My time with the Sylvania .... the good and the bad.

Discussion in 'Sylvania Tablets' started by ndamico, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. ndamico

    ndamico Member

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    Hey Folks,

    I've been reading everyone's posts for the past week since I received my Sylvania Tablet as an X-mas gift. Just wanted to throw my two cents in ..... hopefully this would provide some insight for folks who are on the fence about getting one of these.

    First off .... i have a Samsung Galaxy S Facinate ... rooted with all the fun apps that I need. Not going as far as loading custom ROMs but customized to fit my lifestyle while mitigating risk of bricking my phone. I'm in IT ..... so i like to play with technology.

    After spending 3 months with my Samsung ..... I wanted to make sure that I had a similar experience (or better) when moving to a tablet. I may have spoke to loudly in front of my wife when I first saw these Sylvania tablets on sale at Toys-r-us because she made sure it made my X-mas wish list. I also remember telling her not to by this thing because I thought nothing good can come from a company that makes light bulbs and 7" netbooks. Yikes! But she pleasantly surprised me X-mas morning.

    I looked at this thing .... still in the box and almost refused to open it because I was sure I was going to return it anyway. It wasn't until X-mas night that I decided to power the tablet up to see exactly how disappointed I was going to be. Yep ..... It was crap! Screen not responsive, very laggy, updates failed 4 times during the download. Each update attempt took 3 or so hours. After calibrating the screen many times, the keyboard refused to input the letters I was typing. Complete garbage .... as expected. I couldn't understand why any company would release a product that is soo crude, raw and unrefined to the market and charge them $135 USD!!! At 135 bux, this was a rip-off. I'd even have a hardtime digesting this concept if they charged $40 dollars! So my mind was made up ...... It was going back. Save the money and spend another $120 to by a NookColor. (My buddy had bought one for his wife ... a fellow tinkerer).

    There it sat on my night stand for a day waiting to be packaged up to be brought back. Since I had an extra day off from work and some time to kill, something made me want to play with it one more time before it headed back to TRU. Hmmmm .. let me try the update one more time. Yep ...super slow ..... 3 hours go by ..... WOW .. update completed!

    First thing I noticed, I had a few more apps installed. Second thing, the g-sensor was working. Nice but I still wasn't all that impressed. Overall, it ran a bit smoother.

    As I did on my Samsung, I downloaded Launcher Pro from the SlideMe Market. Wow is all I can say. This was a night and day improvement over the stock launcher! Although the screen still sucked and when it decided to respond to any screen touches, it was buttery smooth. This got me thinking ..... what other apps can I load/sideload. Slowly but surely I started to load some of the apps that I was somewhat familiar with .... Task killers, fancy clock widgets, Angry Birds (for my kids).

    After playing a few rounds of angry birds, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the game play was judder free. Pretty good for cheapo hardware. Next I tried full screen High quality YouTube video ...... equally as impressed. No frames skipped just as smooth as my Facinate. Now I'm starting to think ..... what else can this baby do.

    As I started to load more apps/games, I realized specific performance hickup patterns. Some times, the apps or games would freeze for a few seconds (sometimes minutes) then come back. WTF. The keyboard also was shady at times. The only thing that would fix these issues was to disable the WiFi. With WiFi disabled, the unit ran very smooth. Keyboard typing wasn't all that bad. But whats the use of having a tablet without WiFi access?

    I combed through everything .... looked at services running, apps running, ensured app killer was doing its job ..... nothing I could think of would fix this. At first I though it was a defective wireless NIC. (This could explain the 3 hour update download times).

    So my thoughts of this device started to change abit. Now I was thinking, it was a reasonable price for the hardware but I must have a defective unit. Maybe I should bring it back to exchange for another one. Hmmmmm.....

    Persistence payed off I guess ...... What I was able to deduce after spending a late night with the device ...... The weather, clock and calendar widgets (that were installed and enabled out of the box) were still running under the base Launcher. I switched back to the old launcher and removed all widegets. Voila! Problem solved! Now I can be on Wifi all day with no hiccups! Awesome!

    OK ... now I'm starting to like this little guy a bit more .... screen responsiveness improved since killing those widets. I'm starting to realize that it may not be able to multi task too well for the keyboard doesn't get dedicate CPU cyles when busy. But if you run the bare minimun .... they keyboard isn't all that bad. Its definitely 100x's better than it was out of the box.

    I decided to follow bigwooly's guide for enabling Market on the sylvania yesterday. I am sure glad I did. Its amazing what the Google Experience brings to the tablet. Follow his steps .... read and read and read. It works. I decided to go with the Ugly hack because it makes sense to me. I don't want to share the same ID as my phone.

    Anyway ..... to play it safe, I created another gmail account just for my tablet. Keep my tablet separate from my phone. (Plus I can chat with any family member from my phone to the tablet). Android Market updated its self and I am running the latest and greatest of all the apps. Downloading from Market is flawless.

    I am using my tablet at work today to chat with all of my colleagues. Its great. As for the keyboard .....yes it is definitely better but it cannot compare to a capacitive screen.

    I think I will keep this little guy after all. My suggestion to anyone who wants to buy one of these: Go ahead ..... not a bad deal for the price. Patience and tweaks will make this little guy a formidable tablet. Don't let the out-of-the box performce deter you.

    As for my buddy with the NookColor ..... Yes very nice screen. Input is alittle more accurate due to the Capacitive screen but ....... angry birds to too laggy to enjoy!
    I like the look and feel of the nookcolor but over all performance can't compare to my little Sylvania at more than half the price. Launcher Pro on the nook is NOT buttery smooth. If anyone is interested, i can try to take some videos comparing the two. (if time permits). but then again ....... not sure if he has tweaked his to the fullest extent.


    I hope this helps someone ..... thanks for letting me express my thoughts here. My wife refuses to listen to me when I spew the geek talk.

    Regards,
     
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  2. RONJAWS4

    RONJAWS4 Member

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    Thanks for the post and some of the suggestions for better performance.
     
  3. epeereboom

    epeereboom Member

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    Thanks for the info. I killed those widgets after reading your post and have noticed a difference in the responsiveness.
     
  4. bigwooly

    bigwooly Member

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    i put the gingerbread keyboard from somewhere can't remember where i pulled it from. but i put it on mine it improved the keyboard on mine even more.
     
  5. epeereboom

    epeereboom Member

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    I also found the gingerbread keyboard to be an improvement. I found the apk in tae254's post "keyboard alternative", here in the sylvania section of the forum.
     
  6. topforty10

    topforty10 Member

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    I have a Sylvania as well and have posted in another forum, but since you have the Market working, I wanted to ask if all of your games work good you download?

    I have market working, and games like Angry Birds, Robo Defense work fine. Games that play horizontally.

    Games like puzzles, paper toss etc that play vertically don't because the tablet wont switch to vertical resolution.

    Just curious. Thanks!
     
  7. dredrian

    dredrian Member

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  8. m249gnr

    m249gnr Member

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    WOW thanks for the info. it seems you possibly know some answers I have been looking for or can at least yell at me to go to the correct formu,it's ok I'm a former infantry soldier i can handle yelling.

    I have 2 basic problems with my Sylvania Tablet:

    1) every time I power off I have to reenter my location info for weather and my bookmarks etc are all gone as if it factory reset itself?? I have the tablet and a 4gb card in it. Should I be creating a profile or something?? Sorry , last time I programmed or worked a computer with confidence it was an Amiga 500.

    2)I have 3 programs ready to install from SlideMe but keep getting low memory errors, I have uninstalled several apps but keep getting the same error message !!! these programs are on my memory card and the system tells me I have plenty of memory but no darn luck !!!

    This is a last ditch effort before it goes back to the store so any help is appreciated.
     
  9. bigwooly

    bigwooly Member

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    Is your tablet on the curent firmware DG2.02?

    to find this look in settings > about device > firmware version
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  10. m249gnr

    m249gnr Member

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    Yes,that is the version it shows bigwooley
     
  11. ndamico

    ndamico Member

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    M249gnr - I can't explain the behavior but I suggest removing the stcok weather widgets and going with something like Weather bug or weather channel widgets.

    As for the memory issue. Its going to be difficult to diagnose. I suggest downloading a task manager app to kill all apps. Do this to get a baseline then try installing the 3 apps above one at a time.

    If you can't find Advanced Task Killer in any market, then you can go to Setting--> applications--> running services.

    Stop the unneccessary services.

    Let us know
     
  12. ndamico

    ndamico Member

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    shoot me an email .... I can send you the files.
     
  13. jweidner

    jweidner Member

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    I had the same issue with the weather widget, but the 2.02 upgrade fixed that. I also had trouble with getting the upgrade as it wasn't in my settings menu. I downloaded a file explorer type application and found the appropriate .apk file to upgrade.

    Does anyone have a problem where it seems like you press in-between the virtual keys and you application minimizes? I especially notice it when using Dolphin HD.

    Something good i found, the USB host port recognized my wireless keyboard/trackball. Just need the HDMI fixed and my big-screen TV will double as a monitor in my living room. Can't wait to stream those uncensored Barney videos for the kids!
     
  14. dcabbarno

    dcabbarno Member

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    Hi, I am trying to be able to get videos from YouTube to play on my tablet and I keep getting a message saying i need to upgrade my adobe flash player. when I try to do this, it doesn't work and I still can't play the videos. Is there a different flash player that I need to use for this tablet or am I just clueless and doing something wrong. Thanks for any help you can give regarding this problem.
     
  15. BayleighB

    BayleighB Member

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    I just bought myself one about an hour ago, I go to turn it on and the screen won't turn on. Should I let it charge the full 6 hour's before trying it a 5th time? I tried it right after I bought it but it wouldn't come on (i'm assuming because it had no charge) tried it 2 more time's before I realized it was probably dead and needed a charge. So when I got home I put it to charge and after about 30 minute's I tried to turn it on again and no luck. After an hour passed I tried again and still no power. If anyone can help please feel free to reply to this. Thank's so much. It is now 3 hour's later and still wont turn on. Going to wait till morning and see if it work's. If not CVS will be receiving this one back and probably be giving me another one. Lol
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011

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