Tablet PC’s are all the rage nowadays, compact and convenient, the tablet PC has fast become the device of choice whether you’re using it for business purposes or recreation. Though not in the same class as mobile PC’s, and sometimes even referred to as ‘underpowered laptops’, tablet PC’s are lightweight tools ideal for books, comics, movies, internet and music, and serve as the perfect media companion when traveling. These devices are everywhere, and this can be confirmed by strolling through your local mall where you would undoubtedly see people (usually in coffee shops) reading the news while they sip their coffee or groups of people gathered at one table as some work-related slide show or spreadsheet is being displayed. The real problem with tablet PC’s of course, is picking the right one…
So who are Prestigio and are they any good? Well, while not as renown as Samsung or Apple – the two largest players in the tablet PC world with the Galaxy Tab and iPad respectively, Prestigio is a relatively new brand, only been on the market for a decade and are based in Cyprus, with a business model offering luxury, state-of-the-art technologies aimed at competing with the high-end market. Prestigio is a fast-growing and well-established international brand sold in 63 countries and is increasingly ranked among the most regarded brands in emerging markets across the EMEA (Europe, Middle-East & Africa) region.
So let’s get down to brass tacks. Prestigio offers a wide range of tablet PC’s designed to suit the specific needs of consumers, my model of choice was the MultiPad 9.7 PRO as it is the nearest equivalent to an iPad or Galaxy Tab, retailing for around R2900 (320USD). The reason I picked this tablet over the aforementioned competitors is because I believe them to be overpriced, and while Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is Android-based, I disdain Apple’s far-less flexible iOS platform and cannot justify purchasing the Apple product when there are literally thousands of free Android apps readily available.
As with all computer-related hardware, specs are important and thankfully the MultiPad 9.7 PRO has a rather impressive array. The MultiPad 9.7 PRO is preloaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a very nice, very neat little OS that not only looks great but is easy to utilize and navigate and comes preloaded with a multitude of apps. Apart from all the free apps available online as well as the aforementioned preinstalled ones, there are also over 300 000 apps available to purchase on Google Market. At its core, the MultiPad 9.7 PRO runs on an ARM Cortex A8 Rockchip RK218 cpu @1GHz. It has a 9.7″ display with a 1024×768 resolution and has back-light LED IPS with a capacitive multi-touch screen using G-Sensor rotation. It has an internal memory size of 8GB, 1GB of installed DDR3 RAM and supports 32GB Micro SD/Micro SDHC. Apart from the Micro SD/SDHC, other interfaces include – WiFi, Mini HDMI x 1, Mini USB 2.0 x1, and 1 3.5mm mini jack. Bluetooth and VGA interfaces are not included and it’s worth noting that as there are no phone features, the only internet interface available is WiFi. A 0.3 megapixel camera is present on the front of the device, one of the MultiPad’s few drawbacks, and supports the following multimedia formats:
- ebook formats – EPUB, PDF, TXT, FB2
- Audio formats – APE, AAC, MP3, WAV, OGG, FLAC & stereo audio playback.
- Image formats – PNG, BMP, JPG, GIF
- Video formats – AVI, FLV, 3GP, MOV, MVN, MKV, MP4, RM, RMVB, WMV, VOB (DVD), DAT & has full HD playback.
The MultiPad 9.7 PRO uses a lithium-ion polymer battery with a decent capacity of 6000 mAh, approx 4hrs video playback, 36hrs audio playback and has a standby time of 120hrs. The dimensions and weight of the MultiPad 9.7 PRO are as follows:
- Width (mm) – 241
- Height (mm) – 187
- Depth (mm) – 9.6
- Weight – 610g
The MultiPad 9.7 PRO is an extremely affordable and high-quality device with its best feature undoubtedly being the display. Images and video are sharp and crisp, and with OpenGL 3D technology, multimedia files (such as HD films) run remarkably smooth, and thanks to the HDMI interface, one can easily connect the tablet to a TV. Much like the Galaxy Tab and iPad, the MultiPad 9.7 PRO also features a scratch resistant screen as well as a high quality metal housing with rubber grip pads on the backside. You will find all the buttons and outputs located on the topside of the device. To top it all off, this device comes with a stylish leather pouch.
The MultiPad 9.7 Pro is a superb device, and if like me you were looking for a tablet specifically for books and comics then you need not look further. Though some may find the lack of phone features and WiFi-only internet annoying, it doesn’t bother me in the least as I have a laptop and PC to access the net, and even then I can download any app I like and just place it onto the tablet. The only niggle I have with this device is that the Micro SD card is almost impossible to remove without tweezers and it’s a little annoying that if the tablet is connected to a PC via USB it renders the SD card inaccessible. If you intend on using this device for comics, do yourself a favour and download the app – QuickPic, as it renders images faster and is more feature-rich than the default image viewer. All-in-all, the MultiPad 9.7 PRO is a sleek, cost-effective and high-performance alternative to the iPad and Galaxy Tab.