I recently received the new Typhoon Tablet from Pandawill.com. As far as China tablets go, I have been overall impressed. This tablet features a high resolution ips screen in combination with a very thin design. It features a single core, 1Ghz, Cortex-A8 CPU with the Mali-400 GPU. The case is plastic, but the back side features what looks to be an aluminum insert. This gives the tablet a very lightweight feel. While most of the back of the tablet is made of aluminum, the sides are made of a textured plastic which gives a good grip when using in landscape. As you will see in the details below, for the most part, this tablet functioned very well. Please note that my review of this tablet is in respect to its price. I would not compare this to an iPAD, but will talk about it in terms of its overall value. Now let's get into some details:
Screen: 1024x600 IPS Plastic Screen with 5 Point Touch and a viewing angle of 180 degrees. Overall I am very impressed with this screen. Later in the review I will discuss the excellent media consuming benefits of this tablet, and the screen is a key benefit to this. The screen may be one of the best features of this tablet. The negative of the screen is the fact that there is no brightness control. It seems as if you could turn down the brightness you could get some better battery life. Pandawill forum’s indicate they have requested this update from the vendor so we will see if a software update can fix this. Also, the touch screen does not seem sensitive enough. Sometimes it takes a couple of clicks to get it to respond. I would guess this can be fixed via software as well.
Size: This tablet is thin and light weight. I own a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7” as well, and this tablet is both thinner and lighter. My samsung weighs in at 345 grams but this Typhoon is almost a third less at 260 grams. Its noticeable. In my opinion this would make for an excellent e-reader as it very lightweight and easy to hold for a long time.
Ports: Mini HDMI, Micro USB, SD Micro, Charging port and earphone jack. All ports work as needed and have been tested. THe SD Micro Card sticks out just a hair, and I would rather the card be flush or even recessed, but it has not caused me any issues.
Buttons: Volume Up / Volume Down, Home, Power, and reset are all included. They all work as labeled. They feel like plastic and fit a little loose but work fine. They do have a good click feel.
Build Quality: Feels light which is good. I think the smaller 3000 mhA battery really reduces the weight. The screen is nice but the bevel trim feels a bit cheap. The aluminum back is a nice touch as its anodized black. The ports are just simple cutouts but they do the job. But overall its solid, no creaks, no rattles, and soft spots. In summary, its a solid build, feels good, but some of the details lack a quality feel.
Battery: The advertised 4-5 hours seems right on. I ran a full screen video for 4:45 minutes. If you consider random use, it should get you though most of the day. If they add the feature to reduce the brightness I believe they could get some more life out of the battery.
OS: Android 4.0.3 is a very nice operating system. Everything works smooth and is a vanilla version of the OS. It connects to the PC no problem and I have had zero apps not work with it.
Apps that I tested:
Not Compatible: Oregon Settler
Compatible: Play Store (however you can’t download all the aps, says incompatible?), Root Explorer, Play Music, YouTube, Music, Gmail, Browser, Airport Mania 2, Kindle, Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds, Amazon App Store, Bible App, Calendar, Camera, Dabble HD, Dropbox, Facebook, File Manager, Free Note+, Hot Donut, iReader, Kids Doodle, MX Player, Nano Panda, Netflix, Ninja Chicken, Pro Office Suite, Opera Mini, Pandora, Paper Toss, Puffin Free, Puffle Launch, Quick Cache Cleaner, Riptide GP, Ebay, Skype (video chat), Where’s My Water, Wifi Analyzer, Words Free.
Browsing: Browsing works similar to other China tablets I have used. It seems to work great for awhile and then gets slow. Clearing the cache and re-booting usually fixes the slowness.
In the box: Charger (but not for US plug), USB Cable, Headphones, Case, Mini HDMI Cord, and tablet. So the charger that came with the tablet won’t work in a US socket and has a special connector. But I was able to charge it though the micro usb.
Overall, for the price, its a great value. In my opinion, this is a great tablet for media consumption. Reading books, watching Netflix, adding movies to an SD card and watching while in the car. The device is light and easy to hold.
I will continue to use this device and update the review if there are any new findings. Let me know if you have any questions.
Link to Device