Does Barbados Have Affordable Tablets? Not 1, but Two: REVIEW(s)

Does anyone recall when in late 2010 I said how people who were rushing to grab the latest iPad but were in fact, jumping at an iFad? People thought I was crazy, yet I waited and waited…

Google brought out Nexus 7 & Nexus 10 and still I waited, went to Ad Agency focus meeting and the facilitator looked at me like I needed Prozac, since by their inquiries they learned I still had not caved in to the Tablet frenzy?

Well, I have finally waded into that market, so let’s look at not one but 2 items today… The Huawei Medialite 7 and the Acer Iconia A200 10″ models.

Both tablets have their own distinctive advantages, it depends on what you want or expect… Suppose you want the features of a Kindle Fire but a bit more functionality so it’s like an Office on the go?

The Huawei uses Google’s open-sourced Android Operating System (OS), in addition – it has an excellent front & rear camera system, for both stills and video, there is a USB connection but not straight to the device… You can connect via a cord which can not only source data from a desktop, but also recharge the 7 inch tablet which seems to mold itself into your grasp.

This is a tablet which offers a 7 inch IPS display, 4G connectivity and Wi-Fi support, 1080p Movie Playing which Huawei calls a theater-like experience, all in a specialised shell using a silvery metallic casing which is designed not to feel slippery, yet ease of movement.

This is a tablet which offers a 7 inch IPS display, 4G connectivity and Wi-Fi support, 1080p Movie Playing which Huawei calls a theater-like experience, all in a specialised shell using a silvery metallic casing which is designed not to feel slippery, yet ease of movement.

When YouTube videos are viewed on the Medialite device, the graphic is crisp and the volume is distinct without raising or lowering the speakers. The keypad is on-screen and very responsive with barely tapping the glass, if you are in a WiFi hotspot then the Tablet zeroes in on that signal – otherwise the Huawei can double as a phone and there’s an Android Data Plan with Digicel which includes a version of $58.99 per month and smaller options too (this is good if you are roaming and need to have 4G).

The Medialite 7 is also conveniently priced at $699 at most branches of Digicel, which means unlike a Mini-iPad, you do not feel like you’re making a Car payment or a Mortgage installment…

However, if you prefer a larger screen for Web browsing or a strictly WiFi model without having to invest in another SIM if you already have a mobile, then you might want to consider another possibility?

Not long before Christmas, I visited the Phonebooth on Rickett Street in Bridgetown, where I was amazed at the range of products, including Soccer memorabilia – but it was an Acer Iconia A200 Tablet which caught my eye, this is the 10 inch version with a grippy back. This is not Apple and it is Android but not Google so for a person like myself who likes to buck the trends, this is manna from Heaven!

I studied reviews, and they warned how the camera was only front loading and not high-res… Um, since I already have a Nikon Coolpix L20, a Flip Video HD and my trusty Bold 9900 what more do I need? Ansel Adams? The camera is great for when you use Skype, it is WiFi only and since there’s wifispottr.com which helps you find hotspots in Barbados, you’re pretty much good to go most places!

I loaded about 9 books, dozens of apps and still have half the 8 GB storage it initially provides, but now I’ve expanded its memory by a further 32 GB with a Micro-SD (you do not need a Grade 10 chip, I am using a Grade 4 and it still seems fast to me for functionality) and joy of joys for me, it has a USB port which recognises my huge (but diminishing) external Hard Drive! The gyro for Landscape or Portrait viewing is very responsive. The 1280×600 screen is not Corning nor Gorilla-Glass but if you care the item and get a case and resist doing idiocy like shoving in a satchel or haversack and hope for the best while you ride in a ZR? Then the Tablet should last!

I actually used the built-in keypad during a Press Conference and made my notes, saved as a Word Doc and mailed it to myself! The A200 also has an external keypad, which the folks at The Phonebooth can order for you, it attaches to the A200 and folds like a laptop yet not so much of a laptop cost...

I actually used the built-in keypad during a Press Conference and made my notes, saved as a Word Doc and mailed it to myself! The A200 also has an external keypad, which the folks at The Phonebooth can order for you, it attaches to the A200 and folds like a laptop yet not so much of a laptop cost…

The Android 4.0.2 OS is very clean and responsive, while I had a few auto reboots, it was about 25 seconds, far swifter than even a Blackberry resuming – plus I learned the hard way not to run so many Apps at the same time!

The Tablet’s now fully personalised now with an Alarm clock and a Radio which gets Bajan and global radio stations who stream, and the battery is very durable – you can get at least 8 hours from it depending on how hard or soft you work it. To my mind, this makes the $999 price-tag very understandable and extremely reasonable.

The Phonebooth staff are very professional and chummy and have no qualms where to steer your choices even if they may not have all the answers, they carry mobiles which even the Hulk and Superman would have a hard time pulverising!

You can also find great wallets and keyrings if you are soccer insane? But they have a wide range of new and used Tablets and Blackberries so you need to check it out before they all disappear like Chris Sinckler’s pledge to review VAT when 18 months have passed!

Now if you’ll excuse me, my wife wants back her Huawei Medialite 7 so she can Skype her pals in Canada and her brother in the USA… ;) Yes, dear!

2 Responses

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  1. Most helpful. Which works best in Kindle mode?

  2. Both have an Android App for Kindle, please note Barbados does not have a purchasing agreement with Google, but this is one of many Apps which are Free via Gmail log-in

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