Last Saturday I stumbled upon the charger of the MID7 in the dark, managing to drop it and break the glass of the touch screen. Since the cheap MID7 proved it has a place in the household, but shown it’s weaknesses I decided to order another one. This time I go for a more expensive piece.
This was an accident waiting to happen. The length of the charger cord was a concern since the beginning. It was so short, that having an extension cord on the floor I could hardly put it on my lap on my sofa, without accidentally yanking it out altogether. So it didn’t have a safe place. It fell several times, but without any visible results. The battery or the power socket might have loosened as a result, but as I read it on several sites, it might have just been the poor manufacturing.
After the 40cm drop the corner of the touch screen over the LCD shattered. The unit still works, but barely. I’ve tested the screen with a drawing program, and it turns out the shattered section is “untouchable”. So about half of the screen is working the rest is deformed. This and the severe battery problems encountered recently (the charger shows 100%, but when I take it off it turns of in less than a minute, or lasts 4 hours depending it’s mood) render it useless.
So I decided to get a better tablet, with possibly better build quality, more internal memory, and preferably stronger CPU. I’ve decided to double the stakes and get get something under US$200. I spent over 6 hours searching through the vast amount of tablets available at http://dhgate.com and several other wholesale suppliers.
Most offers were bogus, the name and the make of the table sometimes doesn’t match the description of the item, several items are listed multiple times, under the same name and price. Whenever I tried to search for brands I ended up with results for MID7 and lookalikes (WM8550 and WM8650 series processors with 7″,8″or 10″ resistive displays) These things you can get as low as $90, and as high as $200 (at the high end of my range 🙂 ) Countless times I thought I found something good then it turned out it’s an overpriced MID.
After lots of searching I ended up with this. The EM73. It features a Telechips 8803 Cortex-A8 1GHZ CPU, 512M DDR RAM with a 4GB internal storage (of which I presume 1G is reserved for the OS only), it comes with Android 2.3 pre-installed. It has a promising 3400mA battery. It supposedly has a mali GPU, so some games might even run on it. It has some features I will not use for sure, like the ethernet adapter, 2M camera, HDMI output (seriously, who really expects HDMI from a device with 800×480 resolution?) It has no built-in 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, but I don’t care much about those anyway, it’s meant to be a couch tablet.
At the time of writing it costs US $164.32 apiece, with free shipping.
Based on the XDA developer forums, I should be able to mod it anyway I like, should I feel inclined to.
Based on my previous order, it should be delivered around August, so expect some follow up then!
Any suggestions on what to do with the broken one? I don’t feel like throwing it in the bin as is.