablet around to switch orientations.
The touch interface is again disappointing, thanks to the diminutive hardware inside. Zooming into webpages took a short while, but once zoomed in I had to wait a good couple of seconds for the Xpad to rerender that section of the web page and make it clearer. Flash websites loaded fine, and for the most part navigating through web pages is acceptable, but not as smooth as on the iPad or other Android devices.
Camera, Sound Quality and Battery Life
If you’re one of those strange people who enjoys taking photos with a tablet, then you’ll be disappointed to note that the Xpad only has one camera, and it’s a forward-facing 0.3 megapixel one. That’s right, 0.3 – I have older Nokia phones that have a better resolution than that.
Sound quality is average, but due to the awkward placement of the speaker you’ll have to make sure that you aren’t covering it when you’re holding the Xpad. Don’t expect any earth-shattering tones here, the Xpad does basic audio with plenty of vibrations and high pitches if you crank up the volume too loud.
Battery life on the Xpad was atrocious, with it clocking in just under 3 hours at 50% brightness and Wi-fi on, playing a full HD clip off the tablet’s internal storage. Essentially if you watch a few videos and maybe play a few games, you’re going to eat through the Xpad’s battery life quite easily.
Simmtronics set out to make an affordable tablet, and that they certainly accomplished. However it’s quite pointless if said tablet then runs slowly and generally ruins what is otherwise meant to be a fluid and enjoyable piece of technology. Yes, in a nutshell you’ll be able to afford this tablet for an absolute barebones tablet experience, but in all honesty it’s not the best device for an induction into the world of tablets.