Sunday, September 4, 2011

WoPad i7 - 7" Rockchip Cortex-A8 Tablet Review - Part II

Continuing on in my Review of the Wopad i7. in this section I cover Wifi, Device Stability, and Battery Life...

WiFi - 5 Stars - Stable, Strong Signal

WiFi has been pretty good today. To clarify it is WiFi "N" not just "G". It says this explicitly on the back of the device. This is really good news as I run an "N - Only" network at my house. I was thinking I was going to have to slow the whole network down by changing back to mixed mode while I tested this device. Very nice surprise. It connected quickly with my Network. I think I get almost exactly the same signal strength and distance as the RENA3, which I have always considered decent. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment though, so other folk's use may vary. The real test is if I can sit outside and still get a signal. Which I can. It is feint, but it stays connected and I can skim the internet. I know this is all very subjective but I think I can say with a fair bit of assurance that most people won't be disappointed by the WiFi.

Stability/Bugs - Ongoing testing - 4.5 Stars

Also.. I am impressed by the fact that this thing has been ROCK SOLID STABLE. No crashes, no hangs when waking up from sleep. Today is going to be my first full day of use with it. So far I have used Google Reader (which has a bug that screw up the lettering in article previews, this is specific to this tablet as I do NOT have this issue on the RENA3) and I have played a game. The bug with google reader is annoying to say the least and it makes me wonder about other apps. The built-in Android keyboard not having an "enter" key in some circumstances was NOT GOOD. I am not using the built-in keyboard anymore. For the time, I am docking a half-star for all of this. The WoPad people however should really be commended. It is so rare for a new China Tab device to be so stable and to work so well. For comparison, the RENA3 is still really a "3.5star" device in this area. Overall the RENA3 is stable, but it still freezes on occassion or it can't be brought out of sleep. This is rare, but it still happens enough to be bothersome. I haven't gotten any indication that I will have those kinds of issues with this device. The RENA3 has come a long way though, it was probably more like a 2.5 Star device at release on my "subjective scale of how I feel about things"

Boot times were MUCH slower today. Like around 70 Seconds. This is very noticeable when put next to the RENA3 which boots in roughly 20 seconds. I hit the power buttons on both at the same time, the RENA3 boots much faster. I am not sure why the increase in boot times? Perhaps because I have added an 8gb SD card and installed some apps? This also is why i am docking half a star.

Battery Life - 3.5 Stars

I used the WoPad I7 all day today, on and off throughout the day. I can't seem to find a definite answer on the actual battery size (I have seen everything from 2800mAh to 3400mAh) and my wife has already informed me that, unlike the last device I had (the RENA3) I am not allowed to open this one up. Apparently the RENA3 doesn't feel as "sturdy" as it did before I took a peek inside. Anyhow, I used the device "light" throughout the day and I got 8 hours out of it before I finally plugged it in. I think I could have pulled another half hour out of it doing like internet browsing before it would have completely died. Stuff I did... I probably played a couple of different games (mostly 3D... Jet Car Stunts) for about an hour to an hour and a half today. I also watched a NetFlix TV show for 45 minutes. I browsed the internet and answered emails probably a total of 2 hours. So About 4 - 5 hours of differing use would be my guess with 3 hours of sleep spread out between. The backlight was on the "middle" level of brightness (using the power control widget) most of the time and high brightness for short periods. The backlight brightness seemed to make the biggest difference on how fast it went through the battery.

Compare this to the RENA3 - I can do all of this same activity and STILL have 40 - 50% of my battery. So I would say at worst it gets half the battery life of my RENA3 and at best it gets about 2/3 of the life my RENA3 gets. Now, it might be more efficient than the RENA3 at specific things like video playback, but I really can't speak to this as I haven't done a side-by-side comparison of just straight video playback to see which device will last longer.

Overall, I am pretty happy with the device's battery life. I think it is still significantly better than the majority of devices out there. Especially things like the Herotab C9 that only get like 3... YES 3!?! hours of battery life. What is the point of even having a tablet that has to be plugged in all the time? Anyhow... forgive my rant.

I will report back after a week of use to see if the battery holds its longevity. If it maintains the majority of its battery life after several charge/discharge cycles I think this item will definitely end up on my digital store shelves. I have been absolutely thrilled in the sense that I don't think there is a single other device that you can get for $180 - $190 total cost that provides this kind of value.


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