Product Type: NATPC Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... with a stylus, charger and a usb lead which we used to connect it up to a case with a keyboard. The usb cable broke very fast but we mana... more
A Tablet That's Easy To Take
Member Name: eilidhcatriona
Date: 15/05/12, updated on 29/05/12 (230 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to use, fun, responsive screen, good display quality
Disadvantages: Browser can be unresponsive, short battery life
When I was given a reasonable sized Amazon voucher as a thank you for my contribution to the operations and running of a major work conference, I decided I would spend it on something substantial. Of course I could have quite easily blown the whole thing on books and DVDs, but I wanted to have something tangible to show for my hard work. Having decided that a decent netbook was out of my budget, I had a look at tablets.
Amazon had a pretty big range of tablet pcs, mainly unbranded ones. The selection is baffling if you don't really know what to look for, so my partner picked out the NATPC M009S Android Tablet for me. It had 8GB internal memory, ran Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and claimed to be ideal for BBC iPlayer, YouTube and other video services, as well as having Flash Player. The price was £108.99, plus postage.
Once I'd placed my order I couldn't wait for my new toy to arrive. As soon as it did, I was straight in there. Given that this was a pretty low range tablet, I was pleasantly surprised by the nice black matte box that the tablet arrived in. It came with charger and USB converter cable. The tablet itself is a 7" screen, so considerably smaller than an iPad - the screen is about three times the size of my iPod Touch. It's quite heavy and chunky, with a depth of around 8mm.
Getting started is really easy. There is a small instruction guide in the box, but I only gave it a cursory glance. The tablet connects to wifi quickly and easily, and is ready to go with the Google Play Store set up. You do need a Google email address to use the Play Store - I set one up when I got my Android phone, but you just have to have it, you don't need to use it.
The tablet has a capacitive touchscreen, meaning it reacts to the warmth of your touch, and styluses don't work. It came with a screen protector on it, which I've left in place - that's one thing which drives me mad about my iPod Touch, the screen never seems to be completely clear of fingerprint smudges. The screen of the tablet is not as sensitive as the iPod Touch or my Samsung Galaxy Ace phone, but I think this is due to the extra cover of the screen protector. While the screen isn't quite so sensitive to tapping, it is easy to scroll through documents or webpages, moving smoothly and easily. I have a case with a keyboard for the tablet, so I rarely use the onscreen keyboard, but when I have I have found it easy to type on.
At almost all times the screen shows the clock and taskbar, the only time I've found this to disappear is when I'm playing one particular game (Airport City) or watching video in full screen. The taskbar shows the clock, wifi and battery status, and has buttons for running apps, back and home screen. The tablet itself has touch buttons alongside the screen for these same things. It is always easy to return to the home screen or move between apps, browser and email.
I find that the NATPC M009S runs apps very well. I have a number of games, shopping apps and Google Drive, and find that the tablet loads them quickly and has never crashed an app yet. They run without any problems and are all easy to use. I use Google Drive for writing very frequently, and I really like it - it's easy to create new documents and edit existing ones. I enjoy typing on my tablet using my case with keyboard, it almost turns it into a netbook. As with my earlier review of the case, I'm writing this on the tablet!
The browser on the tablet is easy to use, and can have multiple tabs/pages open at any one time. However I find this is one area which lets the tablet down: it quite often gives me a "browser is not responding" message and gives me the choice of waiting or closing; I always choose to wait as tapping on this button always seems to get the browser going. I think this problem may in part be due to me trying to go a bit too fast for the tablet; this isn't a computer with a fast processor, it's just a little tablet and I shouldn't expect it to move as quickly as my computer.
The battery life on the tablet isn't great. I usually charge it overnight, ready to use the following evening when I get home from work, but I find that after a few hours use it is wanting charged again. This isn't from what you would call heavy use, I'm not playing loads of videos or music on it, just some games, writing and email. The tablet does disconnect itself from wifi when the screen is locked, which probably helps the battery a bit.
For such a reasonably priced tablet, the display quality is very good. It's not quite as crisp as Apple products, such as the iPod Touch, but I can't actually fault it at all - it is crystal clear and never fuzzy. I don't see any need to pay more for the higher resolution of the iPad screen.
The NATPC M009S has 8GB internal memory, or at least this model does. It can also take a microSD memory card of up to 16GB, which gives a pretty decent total storage capacity. I haven't used a memory card in the tablet yet, but I'm planning to get one for my music which I can then use in the tablet or my phone.
The tablet has a camera in it, I think the term is front-facing - the camera is on the screen side of the tablet. I've never actually used the camera, I can't see why you'd want to wave around a large tablet when you could use a small phone or digital camera, but I suspect the aim of this particular one is for video calls on services like Skype. I have turned the camera on by accident (when unlocking the tablet screen, you can swipe right to unlock or left to use the camera, and sometimes I get it wrong), and it seems to be of a reasonable quality.
To sum up, I'm really pleased with my NATPC M009S. I'm very glad I chose to spend my voucher on this, and I really enjoy using it. For the price it is excellent, and a real bargain. It does everything I need, it's fun and it's practical - I find it much more comfortable to type on the tablet while lounging about on the sofa than a laptop, and for the first time in months I've actually got a load of reviews typed and waiting to post! If you want a tablet but don't want to pay Apple prices, try an Android tablet - this NATPC M009S comes highly recommended from me!
Summary: I love my new toy! Definitely recommended if you want a sensible priced tablet.
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