Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

The Morning Coffee – 10 February 2014

Posted: 09 Feb 2014 09:30 PM PST


Top stories this Monday morning include a how to guide from Dear Author (link), new details about ebook sales in Poland (link), a new class system with indie authors at the bottom (link), and more.

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Review: The UbiSlate 7Ci is All Hype But No Substance

Posted: 09 Feb 2014 12:53 PM PST

The Indian ubislate 7ci android tablettablet maker Datawind launched the UbiSlate 7Ci Android tablet in the US in mid-December 2013, and I have had my hands on it for a couple weeks now.

In that time I have come to the conclusion that this $48 tablet is one of the worst tablets I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet. In my opinion this tablet has no redeeming value other than its price, and I’m not sure even that is a strong recommendation.

I know that I have a reputation to maintain for thorough and fair reviews, but in the case of the UbiSlate 7Ci I can’t find anything nice to say.


This 7″ tablet has a low resolution (800 x 480) screen which scuffs easily and has a narrow viewing angle. It’s running an adware-infested version of Android on an underpowered 1.5GHz single core CPU with 1.5GB available storage and 1GB RAM.The overall construction quality is poor, the single speaker on the rear of the tablet is quiet, and the VGA camera takes a photo that is so low quality it would best be described impressionist art.

The performance of this tablet is so underwhelming that I think it even fairs poorly when compared to the other single core tablets I’ve tried (here, here). It is such a weak tablet that it actually failed the Antutu benchmark test the first time around, which was a first for me.

Folks, I can understand the need to buy as cheap of a tablet as possible, and I know that a lot of cheap tablets achieve a lower price at the expense of quality, but sometimes the low retail price comes with too much of a penalty. This tablet is a perfect example.

What You Should Buy Instead

Rather than buy a $48 UbiSlate 7Ci, I would strongly urge you to buy the HP Mesquite ($99). Yes, it costs twice as much but I have tried it and I think it offers a good value.

But if you don’t want to spend that much, I would still recommend against getting the UbiSlate 7Ci. Instead I think you should spend a little bit more than the $48 price of the UbiSlate 7Ci. For only $10 to $15 more, you can get a tablet that is nearly twice as good.

As I sit here writing this post on 9 February, Walmart (to name just one retailer) stocks several 7″ and 8″ Android tablets at the $60 price point.

One tablet carries the RCA brand, while the other 2 tablets were made by generic tablet makers. The generic tablets each have a dual-core CPU, giving them double the performance of the UbiSlate 7Ci. They have better quality and higher resolution screens and more internal storage.

Those 2 generic tablets present much better values, and that’s not all. If you buy one and they turn out to be junk, it will not be difficult to return them. Walmart might not have the most pleasant customer service but they’re not bad.

Datawind, on the other hand, was slow to ship the tablet and slow to respond to my requests for tracking info. I don’t have a good feeling about their willingness to process a return or promptly issue a refund.

I’ve seen occasional mentions of this company in the press, but I haven’t really had any experience with them until I bought the UbiSlate 7Ci. Datawind has reportedly had great success in marketing a budget priced tablet in India (both to consumers and as part of the Aakash educational tablet program), but as they expand into the US, UK, and other markets I expect that they will have less luck selling to consumers that have more options and more money.

image via (because their photo was better than mine)

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