Apr. 13th, 2011

This arrived yesterday afternoon, so I've had it for just on 24 hours. Obviously not long enough for an in-depth review, but some first impressions seem appropriate.

Solid, well built. Slightly smaller than the Kindle 2, though also slightly heavier. Significantly smaller and lighter than the iPad, it's very easy to hold in one hand. The 7" screen makes the keyboard large enough for even my big hands, but small enough to not require too much stretching to type. Can't say much for the Samsung keyboard as I installed the Gingerbread one pretty much right away.

Works very nicely for reading ebooks. Being able to hold it in one hand is a big plus for this. The bundled ebook application is okay, but nothing special. Not being able to disable the page-turn animation is my biggest complaint, though it's also a bit slow to open a book. Kindle and Aldiko work very nicely, though, as does the Comixology Comics app.

Battery drain with the radios on is pretty fast. In that use-case, it's a "charge every night" deal, just like most smartphones. With the radios off it lost 2% of the battery in 12 hours overnight, which isn't too bad. This being Android it's a doddle to set up a simple toggle widget on the home screen to do this, no digging around in menus required.

One bit of weird is that the browser has its own independent screen brightness setting. It's not like it's hidden -- it's on the menu when you hit that button -- but it was rather unexpected. So having the screen dim every time the browser got focus was rather alarming. Disabled that once I found it!

Overall it's pretty nice. The size is just what I wanted -- bigger than a phone, smaller than the iPad and other 10" tablets. Even with the fonts jacked up there's enough content on-screen to be able to read comfortably, even more so than on the Kindle as the Kindle app uses smaller margins than the K2 or even the iPad version.

A few third-party apps are bundled. There's ThinkFree Office, which on a quick poke seems okay but not really something I'd use much. Need For Speed is downloadable for free, not that I much care. Samsung also include Swype and a font manager, which is nice. Telstra put a giant pile of links to things and their own service apps on it, haven't bothered to remove any of them yet. One is a Garmin navigation application, which may be of interest to people who drive. They also included a trial version of Guitar Hero Mobile 5, which is fun.

Happy with the purchase so far. At the original price it was a bit of a rip-off in my view, but at ~AU$400 to buy outright it's a good deal if you know what you're getting into.


Abort, Rephrase, Ignore?

October 2011

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