|Review: Colpad 2 Tablet|
Monday, 30 April 2012 09:45
I essentially make my living by playing with toys. Despite this, or perhaps even because of it, I am not an early adopter of technology.
I suppose I've been around long enough to have realised that while the first generation of new high tech goodies certainly have a lot of "wow" factor, they also typically have a few, shall we say, rough edges. Sometimes it pays to be a little patient, wait for the technology to mature a little, and only then pull out your credit card.
Another benefit of waiting a short while is that quite often generation two or three is not only improved, but usually offers better value. Waiting a while also means that more companies enter the market, which brings more choice and competition.
This I believe is the case with the Colpad 2, which once again is competitively priced and adds a few improvements over earlier versions.
According to the information I was sent, version two of the Colpad uses Android 2.3 OS with Android 3.0 interfaces and while in use, these helped make the Colpad 2 as intuitive and easy to use as pretty much most people would like.
Adding to this ease of use and its ability to play video pretty well is the upgraded 1.2GHz Cortex A8 processor and its embedded GPU. It wasn't too long ago a processor this fast was only found in higher-end laptops. This is certainly one of the benefits of waiting for technologies to advance and mature.
Talking of maturing, Android itself as grown to the point where it isn't simply 'that other operating system' used by niche products. We are now starting to see Android docks (and I'll have a review of some up here soon) and this is making Android devices even more competitive against the "i" opposition.
Flash support and a Skype video chat function are both features that add some versatility to the Colpad 2 and at least one of these isn't supported on the opposition mentioned earlier.
I've already mentioned that the Colpad 2 was intuitive to use and this is certainly a bonus for first time users. However, I feel that ergonomically it could be just a little better. Some bigger name opposition that feature a similar seven-inch screen are better looking and a little lighter. I did however like the quick access buttons on the right hand side of the unit.
While the PR material for the Colpad 2 claims that the sensitivity of the five point touch screen is flawless, I managed to pick up a few. The screen itself didn't feel as smooth as most tablets I've used and I found its reaction to inputs could be a little sluggish. For example when typing on screen, I found that I would tap a letter, wait, tap it again and then have to do the whole two tap dance again to delete one of the double letters. Perhaps I just need to learn to be a little more patient.
Moving along and we get to a few more Colpad 2 positives.
It was an easy product to set up on my home network (although it supports only b and g wireless) and once I got used to the keyboard, it was a good device to use for browsing. I also like that I could listen to and watch media stored on my little player, simply by plugging this into the Colpad 2's USB port. For a tablet, the 4GB built-in memory was good, and this could be upped by plugging a Micro SD card into the SD slot.
And then we get to the price, which considering the features and performance is probably the best part of the Colpad 2.
Good: Quite a few updates, including its operating system, built in USB and SD card slots, and good value for money.
Bad: A touch on the bulky side (compared to some opposition) not the most reactive touch pad.
Price: R 1 299
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