My son bought this 7″ touchscreen table with his own christmas money in Toysrus. Yes, it looked good, and yes, it seemed to be a good purchase when he first took it home.
Unboxing it, my son was all excited and wanted to play right away, but I held off, leaving it to charge to allow it to have the battery working properly. Getting the cable installed was irritating, as the slot for the power cable is not the slot it shows on the instructions. It’s where the instructions show the headphone jack, and vice versa. Initially I thought I had a faulty bit for plugging the power into, but it’s likely just a typo.
I then tried to get the wifi connected to the internet. It would not connect to my router, and kept referring me to a page to enter BTOpenwold details as that had preference in the list. I did try to log into the BT Openworld, and the boxes I typed information into would not stay in place where I wanted them to. Pressing the keys was a slow laborious process. I would find it very frustrating to use for typing, and my son likes it to go faster than I do. I tried 8 times and wasted about 2 hours just on that.
Then I figured out how to clear the BTOpenworld connection, and tried to connect to my home wifi which I couldn’t get it to accept. I tried to find some information on my laptop as the instructions that come with it are basic. The only thing I managed to find was that I would have to contact my ISP to lower my firewall for it to be found. I don’t like the sound of that. I have connected a wii, x-box, DSI and several phones and none of them have needed me to lower my firewall protection for them to be found. I kept trying, probably stupidly to get it to connect to my router, but more often than not, it kept losing the signal, and saying not in range, and it was only in the next room.
At this point, I had spent more than three hours with it, had got nowhere, and was totally scunnered with it. I couldn’t get it to go online with my wifi, but it did take about 5 minutes or so each time to get to the landing page for btopenworld on that connection, but I just couldn’t get logged in as it was sooooooo slow and kept clearing the boxes I typed into.
I calibrated the screen as it said, and it still struggled. When typing into the box for the btopenworld box, on some letters when I pressed one, it would put the letter from the one above onto the screen, and I was well within the screen box.
I had had enough by that point, and decided to explore no further. Its sold in a toy shop, and people buying from there are expecting easy setup. I had expected it to connect to the internet on about the same speed, or slightly faster than our DSI does, and operate possibly at the same speed as the old Leapster. Many people buying this for their kids will expect self set up as it’s from a toy shop.
I took it back to toysrus who said that it switches on, and he could type google into the address bar, but couldn’t check it on the wifi to see if it would go online as their wifi is password protected. I am told that they will only take returns if they are faulty. The manager was more jabbing at the keys, rather than pressing them when he tried, so I guess he is used to it. I didn’t explain myself very well as I seemed to hit panic with the thing. Maybe I have just got a faulty one, but I don’t know that because I couldn’t get it to work properly to find out. I possibly should try jabbing the keys.
Toysrus contacted me on twitter and asked to pass on my details. I spoke to a customer service advisor who said he would call back, but didn’t. I decided to try giving it another go for my very upset sons sake, and have contacted Elonex directly several times.
After a bit of toing and froing, the etouch sprang into (very slow) life on the internet via wifi. Then the app store would not log in. We waited several days, but still the problem in the market place says that the internet connection seems not to be working, despite managing to connect to google without any problems. Elonex suggested flashing the firmware again. I did this, yet it has not changed the result.
Kindle has appeared, but there is no connection to the bookstore so I have the app, but can’t access any books. The ratings for it seem poor, but I am not allowed to read them, so I have no idea what the poor ratings were for.
I have spent two weeks back and fro to toysrus and elonex, and we are still very far from being able to do what it says on the tin with this thing.
The screen is resistive, which means it is push, rather than the slide of the ipods etc, but my son doesn’t care about that. He’d happily push away if it did what he needed it to. From my short experience with it, the Android 1.6 system on the 7″ touch does not seem to be have enough power behind it to cope.
Maybe I am missing a trick, and maybe someone else could get this to work properly, but my initial experience was so poor that I have not got any confidence in it. I think they should have held onto releasing these until they were not so laggy, and given customers a better experience once they were launched. It has certainly meant that elonex and toysrus are off my xmas card list.
Note, 1.6 Android does not appear to support flash player from what I have read since buying the tablet, but the spec on the box says 2GB Flash, which some people may misread as having flash player for content.
This is just my own experience directly. Make your own decisions around this product and try it in-store and check its online capabilities while you are there to make sure you are totally happy with it before you buy it. If they don’t have one on display in the store, ask the manager to see the one they may have tucked away in their office and try it out. Make sure you see it connected to wifi, and try out the app store (including trying to use something that has been downloaded).
You might have a better experience than we have, and if you just want something cheap to download emails, or the odd google search, then it would probably be fine, as long as you were not expecting good speeds of download – think more in terms of the old dial up internet experience.
It does look good though.