The Gpad G10 is the second device that I have recently received for review from PandaWill.com. Last month I reviewed their X10 MID Windows CE Tablet. Both devices have a 7” resistive touch display but entirely different operating systems. In my opinion, the Gpad G10 is a much better device for virtually the same money. It provides a better experience and because of the Android Marketplace, a much greater range of applications. It’s not an iPad, but it does have several features that the iPad does not—more on that later.
To recap from my earlier articles, here’s what I am looking for in a tablet device:
- can browse the internet
- can be used as an e-reader
- can remote desktop into other Windows devices on my home network
- has a display that is a large enough screen for my aging eyes
- is ink enabled
Like most other 7” tablet devices, the Gpad G10 feels good in your hands when you first pick it up. It is the perfect size for one-handed holding. While the device is metallic colored plastic, the build quality is better than what I would have expected for a device selling for under $180. When you first turn on the device, it takes about 45 seconds to boot and several seconds longer to re-establish a WiFi connection. This is the first device that I have tested with the Android OS. Android takes a little to get used to—especially without a manual. Here are some things that I needed to learn before being able to do much with the unit:
First thing to figure out is how to use the the home & menu buttons. Both buttons respond to both a short an long press, with different actions usually occurring—depending of course on how the app in use was programmed.
The second thing to figure out is how to access the notifications on the top left of the home bar. When an icon appears on this portion of the screen, you need to press and hold this bar on the top of the screen (to the left of where you see the time, where you see the download indicator starting and finishing) and then drag downwards, sometimes all the way to the bottom of the screen to see the options for each notification. This is the same procedure to follow in order to connect the Gpad G10 to a PC so that the device’s storage can be accessed remotely when connected via a USB cable.
I found the resistive touch experience to be typically lacking. Accordingly, I prefer using a stylus rather than my fingernail with the Gpad G10. In my opinion, a stylus works much better than the tip of your finger on all resistive touch devices. It would have been nice if a stylus was built in or included, but I have plenty lying around.
In a nutshell, the GPAD G10 device provides a full Android experience (include the the Android Market) on a 7” resistive touch screen all for less than $180.
The PandaWill.com website shows the following product specifications for the Gpad G10:
Android 2.1 OS
7" TFT LCD touch screen, 800*480px
14mm, ultra slim and stylish design
Telechips 8902 800Mhz ARM 11 processor
256MB DDR2 RAM
Multi-Touch, Gravity Sensor
Built in 2GB Memory
0.3 Mega Camera
Built in 2GB, TF/Micro SD card extended up to 32GB
USB OTG 2.0 & USB Host 1.1
Built-in 2600MAh battery for super-long standby, in-use time about 4 to 5 hrs
Support 1080P HD video
3.5 Earphone jack
Language: English, Czech, Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese
High-tech of Flash UI supports easy, elegant and colorful sign to touch and control the interface
Full-format 1080P HD video decoding play, supports MPEG1, MPEG2, WMV9, MPEG4-SP, ASF, DIVX, H.263, H.264, RMVB, Mov, Mkv, TS, FLV
Music format: WMA, MP3, WAV, OOG, AAC, EAAC
Picture format: JPG，GIF，BMP，PNG
Support Adobe Flash 8 and below play
Other functions: Android Market, AndroZip, Calculator……
Size: 191 x 119 x 14mm
Product weight: 326g
Package weight: 725g
Package dimension: 230 x 168 x 80mm
1 x EU Charger
1 x USB cable
1 x Earphone
As I mentioned above, the Gpad G10 feels good in your hands when you first pick it up. It is the perfect size for one-handed holding. While the device is metallic colored plastic, the build quality is better than what I would have expected for a device selling for under $180. Other than when in direct sunlight, the screen of the Gpad G10 is quite bright and readable. The touch screen is resistive touch requiring a stylus or fingernail for optimal response. However, it is not nearly as good as the Nokia n900 resistive touch screen.
The following sockets/jacks/slots are on on the right side of the unit:
While I did not try it, the built-in microphone should enable Skype & other Skype-like voice messaging utilities over WiFi. While I only used a 16GB card for testing, the MicroSDHC slot is spring-enabled and should allow a full 32GB expansion. The two mini-USB plugs should also provide a wide variety of options, including external USB storage. I tried using a specialized adapter to do so (see below), but was unsuccessful. Others have reported success at PandaWillForum.com. The on/off switch is a helpful addition that prevents accidentally turning the device on which could result in a drained battery. There is a single speaker slit on the back of the unit.
Below is a picture of the power supply/adapter included with the unit. I was unable to use the adapter and charge the unit until I visited the local Radio Shack and purchased the correct plug adapter for about $12. PandaWill.com should consider providing such an adapter to users in the United States.
There is no easy way to remove the back cover and replace the battery. All access to the inside of the unit is likely done by removing the screen bezel to expose any factory installation screws. However, no such instructions are provided.
One other thing that I noticed is that the power supply tip on the AC power adapter and the 3.5mm ear phone jack are about the same size. This could cause confusion in dimly lit areas.
The Android home screen includes several options for “Live Wallpaper” backgrounds. In the video you will see one that simulates an aquarium and fish. As delivered the home screen includes icons for the Android Market, the Android Browser and Google Maps. In the picture below you can see the icon for the nook reader software that I installed from the Android Market.
The Android Market works well on this device. I several apps and experienced only one issue—I could not upgrade Google Maps from the Android Market. The download would complete successfully, the installation would start, but I would always get a message that “the package was not signed correctly” and the installation would fail.
In addition to two Chinese labeled applications that you can see below, the pre-configured applications on the device are labeled as follows:
- Advanced Task Manager
- ES File Manager
- Global Time
- Sound Recorder
- re Parts
My favorite application from the Market is the nook reader for Android. The application always starts in portrait orientation, but will shift to landscape and back to portrait automatically depending upon the screen orientation once a book is opened for reading. I successfully synced the nook reader with all my other nook enabled devices. Reading on the device has been a pure pleasure.
Below is a sample of the nook in full screen mode with a very large font.
The Android browser just works. Getting used to the home and menu buttons was all it took to feel comfortable.
My second favorite app was REMOID, a remote desktop protocol (RDP) client. Below is a screenshot of REMOID connected to one of my Windows 7 PCs. However, I’ve recently started using LogMeIn’s Ignition for Adroid which works even better for my needs.
The pre-installed photo gallery app shown below has most of the basic functionality you probably want.
The movie player
As you can see in the video I needed to”prop up” the device for filming and had some difficulty operating the device while filming as no kickstand is included with the device. Not all digital formats can be played on the device. The online specifications clearly limit the compatible formats. As I mentioned above, the video software application is not very user friendly, but it does work. When you watch the video you will notice virtually no stutters during video playback. I found the video playback to smooth and without defect.
Efforts at the PandaWill Forum
PandaWill.com sponsors and supports a internet forum, or discussion group at PandaWillForum.com. The participants there are anxious to expand the capabilities and functionality of the Gpad G10. If you’re interested in the Gpad G10 following the discussions in the forum will be beneficial.
PandaWill.com does not make the products that they sell. Rather, PandaWill.com is an internet reseller of novelties and technology devices. They employ over 50 people and are located in the Futian district in Shenzhen, China. According to their website:
Pandawill offers by Danhonghaotian International Trade Co., Ltd.
Pandawill is one of the biggest online commercial corporations in Asia, committing itself to build a worldwide wholesale shop online. Our company was originally set up in Shenzhen, China in 2007, aiming to operate the business-to-customer transactions with overseas consumers. Our brand name was originated from imitating the gurgling voice people utter when enjoy something happy. Along with the rapid development of electronic business in China, Hohotrade has earned itself a solid reputation for quality, reliability and professionalism in this field. Our operation capabilities cover favorable policy, instant and safe delivery, privacy protection and well-rounded customer support.
The mission of Pandawill is to provide you with the most hot goods at hot price from China. You can get almost everything you like on this website. We sell a vast range of merchandise produced exclusively by Chinese manufacturers such as trendy digital products, consumer electronics etc.. If you like to hunt for something special at low price by fashionable online shopping, then use Pandawill to purchase many thousands of super discount products you are interested in.
- Price – only $177.99 including international airmail shipping
- Hardware: screen is bright & reasonably responsive to pen touch
- Fully functional Android Market
- Plays music and video stored internally or on MicroSDHC (TransFlash) memory card
- No U.S. power supply adapter is included
- No manual is included
- Very low resolution camera only on the front of the device
- Occasional random reboots
- No included stylus
- No Bluetooth capability
- The unit does not charge by the USB connection
- The power supply tip is the same size as the earphone plug, making it too easy to incorrectly plug in the correct device.
- No HDMI out
- requires a special USB adapter for host mode USB
In other words if all you’re after is an inexpensive Android tablet without capacitive touch, the Gpad G10 should be on your short list.
Back to my original personal list of my wants for a tablet/slate—with the Gpad G10 I can:
- browse the internet
- read eBooks (I especially like the B&N nook reader for Android but Kindle for Android is available too)
- have a screen large enough for my aging eyes
- remote desktop (with “remoid” from remoid.net) into other Windows devices on my home network
but unfortunately, I cannot ink on the device.
Personally, I’ve enjoyed learning to use the Android OS and can recommend the Gpad G10 if you can live with it’s limitations. I have found it to generally be a very usable device.