Saturday, April 6, 2013

Android - OpenGL capable - part 4

Tablet pricing has shifted incredibly in just 12 months.

Recapping article series part 3 - here is how it was left

Specs - a new set going forward :
  • 3D Graphics support (OpenGL ES)
  • Dual Core processor
  • 768MB ram
  • SD card slot (or microSD at a push)
  • USB slot (or standard micro/mini okay)
  • Android 4.0 or later
  • Support for Google Play / Official Android Market
  • Resolution 1024x768 for 8" or 9" tablet, 1280x800* for 10" screen
( *Sub £200 tablets are not (by design) aimed at replacing your school projector, If you really feel you need to use the playback from a tablet to drive an external screen, then this series of reviews is probably not written with your needs in mind. )

Goclever are headquartered in Poznan, Poland and produce a range of tablets: 7 inches through 10 inches.

Chipset: RK3066 1.6GHz (Cortex A9 Dual Core, GPU Mali400MP4) by RockChip

The Goclever 9 inch with the above Chipset will set you back £150

How does that compare to the original spec?

  • 3D Graphics support (OpenGL ES) - Oh yes - ARM Mali Quad
  • Dual Core processor - Oh yes - Cortex A9 which is superfast
  • 768MB ram - yes 1GB - and not just any Ram - DDR3
  • SD card slot (or microSD at a push) - yes
  • USB slot (or standard micro/mini okay) - yes
  • Android 4.0 or later - yes comes with 4.1 preloaded
  • Support for Google Play / Official Market - yes
  • Resolution 1024x768 for 8" or 9" tablet - yes - 1024x768

Revisiting the specs - a new set going forward?

NO.

The pace of change in sub £200 tablets has been absolutely breathtaking in just 2 years.

I could 'up the bar' further, and boost some of those specs, however I will not. Feels a little churlish to raise the bar much further, so instead I'll just tweak things a little

  • 3D Graphics support (OpenGL ES)
  • Dual Core processor
  • 1GB ram (DDR3 preferred)
  • SD card slot (or microSD at a push)
  • USB slot (or standard micro/mini okay)
  • Android 4.1 or later
  • Support for Google Play / Official Android Market
  • Resolution 1024x768 for 8" or 9" tablet, 1280x800* for 10" screen
  • Charges via micro usb
Here are some personal thoughts about charging connectors

  • All tablets should ideally support charging via micro usb*
  • An optional external DC charger with own connector is a plus, but should not be the only method of charging.
*Europe has put a great deal of effort into reducing the future 'dead charger' pile, by mandating micro usb charging as the way forward.
Please support this effort.

What about HDMI? Well HDMI or mini HDMI is great, but as stated in my previous article, this is not usually a priority feature for sub £200 tablets.


Links and more:

Both Android 4.1 and Android 4.2 fall under the term 'Jelly Bean'
 ( Android 4.2 having some additional features. )

Here is an extract from that PC Advisor review regarding Android 4.1/ 4.2

"Jelly Bean is the point at which Android stopped being a geek's platform and became suitable for normal consumers. It is slick to look at and snappy to use, intuitive and comfortable"
Do read reviews such as PC Advisor if you have a couple of tablets in mind, and want help deciding.


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