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Versus Touchpad - home and away
Versus Touchpad 9
Member Name: steves001
Versus Touchpad 9
Date: 21/01/13, updated on 05/02/13 (277 review reads)
Advantages: Price; weight; support for Flash; storage expandability; battery life
Disadvantages: Speed; capacity; wifi network required for internet access
Update, February 2013:
After using this budget tablet quite extensively for some time, my only real disappointment was being unable to print with the Android system. Luckily, Epson's free iPrint app for Android has resolved this issue and I am now happily printing using the excellent little wifi printer that I reviewed back in November. (Epson SX435W: 'Small, smaller, smallest 'Small-in-One' ')
I've also established that the latest version of the Touchpad for 2013 has been upgraded, which should further improve performance and responsiveness, for much the same price.
VERSUS TOUCHPAD - HOME AND AWAY
This version of the Versus Touchpad, also badged as an identical 'CnM' product, represents good value for a slim and very portable 9 inch tablet PC. It may not be quite as fast as expensive 'high end' tablets but I find it generally performs well enough for the price. The 'multi-touch'-sensitive screen is responsive and easily personalised, as the Touchpad comes with a fairly recent version of the increasingly familiar Android operating system.
The built-in storage may be limited but can be expanded. In practice, I've found the inbuilt capacity adequate for a device I use mainly for checking email and accessing the web while out and about. I much prefer it to my smart phone for this as its screen is bigger and better, though you do have to be within range of a wifi network. At home, it's also faster to start up than a Windows laptop, which is great for a quick web search or email check.
Battery life certainly hasn't let me down so far. This is claimed to be up to 5 or 6 hours, depending on usage, with more on standby. But I've not fully exploited its potential in any session yet, nor am I likely too, not being a heavy social network user or downloader. I should also stress here that this is not our main home computer, just a very handy extra, especially when out and about.
Fully charging the Touchpad seems to take just 2 or 3 hours, using the supplied charger. It's also possible to charge it via the USB port.
KEY PERFORMANCE & TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
* The Android 4.0 operating system ('Ice Cream Sandwich') may not be quite the latest but is fairly up to date, and I find it reasonably friendly to use
* The ARM processor and limited memory seem to cope well enough with most common tasks like email and web browsing
* Its 8 gigabytes internal storage is expandable by up to 32 gb with a micro-SD card (not yet tested)
* The screen resolution of 480x800 may sound relatively low but in fact the graphics seem quite sharp enough and the multi-touch screen sensitivity is very good.
* Wifi connections are easy to establish, though I find the signal somewhat less strong than other devices within the same range
* The mini-USB port supports a variety of devices and functions - I've used this to access a USB memory stick successfully
For full details, please refer to websites below.
This being my first direct experience of the Android system, it took me a few hours to familiarise myself but no installation is required and I managed to download 'apps' and customise the home screen quite quickly. Setting a PIN for secure access was also quite straightforward, as was configuring the email app that comes pre-installed along with several others - e.g. iPlayer, YouTube etc.
The virtual keyboard is remarkably usable, though I still prefer a real one for typing, and text editing is a bit fiddly. But these are minor quibbles really, given the portability and convenience of this compact device.
* The camera is just a basic webcam
* Graphics and video playback (even HD) are more than adequate for such a portable device - e.g. for iPlayer, YouTube etc.
* Adobe Flash is supported
* Sound quality seems acceptable (as above), though only experienced so far through its internal speakers
It's worth noting that, realistically, this was never intended to be our primary music, video player or camera device!
CAPACITY AND CONNECTIVITY
Built-in storage may be limited at 8Gb but can apparently be expanded by up to 32Gb with a micro-SD card.
I've also managed to transfer photographs and other files to and from a USB flash memory stick.
AVAILABILITY & COSTS
Currently available from £109 (sale price) at Currys to around £120 via Amazon. Other versions are also available, with 7 inch and 9.7 inch screens. Note slight variation in product names - e.g. 'Touchtab'
MANUALS & HELP
* Quick start guide
* User manual
* Versus & CnM websites (see below)
The 54 page manual is illustrated and all I needed to get fully up and running.
OTHER FUNCTIONS (NOT YET TESTED)
* Voice control system
* A multitude of apps!
Not the fastest kid on the block but a remarkably affordable lightweight 9 inch Android tablet pc with acceptable performance for the price, this is a particularly handy extra when out and about, and within range of a wifi network.
* www.versusuk.com - includes manuals and software downloads
* www.cnmlifestyle.com - [ditto]
[© SteveS001 2013. A version of this original review may appear on other review sites]
Summary: An affordable lightweight 9 inch Android tablet pc
|Ease of use:|