Android iPad knockoffs… pass

We have a tablet running android that we use for testing software development. While it is an interesting device, I expected it to be easier to use.

This tablet is labeled “iRobot”, a name I thought was reserved for vacuums. The tablet is not very responsive but I expected that. The battery doesn’t last as long as it should and I expected that. Wifi is flaky and requires multiple attempts to connect. Marketplace downloads are perpetually stuck in a “starting download…” state but I think that is an authentication problem.

The dealbreaker is the resistive touchscreen… Android has a hard time distinguishing a scroll from a select tap when using a resistive touchscreen. I don’t know if this is something the vendor could tune or if it’s a fundamental problem with the UI. If you use this device a bit, you will get a long list that you need to scroll several pages forward and you might just burst into tears. Accidentally tapping an item opens it, fine, but going back typically restores you to the top of the list. It becomes a real fight to reach the end of a list. I was surprisingly grateful for dividers in these long lists since the OS does not misinterpret scroll actions when you start it from a divider.

Overall, it’s a good cheap way to get working on the platform but I’d say anyone interested in using the device a lot should insist on a capacitive touchscreen or see a solution to the problem in action before buying a resistive model.