Hello from Gero34 Zenithink ZT ICS C71 owner -- Advice on Hardware/Software Issues

Discussion in 'Zenithink Tablets' started by gero34, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. gero34

    gero34 Member

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    Dear friends at Android tablet hello from Gero in the UK.

    Some background and then some questions:

    Background: I am a PhD student on a low income and have to buy wisely. I've never used Android but wanted to give it a go. I was using a 2nd-hand Sony Ericsson C902 (cost £65) which for an old phone is pretty smart(!) and has most of the functions and connectivity I need but with a tiny screen. After looking at the smartphones available in the UK, I was going to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note for £479.99 from Amazon.co.uk because I liked the 'phablet' idea of combining a tablet and a phone but I checked on eBay.co.uk and found the Zenithink for £80. I decided to buy the cheaper item to give Android a try before investing lots of money. If Android is this good on a cheap tablet, then I can't imagine why anyone would pay more. When at home I access internet through my home wireless. When out and about I tether my tablet to my mobile phone. I use a bluetooth dongle on the tablet. I have unlimited data from GiffGaff at £10 per month. This means my budget Note alternative saved me £400. It will be less than this if you take off the cost of the dongle (£0.99) and the micro/mini USB converter (£2.45).

    Questions: Hardware: The Zenithink has micro USB slots so to connect a standard bluetooth dongle (they all seem to have mini USB connectors) I have to use a micro to mini USB converter. It works but it is ugly. I am trying to find a neat little bluetooth dongle with a micro USB connector that will fit tight to the side of the tablet. Can anyone help? I usually find that if I need some little 'fix it' solution to make things work better that Hong Kong will have someone manufacturing or at least selling them -- I bought a little adapter from Hong Kong to convert my C902 so I could use sennheiser earphones instead of the proprietary Sony Ericsson phones with it (cost £2.99). There's probably someone in China making tiny micro USB bluetooth dongles, it is just a case of finding them. I used to think of China as the place that exported junk but now I am starting to think of China as a place where they 'Can Do' whatever needs doing. I am starting to admire Chinese enterprise and wishing the UK was more like China in that respect (although I prefer the human rights I enjoy under democracy so I am not going to vote for Chinese-style dictatorship any time soon!). If you can recommend a supplier in China or the UK or anywhere I can buy from then please let me know. Thank you. Also, if you can recommend a supplier of TF cards for the Zenithink I would be grateful -- I want to get 32GB which is reliable (not a bogus card that doesn't work or only has 2GB useable memory!). Also I would like to buy a UK-style power adapter for recharging because the power adapter supplied from China looks very unsafe and I want an adapter that meets UK kite-marks for quality to be safe (don't want my tablet to start a fire and burn my flat down).

    Questions: Software: I get about five hours of heavy use (video, games, internet) from the Zenithink before having to recharge. This is okay from a budget tablet but can anyone suggest ways of increasing battery time? The tablet has ICS installed (version 4.0.3). I have downloaded and installed these free apps from the Market: 'Easy Task Killer' and 'Juice Defender'. Is there anything more I can do to increase usage? Plus, I have various apps installed by the manufacturer on my tablet e.g. DevTools, Car Home, Latitude which I doubt I will ever use (although I might use DevTools if I get into writing Android apps). When I try uninstalling I am warned doing so might cause the system to crash. Should I believe this? What is it safe to uninstall from Android 4? Final question, BBC iPlayer and Channel 4 Catch-Up do not work. Is this something to do with Android 4 or have I just not installed the right add-ons (I have Flash Player 11.1 installed)?

    Many questions! Apologies for long post. If you can help with any of these issues please reply.

    Many thanks! Gero :)
     
  2. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

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    Hello Gero, congratulations on your new tablet and welcome to the forum. I'm moving your thread to the Zenithink Tablets forum for you, where more people familiar with your tablet are likely to join the discussion and try to help you. Good luck!
     
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  3. gero34

    gero34 Member

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    Thanks Spider
     
  4. Tanzanite

    Tanzanite Senior Member

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    Hi Gero,

    Great post. A joy to see somebody who has looked for solutions before posting on the board.

    Concerning the Micro SD card. Try to look what the suppliers that are accredited at this forum has to offer. I could be wrong but I would certainly trust them.

    I love the Idea about a Micro USB dongle. Let's see if it exists. If not let's patent the idea an get rich.

    Concerning the charger I agree that they look at bit phony but I am living in Africa and until now they have survived our power surges, fluctuations, lightning etc. We might not be the most advanced continent but when it comes to testing Chargers you can't come to a better place
     
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  5. gero34

    gero34 Member

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    Thank you, Tanzanite. I bought my tablet to use when travelling so glad to hear it is Africa-proof(!)

    An up-date. I am able to convert the ZT ICS tablet to use a flash drive and a Belkin USB bluetooth dongle (it does not recognise my other bluetooth dongles for some reason) by using a firewire to usb converter (bought on eBay for £1.38 from osuppliers). Thus I can connect my tablet to my laptop, phone, mouse, keyboard and headphones with bluetooth. Data sharing is fine but getting audio through the headphones is a mystery. The software says the headphones are paired and running media audio but the sound still comes from the tablet speaker. When I switch off the headphones the tablet audio goes off too. The headphones work as a remote switch but no sound is routed through them. I am looking for a software fix for this.

    I was chuffed that the tablet recognised my flash drive because it means I get to increase my memory beyond the max quoted in the literature -- which mentions 32Gb max on SD card but ignores the extra memory you can buckle on using flash drives. I use an SD card reading flash drive so I imagine I can maybe add up to another 32Gb -- the limit seems to be what the 512Mb RAM can handle but I am just guessing. To access the info on the flash drive I needed an added app -- file explorer, free from Android Market. Unless I find a way to double my ports by adding a twin adapter, I have to choose to have either bluetooth or flash drive as I can't connect both at once. If I use a twin USB adapter I block access to the power input so I limit myself another way. This is a design fault by Zenithink who do not seem to have appreciated how much use the firewire host port would get and thus they put it too close to the power input. Should have swapped position of the host firewire and dev firewire ports and things would be peachy. Bit of a downer but not a disaster.

    For anyone interested, I have posted some photos on Photobucket which you can access using this address: http://photobucket.com/splendid100_zenithinkc71

    Comments, suggestions, welcome. My problems now seem to be mainly software-related i.e. how to get my bluetooth headphones to work. It seems that the problem may be that Android assumes it is running on a phone and that limits what it will do with audio files on a tablet. If I have to write a little app to get audio through my headphones I will give it a try. I have never written for Android but have a bit of C++ so I should be able to transfer my skills but I am only a hobbyist, I have never really trained in programming. Kind of exciting to have a little quest to complete. Meanwhile, I must not forget what my budget tablet can do and I still think that it is a great piece of kit. So, if you can help with software issues and/or in finding a firewire micro bluetooth dongle then I'd be delighted to hear from you.

    Best wishes, Gero

    I'll keep up-dating until I find a bluetooth dongle on a firewire connector.
     
  6. Tanzanite

    Tanzanite Senior Member

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    Wauv I am excited to see how much value you have squeezed out of C71 I am wondering if you would have had the same flexibility with Galaxy note.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  7. JuneBar

    JuneBar Member

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    See. Title above


     
  8. LaneLester

    LaneLester Member

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    I hope to see more of the OP's adventures here. I just got my ZTPad (that's what it said on the box) and am slowly learning how to use it. With the file manager I discovered the user manual, but I am still discovering stuff about the Android UI.

    Lane
     
  9. userbe1155

    userbe1155 Senior Member

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    I actually suggested the same a while back too, if they're out there i'd love to know (micro usb dongle that is)

    Sent from my M9701 using Android Tablet
     

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