Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Coby Kyros MID7016-4G 7-Inch Android 2.3 4 GB Internet Touchscreen Tablet Color Black
Kyros, in 2011, in the <$200 segment. It had a resistive touch screen (ok). The screen's plastic was wavy and bowed in random, odd places all around. The case for the unit was made of cheap plastic and the silver paint was chipped or just peeling off around the edges. The battery, after charging for a full 24h, lasted for 10 minutes. The battery life on subsequent charges decreased precipitously until a full charge only lasted about 2 minutes (not joking, not exaggerating). No apps could be installed whatsoever. Flash Player could not be installed. No firmware updates available. It would not recognize an SD card. There was no way to organize MP3s other than in one big long single directory. It was, in short, absolute useless garbage, and I believe I paid about $40 more for that than I did for the Coby Kyros. That thing was a proper cheap Chinese knock-off, and was an abysmal failure of the marketplace to provide any kind of meaningful competition to the far more expensive iPad. Now enter: Coby Kyros MID7024. Just on a lark I checked on tablets last week and saw this one, just released, for the right price - a cool toy. I thought I'd take another swing at the cheap tablets, did a little reading, and this one (more specifically, its predecessor, the MID7015) sounded like a solid buy. I received it, opened it up, and wow - it is COOL! The screen is flat; the frame is high-quality and solid. Everything is very precisely engineered. The little backlights behind the buttons and on the "Home" button are very slick. It has standard mini-USB, headphone jack, micro-SD, mini-HDMI. I started it... and it WORKED. Perfectly. With about 1 hour charge it lasted around 5 hours on wifi last night. Within a few minutes of turning it on, I had it connected to the home network, downloaded a free ePub book from Gutenberg Project and opened it with the pre-installed eBook reader. In a few more minutes I had configured it to check my email in 2 accounts. This morning, in a couple more minutes, I installed Amazon App Marketplace and downloaded the Kindle Reader. It plays flash movies in the web browser. Auto-rotate works very smoothly. Overall, everything seems to "just work", exactly as you'd expect it to. To be clear, this isn't a PC, nor do I expect it to be. It does load up both mobile and 'full' websites and looks just fine in both; so you can browse pretty comfortably. On a regular basis I'll carry it around the house, check email, read e-books, and potentially, load up MP3s and listen to them in the car or at work. Everything else it can do is gravy. Note that despite the misleading product label "MID7024-4G" here on Amazon, this unit is a "MID7024", and 4G stands for 4GB (internal drive space), not 4G cellular wireless. It has no 4G modem. It also does not have a GPS receiver and no straightforward way to connect an external antenna. That is one thing I would have really liked it to do. So far I have not been able to get the webcam to connect to any video chat client but I only spent a few minutes working at it with Google Chat. Out of the box, all the webcam does is stares back at you, and the photo/video quality isn't the best. I'm pretty confident that can be remedied with some kind of app, either on the web or in one of the app stores. It does not have bluetooth. Many options exist in the slightly-more-expensive $250 to $350 range that do include these features; so if you'll use them (as I suspect many folks will), this isn't going to meet your needs. But, just to have a fun around-the-house or around-the-office e-reader, email checker, multimedia player, and basic web surfer, this is absolutely right on the money. And, obviously, it's leaps and bounds better-made (both the hardware and the software) than the stupid "ePad" I bought last year. To buy Coby Kyros MID7016-4G 7-Inch Android 2.3 4 GB Internet Touchscreen Tablet Color Black Click Here.