[Review] aPad iRobot RK2818

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Reviews' started by feverhost, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. feverhost

    feverhost Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My Tablets: Pandigital White Novel - aPad iRobot RK2818 - Motorola Xoom 4G (Rooted JellyBean 4.1.2) - Kindle Fire - Novo Elf 7" - HP Slate 7" - Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
    Before I go into an in depth review of this tablet, I first must mention the experience I had with the vendor. I first purchased this tablet from *************** on November 23rd, 2010. I was sent an Email on the 24th that the tablet was already processed and was being shipped. Unfortunately, I found out later it was actually shipped on November 30th. During many conversations with NowSupplier, it was found out that the tablet was either held up in customs in China.

    I was alerted of this at the end of December. In early January I talked to the manager with NowSupplier and expressed my concern over the package being so slow. The manager re-called the package and re-shipped it out via Air Express Mail (ironically from another port; not from Shenzhen, but rather Guangzhou) The re-shipped package left China on January 12th, and got to San Diego on the 18th. The manager of NowSupplier said they are working on ways to dramatically increase their shipping speed and procedures. He assured me that shipping will not be delayed like that again.

    Update
    As of January 22nd, 2011 I have updated this thread. It appears there are some inconsistencies with the information the vendor has supplied. I have learned the processor speed and android operating system version is a lie. This is actually a 600Mhz tablet running Android 2.1 not 2.2. It appears the manufacturer faked the OS Therefore... this is a fake Froyo tablet. Lastly, this tablet comes with a .3MP camera NOT a 1.3MP as advertised.
    ______________________________________________


    Along with shipping delays, I strongly recommend that this vendor also fix their poor customer service through their website. I also recommend that the vendor fix any ms-representations of tablet specifications including typos. I also ordered an Android 2.0 (cheap) tablet... that came with Android 1.6!

    Sorry for the coughing.. still getting over a cold!

    This video will be edited to reflect the 800Mhz and Android 2.2 lies..

    The actual tablet

    What I ordered for $168 was an 8" aPad iRobot RK2818 Rocketchip 600Mhz tablet running Android 2.1. The tablet comes with a 600Mhz processor and 256MB of RAM. It has an 8" resistive, although good resistive, single-touch screen. The weight of the tablet is comparable to my Augen Gentouch78 2nd edition, which is around 500grams. This tablet comes with a .3MP front facing camera, that is not good at all. If you are looking for a tablet with a nice camera, don't buy this one.

    Hence the name aPad, this tablet is very similar to the iPad. It even comes with the home button on the button. The beveled shape of this clone, also looks like the iPad. This aPad comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, SD card slot, power cord, mini USB, and two bottom speakers. The speakers are actually quite loud, which is nice to hear. The downside of this tablet is it comes with a very short power (USB) cord. I would say the power cord is less than a foot. I must admit that the physical feeling of this tablet is quite good. It's put together well, and is sturdy. The backing feels like an aluminum backing, instead of the cheap plastic some tablets come with. Out of my 4 tablets now, this aPad has the best resistive screen. Obviously not as good as a capacitive screen, but it's better than both my Augen Gentouch78 and Pandigital Novel.

    I was going to brag about how good the accelerator works, but for some odd reason it has stopped working. I have rebooted the tablet several times, and it's just not rotating anymore. That is a big disappointment, and I’m not sure what is going on. Stay tuned on this...


    Here are some of the positive features in regards to this aPad:


    #1 Market - Official Google Marketplace is installed and works great right out of the box... minus having to add your Gmail account.

    #2 Good resistive screen - One of the better resistive screens that I have used. I was pleasantly surprised.

    #3 Amended: This was advertised as Android 2.2, it's actually 2.1....

    #4 I like the physical buttons, plus the bottom home screen. It makes it quite easy to navigate.

    #5 Loud speakers - The speakers can get quite loud, which is nice.

    #6 USB Devices - You are able to hook up an external USB mouse and/or keyboard (I haven't tested this yet)


    Some of the features that it is lacking:

    #1 Has a bad camera - I seriously doubt this is even a 1.3MP camera... it's that bad

    #2 The accelerator stopped working... not sure why. (January 20th, 2011... has been fixed)

    #3 I've had the tablet for 3 days, and it has froze 6 times now (Requires a reset to get working again).

    #4 No flash, it's not the tablets fault... but would of been nice to beef the RAM up to 512MB.

    #5 This tablet is actually Android 2.1, not 2.2

    #6 The processor is actually 600Mhz NOT 800Mhz.

    Big Question... would I recommend this tablet?

    Answer: Yes.. if you know it's a 600Mhz processor, running a faked version of Android 2.2.. therefore it's actually 2.1

    I would recommend this tablet as a low-entry tablet, if you want to spend (now) $156. It's fairly fast, has Google Marketplace access, runs Android 2.1, has loud speakers, 3.5mm headphones, good resistive screen, and is physical decent. Due to several false accusations in regards to this tablet, I would not purchase from the vendor again. To many errors, and false information.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  2. NightLord

    NightLord Member

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    It's probably a CIF or VGA camera that supports internal upscaling. It is (or at least was) a common a practice also in cell phones and web cameras. You seriously cant expect HD video recording for that price tag.
    As for the flash, the RK2818 chip simply lacks the power to play in-browser flash content. It's a noticeable performance hit even on the twice-as-fast cortex A8 chip based systems.

    I would add an other point though - the tablet cant run many popular games, including angry birds (probably due to the lack of hardware features supported by the video unit), and those that run, may run very slowly. Animation of live home screen bacgrounds is quite jerky - again the lack of power in the RK2818 is to blame. Other than that, the device runs nicely, and doesn't feel slow at all for normal usage (i.e. web browsing or reading)
     
  3. Li0nHeart

    Li0nHeart Member

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    Do you think it's possible to get the firmware from your device and post it here (or here? Rockchip 2818 Tablets)
    Since it's running 2.2 I think a lot of people will be interested in the firmware.
     
  4. feverhost

    feverhost Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My Tablets: Pandigital White Novel - aPad iRobot RK2818 - Motorola Xoom 4G (Rooted JellyBean 4.1.2) - Kindle Fire - Novo Elf 7" - HP Slate 7" - Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
    Li0nHeart... I am unsure as the device doesn't appear to be rooted.

    NightLord: I agree about RK2818... this tablet is held back by it.... If it had a better processor it would be able to upgrade to 512MB RAM and run flash...

    BTW... I downloaded an app that auto rotates the screen. It's not as fast as the normal accelerometer, but it does work. Makes me think the rotation not working is a software problem. I'll investigate more...

    I'll also be uploading my video review to YouTube today.... basically what I wrote, just in video format... focusing on the un-boxing, physical attributes, and showing how some of the apps work.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  5. NightLord

    NightLord Member

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    On a positive note, I have to add that LCD screen quality of the device is quite good - a lot better than the Utopia A8 device I also have here at home.
     
  6. NightLord

    NightLord Member

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    Feverhost, does USB connection to a PC work for you?

    BTW it would be very nice to figure somehow out a way to factory reset the device, until that, I'm a little bit afraid to start tinkering with the device (like rooting and such). If I somehow end up messing up the OS, I have no means of restoring the tablet to a factory state.

    For example, the A8 tablet has a boot-up service menu, in which you can perform a factory reset, or my smartq v5-ii can also be easly restored to a factory state via reflashing the rom from boot , etc.

    Who manufactures this device anyways?

    Also the device is advertised as a two-point-touchsreen-device. You can even read "pure screen touching for two point form" on the back of the device. Still, touching the screen with two fingers doesn't seem to work.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  7. feverhost

    feverhost Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My Tablets: Pandigital White Novel - aPad iRobot RK2818 - Motorola Xoom 4G (Rooted JellyBean 4.1.2) - Kindle Fire - Novo Elf 7" - HP Slate 7" - Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
    NightLord: So far I have not been able to connect the tablet via USB to my computer. My computers (4 different ones; so far) do not detect that anything is connected. That is quite disconcerting.

    The user-manual says this is a multi-touch, although this tablet definitely isn't. On the NowSupplier site, it says it's only single touch. The user-manual also says this is only 128MB of RAM.. so a few things have been updated and others downgraded.
     
  8. xaueious

    xaueious Administrator Staff Member

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    Don't bother with the user manual, especially if it is in English. The factory is usually worse at English than the vendor, or they would be selling factory direct with an English webpage, just to get an idea of how bad this is.

    If there are two USB ports, only one of the two may work for connecting to the computer. Upon connection, you are expected to mount the tablet from a command.

    Or it might just be a really unpolished piece of hardware. It takes through testing to recommend tablets. Most of these tablets look okay initially.

    Still waiting for those screenshots of ASI and some actual hardware pictures.
     
  9. xaueious

    xaueious Administrator Staff Member

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    Any comments on portrait vs landscape viewing angles? Does the headphone jack work as expected? I know of one RK2818 variant that shipped with L/R reversed.

    Rockchip devices are not known for their reliability. Chances are that this variant isn't so good.

    The A7HTv2 is a cousin of this device, if you are looking to modify things or just for general information.

    There's no way your CPU is actually 800MHz by the way. RK2818's application processor is typically clocked at ~622MHz.
     
  10. Li0nHeart

    Li0nHeart Member

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    Does it play Angry Birds (cuz 2.1 on the 2818 doesn't)
     
  11. NightLord

    NightLord Member

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    It doesn't play angry birds.

    BTW I found out that you can connect the tablet to the PC through the OTG port, with a simple mini usb cable (not supplied).
    The tablet is automaticly recognized, you can browse the "flash" folder (2,7 gigs of free space), and use adb (the latter may need the google android drivers to be installed beforehand) .
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  12. NightLord

    NightLord Member

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    The user manual is clearly that of the previous version of the iRobot, the one with RK2808 and Android 2.1
     
  13. NightLord

    NightLord Member

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    Viewing angles seem pretty decent for me from 3 of the 4 directions. There's one side of the device, viewing from which the display does become inverted when viewed from a wider angle - its the left side of the tablet when holding it in an upright portrait position.

    Overall this device seems to provide a pretty solid out of the box experience (that is, if the unability to run various games can be considered a hardware flaw of the RK2818 SoC), which is a nice thing compared to some other devices (like the imx 515, or my other device, the smartq v5-ii). Espacially if you take it into account that it seems that our devices are from the first batch to hit the market.

    About the CPU - I have yet to find a system analyzer app that actually recognizes the RK2818
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  14. feverhost

    feverhost Super Moderator Staff Member

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    xaueious: Do you know of an App that can take a picture of the screen?
     
  15. irishinvenice

    irishinvenice Member

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    Great review, thanks for giving the info. I am slightly worried about my NS 10.1" Android 2.1 1.3Mpixel :(
     

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