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Thread: Finally succumbed!

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Finally succumbed!

    Well, I'd been threatening to do it for a while, and today I could finally resist no longer. So I am now the proud owner of an elonex etouch 1000et Android tablet

    Picked up second hand from CEX, the first thing I found out when I got it home was that it had an 8GB microSD card in it - bonus! The second thing I did was to find instructions for updating to froyo, a process which took all of 10 minutes. So I'm now up and running with pretty much everything I could want (except flash support currently, although elonex are meant to be working on this), and typing this update from my PS2 wireless keyboard (which is plugged in using a PS2 - USB adapter and would also give me a mouse if I wanted it!). What with google docs being released for Android and this thing being pre-loaded with an office suite which appears to be compatible with MS Office, I'm feeling very smug

    Total cost of my entry into the tablet market? £90

    Screen is bright and clear, I've not put any music through it yet but the system sounds come through the stereo speakers bright and clear, and the device is very responsive - including the resistive touch screen (after trying it out in the shop I was surpised to find that it was resistive when checking the specs once I'd got it home). All in all I'm dead chuffed

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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    Nice one!

    Resistive screens seem very variable in feel, the only downside with the good ones is they aren't supposed to be able to do multi-touch. I find that pretty flakey on my phone though (capacitive) so no loss really

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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    I've never had multitouch before anyway (cheapo Android phone for me) so it's not something I'm going to miss! Having spent a reasonable amount of today using it I'm continuing to be impressed.

    Battery life looks a little minimal, but that said it seems to last longest when used for web browsing, which is (of course) the main reason I got it (just done ~ 30 minutes on ~12% of battery, so on that basis it'd last around 4 hours - as good as many netbooks), and I doubt I'd plan on taking it anywhere that I'd be away from a power socket all day.

    As anticipated, the speakers are nice and clear, although their location on one edge means getting the best sound from them *and* watching the screen can be tricky - not a problem when listening to music, but definitely a concern when watching YouTube clips (since YT defaults to the orientation where the speakers point down: into my chest, if I'm lying down at the time!).

    Despite not having a functioning 3G connection it does have full Android Market, so plenty of access to apps etc., and it also has GPS so as long as you've got a wireless connection for interwebs (3s MiFi anyone? ) you can do the whole maps + navigation thing with it. The processor (afaict a 1GHz Arm 11 design) just flies compared to my HTC Magic - Angry Birds has become a real game rather than an interactive slide show So I'll be downloading and trying a few more games out.

    Issues? Well, for some reason apps that automatically install to the SD card keep failing on this 8GB SDHC: Not a major problem though as the device has 2GB of internal storage (plenty for my app usage) so I can just unmount the SD card, install the app and remount. I may even try to get used to using the tablet without the SD card in most of the time: I only really need it for media and documents. Also there's a real dearth or handwriting-based apps for Android, which I think google need to get a handle on if they want to make more inroads into the productivity market. That said, however, a 10" resistive single-touch tab is far from ideal for handwriting usage as your palm messes with the touch sensor, making it much harder to write nicely. I think for general usage the on-screen keyboard is going to be a much better way to do text input, with a USB keyboard for large amounts of typing.

    Best bit? Currently the thing I'm liking most is the full function USB2 port. It happily takes Mass Storage devices, which means that the MicroSD slot is almost redundant as I can simply stick a USB key in for storage expansion. As I said earlier, I can stick a USB -> PS2 adater into it and use any PS2 keyboard and mouse with the tablet, including my handy spare wireless desktop if I so choose. I need to find other things to stick in there and see what works (currently pondering whether I can tether my Android phone to my Android tablet by USB and use my 3G data that way - any thoughts? ).

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    DDY
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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    currently pondering whether I can tether my Android phone to my Android tablet by USB and use my 3G data that way - any thoughts? .
    There are a few tethering apps available on the Android market which allow you to share your phone’s mobile data connection over WiFi or Bluetooth (e.g. turn your phone in to a MiFi if you want to call it that), I'm not sure about tethering over USB though.

    I use 'android-wifi-tether', beware - this particular app requires root access.
    Last edited by DDY; 29-04-2011 at 07:27 PM.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    Froyo includes both wifi and USB tethering as standard (although my phone only supports USB tethering due to it's general rubbishness), and it works on Windows 7 with no additional drivers. I'm just not sure if it'd work on an Android host. I had problems getting my phone to work as a USB mass storage device when connected to the tablet, so asking to it be a 3G modem might be one step too far

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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    Hey Jim, did you try any videos on your tablet at all? Just wondering what it would play out of the box and if any conversion is needed.

    What are my options if I wanted to play stuff from smb shares for example?

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    I'll have a play and let you know! Any format you're particularly interested in?

    I'm not sure how easy accessing smb shares would be from Android tbh; it's not something I need to do...

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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    Nice

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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    Nice one!

    Getting more and more into Android as I play with my recently acquired Orange San Francisco so must keep an eye open for something similar to your at my local CEX.
    _____________________

    New job, new home, new life! Feeling very positive


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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Georgio1990 View Post
    Nice
    Constructive!
    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix198 View Post
    Nice one!

    Getting more and more into Android as I play with my recently acquired Orange San Francisco so must keep an eye open for something similar to your at my local CEX.
    The Elonex eTouch 10" is available new from Toys'R'Us - currently priced at £130 in my local one. They also sell the Elonex keyboard case (a leather(ish!) fold case with a built in USB keyboard and stand) for £30, so for £160 you can have yourself (essentially) an Android netbook. Just make sure you upgrade it to Froyo Don't get the 7" version, which has a much slower processor and Android 1.6...

    The Elonex website now reckons they're hoping to have Flash 10.2 support this summer: personally I'll believe it when I see it

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    Quick update for those interested in Android devices. OfficeSuite Pro doesn't save as docx very well - it scrambled my CV and may well have lost me a job opportunity or two And for some reason Google Docs isn't compatible with the device. So my productivity options are rapidly declining.

    The USB port does support USB hubs, which means that a mini 4-port hub would give you a usb mass storage device, keyboard and mouse, with a spare port left over. Not found many other things that work yet though: it wouldn't recognise or do anything with my old webcam, for instance.

    Battery life is pretty much spot on 3 hours, perhaps just a shade longer, almost irrespective of usage. Certainly for web browsing, e-reading etc. it's almost always given me the 15% warning at 2hours 50mins of usage. That means it'll last happily through most train journeys, but it wouldn't be much use as an all-day device.

    Aldiko book reader v2 is one of the most useful downloads I've made to it so far. Not only does it give access to thousands of free ebooks, but it will also collate all your pdfs and make them available, and it's a more reliable pdf reader than the official adobe one. The only real problem is that you can't zoom, so if you've got print-format pdfs at a largish page size the text is quite small. I guess you might want to use the adobe one for those. But if you've got decent eyesight, go with Aldiko

    Skyfire browser is a great download at the minute: it includes a video transcoding service which identifies flash video on a page and pushes it through skyfire's servers to convert it to HTML5, which is then streamed back to the device. You can't minimize it or drop it into a background tab, unfortunately, but it's still a handy way to watch / listen to iplayer if you've got an Android device that doesn't support flash. Skyfire intend to make the video service a pay-for app shortly, but it's currently bundled with their free browser as a "thankyou" for early adopters. Even as a pay service I think it's going to be about a £2 one off payment, which might actually be worth it - I've already used it to watch a few vids and to listen to online cricket commentary from the BBC. That said, I don't think much of skyfire as a browser in its own right: it's certainly no better than the bundled google one for just nipping round the web.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Finally succumbed!

    Thread bump - tablet update - not good news, I'm afraid.

    A couple of weeks ago the screen in my etouch started going: a few green pixels and lines here and there, steadily developing into huge swathes of the screen either going completely green or having a green of purple tinge to the pixels. It had to go back

    To be fair, CEX did a bang up job in terms of processing the return: no issues at all, just turned it on, looked at the screen, and agreed to a full refund immediately. So, I'm £90 better off, but have no Android tablet Good thing I've just bought myself an Acer 3810TZ really

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