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Datawind Not Blowing Smoke: $38 Tablet Coming To the US

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the should-rename-it-to-weatherpad-and-market-to-old-dudes dept.

Portables 210

BigVig209 writes "In a follow-up to a story we discussed in May, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that London-based Datawind it will begin selling its $38 UbiSlate tablet computer in the U.S. early next year. 'The $38 7-inch touchscreen UbiSlate 7Ci tablet runs on Google's Android 4.0 and features a 1-gigahertz, single-core processor. It has 4 gigabytes of storage with microSD card slots for additional storage. The 7-inch display offers a resolution of 800x480 pixels.' The specs aren't the greatest, fastest, or most powerful, but, for under $50, they're still pretty decent."

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classroom tools (4, Interesting)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 10 months ago | (#45717401)

With those being cheaper than most textbooks, I think we can see more e-textbooks being popular in the future.

Comic book reader. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717523)

Amazon's kinder reader app will let you read electronic comics, but not on a desktop (DRM disallows it), and on the handheld devices it *does not zoom*. Ridiculous!

I believe Google's reader will allow zoom, but the tablet is very expensive. If this will serve as a cheap electronic comic book reader that supports zoom, I'm in.

Re:Comic book reader. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717683)

With that resolution? Good luck. I find the Kindle Fire's 1024 x 600 7" screen a real chore with comics.

Re:Comic book reader. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718071)

Because this is aimed at comic book readers? not everything needs that level of detail.

In fact... most stuff doesn't. I'd get a few of these for family. Much better of a young'un breaks THIS vs breaking a $400+ iPad or Nexus.

Re:classroom tools (5, Insightful)

bobbied (2522392) | about 10 months ago | (#45717555)

Have you priced E-Text books lately? Maybe it's because I'm looking at college level stuff, but they get a LOT of money just to let you use their book for 6 months and a whole lot more to get the book forever. I just don't see that happening until the publishers back off the rental prices.

Re:classroom tools (4, Informative)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 10 months ago | (#45717611)

The last ebook I purchased for school was $20, compared to the print copy that was $210, then again that was 5 years ago

Re:classroom tools (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718063)

The last 'ebook' I bought was for an astrophysics class. A mandatory $190 license to access a textbook online for three months. By Pearson of course. No one should be pleased with how things are going.

Re:classroom tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718103)

For MOST classes, you can get reused books for a pence. 10-40% on the dollar for a new book give or take depending on age of book.

Where they've got me in the past is first run of a book THAT semester (no used market)...

and "You need a key from the book to access the online portion of this class". Book was year(s) old... but the online code was a one shot and it didn't come with the used book. I touched the book ~twice? and did the rest via the online portion. Could have not gotten the book and saved ~$50.

Re:classroom tools (5, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | about 10 months ago | (#45718043)

I'm hoping to see a trend where professors or graduate students write new textbooks and just contribute them to the public domain. Inexpensive tablets plus free textbooks means inexpensive education.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4123035&cid=44658533 [slashdot.org]

It's still early days with ebooks, really. The publishers want to keep the prices high, but the barriers to entry into the market are low. Free textbooks will disrupt the pricing model.

Re:classroom tools (2, Insightful)

murdocj (543661) | about 10 months ago | (#45718073)

Yes, because of course people will do hundreds of hours of work for free. Personally, I'm looking forward to the trend where random people send me enough money that I can retire.

Re:classroom tools (4, Insightful)

narcc (412956) | about 10 months ago | (#45718189)

Yes, because of course people will do hundreds of hours of work for free.

They will, as it turns out. You'll find countless examples on the internet. Not everyone is as selfish as you.

Re:classroom tools (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 10 months ago | (#45718449)

The problem is that SOMEONE will do that, but usually for most classes you don't just need a random textbook on the subject - you need a specific one that is normally chosen by the professor. Sometimes they have "incentives" to mandate a textbook from a certain publisher or sometimes they make a book that they wrote the mandatory textbook so that they get all the royalties.

I ended up buying a lot of my books at Half.com back when I was in school because I could get them cheaper used there (just had to make do without the book for the first week or so of class while I waited for it to come in). I also could generally sell my used books there for more than the campus bookstore was offering.

Re:classroom tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718311)

Half of my physics graduate classes were taught with freely available online typeset notes, which by then were at about the level of a book. A lot of work is going into making open textbooks for introductory level classes, at least science and math at the high school level. At least in some subjects, that just leaves a gap in the middle to be closed.

Re:classroom tools (2)

pepty (1976012) | about 10 months ago | (#45718511)

What happens when the department is told to fill the hole in its budget with revenue from textbook sales? Profs (in the US) are going to come under increasing pressure to use materials that generate revenue for their school.

Re:classroom tools (5, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45717557)

Which will of course be FAR more expensive than the textbooks were.

I don't get the impression that e-textbooks ever actually save anybody money as the publishers just jack up the prices.

I knew someone who worked in a library, and they got all excited about e-books, only to realize they spent about 50% or more of the annual book buying budget to get it set up and get just a half a dozen e-books. They ended up with far far less than if they'd bought traditional books, because they'd have been able to buy hundreds of books for what they spent.

At the end of the day, it makes more money for the publisher, but a small community library got absolutely burned in the process, and only ended up with a handful of books, and limited benefit

I can't imagine school boards would fare any better.

Re:classroom tools (1)

plopez (54068) | about 10 months ago | (#45717727)

And since they are electronic they are so much easier to "Update". Oh, that's the old version. The {school board | stated education department | university managers} no longer certifies your old version. You'll have to get the new version.

Re:classroom tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718027)

Not when an e-textbook is 400 like the paper one because it comes with a liscence/1 time key.

Re:classroom tools (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 10 months ago | (#45718481)

Not so much now that textbooks are becoming a significant source of revenue for schools. At the university level I think students in the US can look forward to being required to purchase a copy of the textbook through a university-approved source if they want to stay registered in the class. Format won't affect the price much at all.

Capacitive or Resistive? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 10 months ago | (#45717409)

That's a world of difference, Capacitive or Resistive is the difference between a budget and a usable tablet

Re:Capacitive or Resistive? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717729)

Yes, for 38 dollars, you can expect a soul sensor. It senses your soul (locks on it, so no one else will cause any effects while you are using it), so water doesn't screw it up and it's also pin point accurate. Also it has a 100000 levels of force sensing, so you can draw as if you had a wacom. It will also calculate your taxes, fish for you, cook your dinner, do your work and lie for you.

Re:Capacitive or Resistive? (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 10 months ago | (#45717777)

Personally, I would buy a $38 tablet provided it actually worked for a reasonable amount of time (1-2 years), and could do some basic tasks. I don't want to tote around my $500 tablet everywhere I go, but it would be nice to have a cheap device that I didn't care so much if I dropped it, or it got too cold and ceased to function. It doesn't have to be a replacement for the iPad or any other tablet at that price. People will buy an iPad (or similarly high priced tablet, like Galaxy Tab/Note or Surface2), as well as a cheap $40 tablet to take with them when they don't want to have something expensive on them. Same reason why many people who own a DSLR also have a cheap point and shoot. And same reason why I would buy that $15 Nokia phone if it ever sees the light of day. There are certain things people do where they don't want to be carrying around thousands of dollars of electronics.

Re:Capacitive or Resistive? (5, Informative)

unrtst (777550) | about 10 months ago | (#45717995)

Has no one here shopped online?

Here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3DC17C8972 [newegg.com]
It's $44. Granted, that's $6 more, but that's certainly in the same ballpark, and it has (arguably) better specs (dual core, dual cameras, android 4.2, etc).

Or here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=0EJ-0019-00005 [newegg.com]
This one is just $34.99. It's only 4.3", but it has a 1.2GHz A8, and Android 4.2.

I don't know why this is making slashdot... 'el cheap-o tablets are already here in every form you could ask for. Most of the cheap ones sacrifice battery life first, which sucks, but corners must be cut if you're going to be the cheapest thing with a touchscreen... and in some cases, a short battery life is not a deal breaker (ex. car computer; kitchen wall mounted touch display; media controller; etc).

Re:Capacitive or Resistive? (4, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 10 months ago | (#45718501)

That "$44" tablet has a shipping price of $23.

Granted, shipping usually isn't free (even when listed as such it's built into the price of the item), but a $20+ shipping price is just a lie. They're building most of the item price into the shipping price to make it look cheaper.

Yes the 4.3" device is actually $35 shipped but at that size I consider that a touch screen media player rather than a "tablet".

Re:Capacitive or Resistive? (0)

nerys (556011) | about 10 months ago | (#45718603)

was not logged in. now I am

Re:Capacitive or Resistive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718581)

that first one is $67 not $44 (note the shipping charge)

I just bought one of the tabs. $37.99 with GOSF13 code to knock off $9.99 (the shipping amount)

this is "normal" price not use not sale price. you can buy a hundred of them at that price.

hopefully it will get rooted and playstore installed. should make a neat cash register replacement and be more than fast enough for that task.

Bonus if the headphone jack works with square up though I have my freedom pop phone with zero monthly cost for that :-)

I have yet to find a "regular" price tablet for under $60 excluding sub 5" units which are more music players not tablets.

I may drop by micro center to buy their nicer $40 tablet too but that is a "sale price" not a regular price.

Re:Capacitive or Resistive? (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 10 months ago | (#45718333)

A kitchen cookbook/recipe display would be a good use for this.

Re:Capacitive or Resistive? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718483)

"There are certain things people do where they don't want to be carrying around thousands of dollars of electronics."

Like - going into BLACK neighbourhoods...

Cheap Smartglass Controller (3, Funny)

sporkboy (22212) | about 10 months ago | (#45717427)

After MS clears you out for an XB One, you can buy a cheap tablet for their Smartglass "second screen" app.

Re:Cheap Smartglass Controller (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717455)

After MS clears you out for an XB One, you can buy a cheap tablet for their Smartglass "second screen" app.

Microsoft would support Android? I find that unlikely .. Microsoft has almost never supported anything but their own stuff.

Re:Cheap Smartglass Controller (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717737)

Almost never except these apps including the one GP mentions. Seriously, did you not google?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Microsoft+Corporation&hl=en_GB

Re:Cheap Smartglass Controller (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718061)

They had a smartglass app for android and ipad dating back through the 360 days, and an updated one version for both platforms now. What are you smoking?

Always late (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#45717491)

Datawind is always late to the party. They make big annoucements about incredibly inexpensive items years in the future to generate interest. Then by the time they're actually selling something, everyone else has passed them by. Even now, you can pickup a tablet with similar specs from walmart for $50. By the time we see any DW tablets on the shelves, several companies will be selling $40 tablets, or better.

Re: "Early next year"?? Missing Christmas? (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 10 months ago | (#45717797)

It's a consumer product. They'll sell a lot less of it if they introduce it in January than if they'd gotten it out Dec. 1, much less pre-Black-Friday.

Re:Always late (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 10 months ago | (#45718021)

yep the specks there using are currently around the same as a 50$ android phone.

Paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717511)

It seems we're getting closer to replacing paper once and for all.

Re:Paper (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#45717623)

It seems we're getting closer to replacing paper once and for all.

So, someone has invented a cheap digital data storage method that will last thousands of years?

There's a reason tombstones are still big-ass etched stones, and not digital displays, you know.

Re:Paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717675)

It seems we're getting closer to replacing paper once and for all.

So, someone has invented a cheap digital data storage method that will last thousands of years?

Paper lasts for thousands of years? I mean the kind of paper used in most books...

Re:Paper (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 10 months ago | (#45718171)

...of which my 20-year-old paperbacks are already starting to disintegrate, and that's not even taking into account the bindings.*

The good thing about digital books is that it's trivial to "rebind" them when the reader dies. Not so easy with paperbacks.

*My older paperbacks are actually in much better shape, but novel publication appears to have moved to a cheaper paper and binding glue around 20 years ago.

Re:Paper (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 10 months ago | (#45718553)

Regular paperbacks are generally of noticeably higher quality than "Mass Market Paperbacks" (which are the small-ish versions sold in most supermarkets and such).

The Mass Market variety aren't really designed to last. They're meant to be read once or twice (if ever) and if they tear up after that just toss them.

If you're buying a book for a collection you want to buy a higher quality version.

That said - I'm not sure why they charge what they do for the better versions. Barnes and noble puts out very good quality hard-cover versions of some public domain books for less than $10. That's generally less than the price difference between the MMPB and the hardcover version of most books, so you're actually paying a lot more than just the additional materials cost there.

Re:Paper (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 10 months ago | (#45718203)

So, someone has invented a cheap digital data storage method that will last thousands of years?

No, but someone has invented something cheap that stops working when it gets rained on and can't be repaired when you damage it.

There's a reason tombstones are still big-ass etched stones, and not digital displays, you know.

And there's also a good reason they aren't made of paper.

Re:Paper (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#45718543)

So, someone has invented a cheap digital data storage method that will last thousands of years?

No, but someone has invented something cheap that stops working when it gets rained on and can't be repaired when you damage it.

A hard drive? Oh, no, you said cheap.

There's a reason tombstones are still big-ass etched stones, and not digital displays, you know.

And there's also a good reason they aren't made of paper.

... as well as a good reason why the information plate bolted to the side of the Voyager probe isn't made of paper, either.

Look, I ain't saying that paper is the be-all-end-all of communication methods; I'm just pointing out that anyone who thinks digital electronics will be a replacement for paper anytime in the near future is dreaming of pipes.

TL;DR version: sure, paper might suck, but digital storage sucks more.

Re:Paper (1)

formfeed (703859) | about 10 months ago | (#45718657)

So, someone has invented a cheap digital data storage method that will last thousands of years?

There's a reason tombstones are still big-ass etched stones, and not digital displays, you know.

Gosh, you might just have stumbled on the next big thing.
You know these annoyingly bright, giant, color led displays along the highway? Imagine that integrated into a tombstone, showing the dearly departed smiling and waiving and if someone walks by, serving them with some ads: "Don't do what I did. Call a qualified electrician."

Jeez..I can't even ship something for $38 anymore (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 10 months ago | (#45717525)

Economies of scale I suppose...

Re:Jeez..I can't even ship something for $38 anymo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717843)

If you buy $35 or more you get free shipping. Hey its 38 bucks made it :)

NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 10 months ago | (#45717559)

Picture every nurse in a hospital with one in their pocket. Picture 3rd graders taking spelling tests with these. Picture every coffee-shop waitress with one. Picture these replacing smart thermostats and TV remotes, anything with a reasonably sophisticated (i.e. > on/off) UI.

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (3, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 10 months ago | (#45717633)

Picture them all with a device made by someone else.

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 10 months ago | (#45717673)

The manufacturer/specs don't matter nearly as much as the $38 price point. THAT'S the big deal here.

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 10 months ago | (#45717823)

The price point of the device isn't the factor for adoption of devices in clinical settings - it's doing "simple" tasks like making sure they're secure and audit-able.

Your auditors don't like, "The vendor said it's safe," or "We probably didn't lose any."

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#45717899)

Also things like "has the screen got high enough contrast that I can tell a tumour from a not-a-tumour?"

(not that I'd expect these to be primary diagnostic devices, but still)

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718129)

then there are $25/$35 RPi with no screen, no case, no power supply...

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717745)

Seriously dude, these things will be paperweights and lead to more disappointed end users. The only "good" thing about them will be at least a couple hundred thousand more Android devices being registered in the wild. Granted, 90% of them will never be back after the first week because the owners will smash them in frustration but at least the numbers will look good.
 
These things will be eWaste before they ever get out of their box.

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718293)

Amen,
    We wanted a simple (and cheap) tagblet to use in the kitchen since my wife now has all here recipes on-line.
It's a pain to run back and forth to the computer, and hard to see on a phone (plus I don;t like having my expensive
phone near boiling water and sauce and such). local micro center had a deal for an $80 tablet on sale for $40.
I grabbed it cause I thought a normally $40 tablet is crap, but this one might be passable.
I had very low expectations - just display a damn web page.
I returned it 2 days later. The thing was unbearable slow, the screen was horrible (not display but actual
usability - touch response and lag). I damn near threw it through the f'ing wall.

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 10 months ago | (#45717887)

Great, so now all those people are standing around waiting on their shitty tablets to redraw the screen ... taking several times longer and being less useful than if they'd just used pencil and paper to take their notes. Proven fact, you'll remember it better by writing it than typing it. I don't know anyone who can type faster than I can, yet most waitresses with any experience can jot down notes on the tab faster than I could type it.

I don't want a 7" TV remote, thats fucking stupid. The TV is a display, why the fuck do you have a display on your remote? Because you've over complicated it to the point of stupidity.

My thermostat has had a LCD display for 7 or so years already, and it'll run months on a set of double A batteries ... why would I want this thing anywhere near my thermostat? So I can have shitty laggy controls because some moron took a chip intended for running a specific task, through a big fat general purpose OS on it ... than limited it back to one task, for which its pretty shitty at doing since the OS interferes with everything.

These tablets are shit. They are not useful to anyone due to their crappy performance compared to the massive OS flung on them.

Just because you have some hardware that technically CAN do something, doesn't many anyone will want to use it for that purpose, nor does it mean the device is actually a good idea for that purpose.

This thing is a POS and useful for very little other than making Android look like shit, and frustrating people who buy this shitty tablet expecting something like an iPad and get something like a coleco vision

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718007)

My thermostat has had a LCD display for 7 or so years already, and it'll run months on a set of double A batteries

Why the hell does your thermostat run on batteries when it has to be wired to a power source anyway to trip the furnace/AC relays?

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 10 months ago | (#45718155)

Why the hell does your thermostat run on batteries when it has to be wired to a power source anyway to trip the furnace/AC relays?

Because they don't want to put in a transformer or DC->DC convertor to reduce that voltage to 3V to run the thermostat, when you can just spend $0.50 on batteries every couple of years?

Re:NOW we're talking "ubiquitous" and "paperless" (1)

foobar bazbot (3352433) | about 10 months ago | (#45718133)

I don't want a 7" TV remote, thats fucking stupid. The TV is a display, why the fuck do you have a display on your remote? Because you've over complicated it to the point of stupidity.

Or maybe because you want to browse the program guide and configure the DVR without interrupting the show you're currently watching? (Before you say just pause it, consider that in family situations, someone else may be watching TV, or playing a game, and it may be deemed inconsiderate to interrupt their entertainment just because you feel like frobbing the remote. Doesn't apply to everyone, but it's a legitimate use case.)

Granted, these days one should just use a HTPC instead of a TV+DVR, but the same argument for being able to control your HTPC without interrupting or obscuring the display still applies.

Cool (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 10 months ago | (#45717575)

Okay... the price per square inch is great... now just make one with a 14" diagonal (ie, about a4 or letter size) with the same resolution and at the same cost per square inch (so about $160 or so for the tablet) and I'll be all over it like maple syrup on pancakes.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717649)

I prefer granulated sugar and nutmeg on my pancakes

Re:Cool (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 10 months ago | (#45718213)

That's probably because you've never had real syrup.

Here's a tip -- The good stuff isn't made from corn.

Re:Cool (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 10 months ago | (#45718617)

I've had real maple syrup, and I'll admit that it tastes better, but it certainly doesn't taste better ENOUGH to warrant costing about 16x as much as the cheap stuff.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717663)

The price per square inch is not linear. The bigger surface, the more possible errors and discarded screens. Otherwise we would be having retina 40" screens long ago.

Re:Cool (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 10 months ago | (#45717927)

A 40 inch diagonal screen has more than 16 times the area of an an ipad mini, which wouldn't exactly be very cheap.

Other OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717585)

How difficult is it to install another version of Android on devices like this? I would love to use something like this as a console-on-the-go, but would hate to deal with advertising crap while I'm trying to do work.

Re:Other OS? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#45717639)

How difficult is it to install another version of Android on devices like this? I would love to use something like this as a console-on-the-go, but would hate to deal with advertising crap while I'm trying to do work.

http://www.xda-developers.com/ [xda-developers.com]

Your answer should be contained within.

Android 4.0 = worthless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717599)

Android 4.0 is totally worthless. Try again when you can do 4.2 and run google play store apps. I've been burned by this on a $70 tablet. Never again.

My experiences with Android 4.0 (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 10 months ago | (#45717837)

I've got a Coby 10" tablet running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (i.e. really vanilla, with no manufacturer's software value added.) It'll run Google Play Store apps just fine.

The main thing it's missing is a program to sync the calendar with MS Outlook or at least accept iCal events; it really really wants you to sync its calendar app with Google Calendar, and I'm not going to sync my $DAYJOB calendar with Google. The free Play Store apps to do this haven't been very reliable, and $30 is more than I want to gamble for a commercial program that may not be any better.

Re:My experiences with Android 4.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718045)

You got lucky. Android 4.0 and 4.1 require explicit manufacturer support to run the GP store, but GP store supports all 4.2 devices.
Coby obviously did whatever was necessary on your device, but Visual Land doesn't. Avoid Fry's Visual Land tablets even if they're free.

Garbage (5, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 10 months ago | (#45717615)

I've purchased two barrel-bottom-scraping androids so far (not this model), with the expectation that that should be able to satisfy very basic needs like ebook reading.

I was wrong.

These 'landfill android' devices garbage in every possible way. Battery life is so poor that you can't even even expect it to last a day on stand by. Yet performance is so poor that you have to wait a good several minutes just for the damn thing to boot up, so forget about quickly pulling it out while on the bus to read a few pages.
And the wifi is so bad that it can't pick up a signal unless you have a router in the very same room, and even then you somehow don't get full bars.

The only use I can see for this class of devices, is in BDSM scenarios:

Master - Check my email, slave!
Slave - Yes Master, thank you master! Oh, I can't connect to the server!
Master - Are you telling me that you're failing me, you miserable wretch?
Slave - Nuh Matha! Ih I puf mah tong oh he corneh, wifi worgs!
Master - Good slave! Now play Words With Friends!
Slave - *whimper*

Not garbage in EVERY way... (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#45717701)

Devices like these, and the equivalent devices in the phone arena, help keep Android "market share" figures nice and plump!

Re:Not garbage in EVERY way... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45717821)

Do they? How many have been sold? You do have numbers before making that claim, right?

Plenty of links if you just search (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#45718123)

It's obviously true just from browsing numbers alone... but there's articles like this [instapaper.com] that say the same thing (in the phone/phablet world).

Re:Plenty of links if you just search (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718505)

In response to your title and the statement that they aught to just search: that's not how burden of proof works.

Re:Not garbage in EVERY way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718275)

I suspect it's more that device manufacturers are able to produce super cheap tablets and run an OS name that people recognize. That is, I doubt it's a malicious plot by the Android overlords, it's much more likely that it's just a market opportunity that no other OS will allow. Apple and MS sure as hell won't let just anyone release a tablet under their flag. Now, you might argue that the only reason Android has such permissive licensing is to foster this very market... but arguing that someone is maliciously open sourcing their software is sort of an interesting claim.

Re:Not garbage in EVERY way... (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#45718307)

I totally agree with your point, just noting that they have an additional benefit to the Android ecosystem as well even if using them is not a good experience.

I mean if you can make a super cheap tablet why not try and see if people will bite? Some people will also probably find some use for it.

On a die note MS will let anyone release a Windows8 tablet, you just have to license Windows...

Re:Garbage (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45717835)

LOL, my brother bought something in that family ... when you turned it off, the clock stopped, so it never had the slightest idea of what the time was unless you set it every time you turned it on.

And, as you said, it had horrible battery life, was seriously underperforming, flaky wifi, and was generally not very good.

Granted, that was a few years ago, but one does worry about these low-end devices and just how useful they'll actually be.

Re:Garbage (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 10 months ago | (#45718437)

when you turned it off, the clock stopped, so it never had the slightest idea of what the time was unless you set it every time you turned it on.

So does the Raspberry Pi, but those seem to be selling quite well, and people are quite pleased with them. I have enough devices that can tell me the time. Sure it would be nice if it kept proper time, but I don't see how that's essential to many of the things you may want to use a tablet for. The GameBoy doesn't have a clock either. Didn't stop us from having tons of fun playing games on it. If it can do games, reading, and play videos, none of which require a clock, or even network connectivity, it would be a great device to have for many situations. Not to replace the iPad, but to have in conjunction with an iPad.

Re:Garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717841)

Rich-people problems... unless you bought your cheap devices in the last 3 months, chances are this will be better as the bottom-end specs for these things go up constantly.

On a related note, the CNX guys tlooked for the cheapest tablet (including the shipping) [cnx-software.com] . $44 all in, crazy.

Re:Garbage (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 10 months ago | (#45717895)

FWIW, I bought some of the $59 units NoMoreRack is selling (for video chat between grandparents and kids) and aside from a terrible viewing angle on the screen, they're no worse than my 3 year old phone. Wifi seems fine, boot time is reasonable, Hangouts works, Netflix is claimed to work.

Re:Garbage (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 10 months ago | (#45718335)

I visualized that as badly captioned tumblr pr0n and was highly amused.

Re:Garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718443)

Last year for Christmas I bought my (then 5 year old) daughter a cheapo Chinese knockoff tablet. It was great for her needs, but didn't last long. The issue I had was totally my fault though. The power cord got damaged and the replacement I bought was not correct, so it fried the device. :(

Next time I'm going with a Nexus 7 for her. Good quality, low price, certainty for updates.

uhh... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 10 months ago | (#45717699)

well...if $38 is too rich for your blood..there is always this..

http://www.dhgate.com/product/lenovo-lepad-a2207-lenovo-idea-tab-a2207a/178135882.html#s1-14-1 [dhgate.com] |1005834550 ...AND it's Lenova!

Re:uhh...shit (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 10 months ago | (#45717715)

...whoops didn't notice that minimum order...

never mind.

Re:uhh... (3, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | about 10 months ago | (#45718245)

AND it's Lenova!

No good. I'm holding out for a genuine Sorny, Panaphonic or Magnetbox.

There's already a $49 Kindle (1)

destinyland (578448) | about 10 months ago | (#45717713)

Amazon's selling Kindles today for just $49

http://www.beyond-black-friday.com/2013/12/17/amazon-discounts-kindles-to-49/ [beyond-black-friday.com]

Granted it's a one-day Christmas promotion, but it just shows they can drop prices pretty low. (Especially since they're hoping to make it all back with ebook sales...)

Re:There's already a $49 Kindle (1)

afidel (530433) | about 10 months ago | (#45717865)

Yeah but that's an ebook reader, not a tablet.

It's about time (1)

Animats (122034) | about 10 months ago | (#45717743)

There have been $30 tablets available in Shentzen for a year. Most have an Allwinner ARM SOIC, which is a very cheap part yet quite powerful. It costs $1100 to move an entire shipping container from Shentzen to Los Angeles. Not clear what the hold-up has been.

Tablets will be sold in bubble-packs at the drugstore.

Yeah, landfill devices indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45717755)

Another commenter mentioned that in their past experience, the bottom of the line Android tablets were not really useable.
I could not agree more. I was shocked at how much was lost by shaving off a few dollars. I really enjoy the term the person used, too about "landfill" devices because I have seen that happen with people. My first thought was "Oh cool, I'll put this on the fridge of the coworking space I work at!" but as soon as I read his comment all the horrible problems with budget Android devices came flooding back and I realized even putting it on fridge, constantly plugged in, probably wont' work.

I think they'll do well, though, cause heck, without reading that other comment to refresh my memory, I had put out of mind just how bad budget tablets are. I was ready to say "I'll buy one!" and get burned all over again.

Implications for OLPC (1)

steveha (103154) | about 10 months ago | (#45717765)

The One Laptop Per Child project should change its focus from hardware to software. Whether this tablet is suitable for kids, or some other tablet, they can count on inexpensive Android tablets being available.

Could kids use these things for reading textbooks? Yes. Could kids run educational software that drills them on math and other subjects? Yes. Could kids even watch movies, look things up on Wikipedia, learn to touch-type with a USB or Bluetooth keyboard? Yes, yes, yes. Tablets like these are adequate for learning.

Will OLPC ever achieve massive economy of scale by making its own branded devices? Signs point to "no". Wikipedia reports that OLPC has shipped over 2.4 million laptops in its first 6 years; in comparison, Wikipedia reports that the Google Nexus 7 tablet sold over 4.5 million units in its first year, and over 7 million to date (less than 2.5 years).

I understand that OLPC has several goals, and that one of the goals is that OLPC devices be repairable. But a school could literally buy three of these DataWind tablets for the cost of a single XO-4! Suppose someone made a bundle of a DataWind, a protective case and a keyboard; that should all come in for less than half the cost of an XO-4. Never mind repairs, just buy twice as many of the things.

OLPC should make Android software, and lesson plans for teachers, but shouldn't build their own hardware anymore.

Re: Implications for OLPC (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 10 months ago | (#45717905)

If well olpc has released tablets already for learning mayor be not the best option, they are mainly content comsumption devices, not so much for creation as school children need (at least, not all kinds, specially if involves writting).

Also, better that they can work for 4+ hours on battery, cheap tablets are not great in that area.

So what? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 10 months ago | (#45717785)

Alibaba is filled with tablets retailing for this sort of price. I assume Datawind just made a bulk purchase and is selling them for a small margin.

tablet lower res than phone (1)

erice (13380) | about 10 months ago | (#45717833)

Tablets are just big smart phones. Bigger allows for a bigger screen and bigger (longer lasting) battery.

800x480 was a mid-range phone more than three years ago. Mid range and high range phones have more pixels now.

It is possible that this device has a decent battery but, at $50,I'm skeptical of that too. So, why should anyone buy this tablet instead of a three year old smart phone on eBay?

Sounds like a possible "disruptive technology" (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | about 10 months ago | (#45717861)

...the kind that starts out regarded by the established players as almost a joke, who ignore it because its not what the important customers are asking for, just some bargain-hunting fools... then the low-end, joke product develops its own specialized market, gradually improves, starts eating the lunch of the big guys, and somehow they fade away.

The Ford Model Twas regarded as such a piece of junk the "Ford joke" became a genre in itself, and people published entire BOOKS of nothing but Ford jokes. "Does your Ford make a racket?" "Oh, no, only when it's running" etc.

RAM? (1)

jzarling (600712) | about 10 months ago | (#45718097)

I didnt see a spec on RAM - anyone know what it ships with? I recently bought a Samsung Centura which has very similar specs as this tablet, and it has left me wanting.

More storage than an iPad (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 10 months ago | (#45718301)

It has a MicroSD slot. Funny how only low-end devices are expandable these days.

Won't someone think of the beowulf clusters of tho (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718331)

All of you snotty punks these days, with your Big Data this, your Cloud that, your NoSQL the other.

It's no wonder global warming has failed: you've left behind your true roots in obscure geekery, and given it all up for marketing pitches.

You all deserve to be garbage collected. All of you.

"London-based Datawind it will begin selling"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718411)

...will IT? What does that even mean? Why is the word "it" in there?

you fAIL iT? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45718519)

over a 4ualitky

Cheap (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 10 months ago | (#45718529)

Nobody can build a $38 tablet sustainably.

Someone paid for that tablet at its real price. It just wasn't you.

When America stops being obsessed with being chickenshits, perhaps it will be easier to find a job.

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