A better than average Android tablet that has a few flaws.
Android is certainly the OS of choice when it comes to affordable tablets. In recent years we’ve seen tablets of all sizes powered by Google’s OS; some do it well while others are just cheap paperweights. I managed to get my hands on the Prestigion MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo this week for a quick review, to see if it was a capable Android tablet or just another one to be abandoned in the corner.
Build quality & design
What impressed me most about the MultiPad was its build quality. The sleek little tablet is mostly made of plastic, but despite this feels quite study in your hands. The back is covered with a smooth metallic finish with the Prestigio logo on it, with the rear-facing camera at the top. Around the top of the tablet you’ll find a microUSB port for charging as well as the power button; adjacent to that you’ll find the volume rocker. Oddly enough, the speakers are placed at the bottom, and when holding the tablet horizontally they tend to be covered up, muffling the sound quite a bit. A microSD slot is hidden at the back, behind the large plastic cover near the rear camera.
Despite the somewhat low-end pitch of the MultiPad, it looks and feels much better than any of the cheaper Android tablets that I’ve reviewed over months passed.
The specifications on the MultiPad are decent, given that it’s supposed to be an affordable entry-level tablet in the first place. The 1.5GHz processor is more than capable of running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and the 16GB offers plenty of initial storage space for media. While I didn’t expect the MultiPad to have NFC, I was surprised that it didn’t have Bluetooth, which is something I’ve seen on some other Android tablets. This means you won’t be able to connect Bluetooth hardware such as speakers or headphones, which is a bit of a disappointment.
Benchmarks and Performance
While this may be billed as an entry-level Android tablet, the MultiPad was actually a great joy to use. It took around 48 seconds to boot up from a powered-off state, and once it was up and running it sailed through the screens and apps. Okay, maybe ‘sailed through’ is a bit of a stretch, but it was certainly fast enough to launch apps and get a decent amount of work done.
Browsing on the MultiPad went off without a hitch, with websites rendering fairly quickly and apps launching nearly instantly. As seen in other Android tablets there is a bit of a delay in switching between horizontal and vertical orientation, but other than that you won’t run into any issues running any of the basic apps on the MultiPad. There’s also a cable included that you can connect to the microUSB port to allow you to use full-fledged USB devices such as hard drives, keyboards, mice, and 3G dongles.
UI and Apps
The MultiPad comes with the stock Ice Cream Sandwich UI and a few basic apps pre-installed. In fact, when you first turn on the tablet and set it up, it asks you if you’d like to install the bundled third-party apps, which is a great idea because choosing not to install most of the apps can reduce the amount of bloatware you’re running on the tablet anyway. You get some useful apps such as Skype, Instagram, an ereader, and even a Currency converter, and you’ve got full access to the Google Play store as well.
Screen and Camera
The screen on the MultiPad is certainly better than the ones I’ve seen on other Android, but it won’t blow you away. The 1,024×600 resolution is decent enough to watch videos and HD clips without noticeable pixellation, though the screen’s glossy surface means that you’ll run into a few issues using the MultiPad in bright light or outside.
The camera on the MultiPad certainly won’t impress you, with the 2MP rear camera producing very washed out images overall. Still, I’ve always said that tablets really aren’t suited for taking photos with anyway, and the MultiPad is no exception.
Sound Quality & Battery Life
The sound on the Multipad is great if you have headphones. The inbuilt speaker is loud enough at full volume, but due to the speaker placement the sound gets very muffled when you hold the tablet horizontally as your hand will most likely cover the speaker. Battery life was rather poor, with the Multipad dying after about 4 hours of usage, which included streaming videos from YouTube, surfing the web, and playing a few Android games. Clearly battery life won’t be the MultiPad’s winning points.
So where does the Prestigio MultiPad sit among the slew of Android tablets in the market? Well it’s neither here or there to be honest – on one hand it does sport a better than average build quality and slighty speedier response time, but on the other hand it doesn’t have a very good battery life, something which is almost crucial for a tablet. Still, the MultiPad is a decent and affordable Android tablet even if it does have a few kinks that need ironing out.