Advantages Good screen, fast processor.
Disadvantages Hard to get help with, battery status not always correct, no flash player.
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I received my Coby Kyros MID8027 as a Christmas present and after a few months of messing around with it I feel able to write a reasonable review.
First off I must mention that the MID8027 is a tablet aimed at the German market and my son who is based in Germany (9/12th Lancers) brought this back with him and it comes in at around 165 euro or £140. With it being a European model the first hurdle I discovered was that the plug is the standard European two pin, so one trip down Wilkinson's later for an adaptor I was ready to plug my new toy in and see what it could do. I have to mention that it has a few glitches and needs turning off and back on again (IT Crowd moment) for it to recognise that the charger is plugged in, but once I had figured that out I was ready to go.
I was on to my second problem, the tablet booted up in German, obviously, and with my school girl grasp of German (GCSE D) it took a few minutes to work out how to switch it to English. With that done all became clear, it was very much like a giant phone, the menu was very similar to my Sony Ericsson Xperia X8, and this is due to it running Android 2.3, which is unfortunately un-updatable, for reasons only known to Coby.
So once I was switched to English and fully charged I had a good look around it. With its glossy 8 inch LCD touch screen with a resolution of 800 x 600 it looks good, albeit very prone to finger prints. The screen is very responsive and can be touched in two places at once, ideal for zooming in on small areas on pictures. At the bottom of the screen are three touch sensitive soft keys, back, which obviously steps you back off apps, the internet etc., home that closes all running applications and returns you to the home screen and menu that can be used during different processes to bring up different options.
At the top of the screen is a rather rubbish 0.3 mega pixel camera, this to me seems pointless, the pictures it takes are very grainy and dark and also can only be of whoever is in front of the screen. Running up the right had side of the tablet is up and down volume control, which can also be used for turning pages when using the reader. There is also an on/off switch, which when short pressed puts the tablet into standby and when long pressed brings up the option to turn off, silent mode and aeroplane mode. Annoyingly there is no restart option, so for anything requiring a restart you have to tune it off and then back on again.
Due to the positioning of the soft keys I have taken to using the tablet upside down so I don’t accidentally press the soft keys, this is very annoying when I am in the middle of a book, or reading reviews and everything disappears right before my eyes. Luckily the tablet can be viewed in landscape mode or upside down, like me, as the screen automatically switches to the correct way around. A good thing about the soft keys is that they light up when pressed.
On the base of the tablet are a few little holes, from left to right, hole one is for a micro SD card, it can take up to 32g, hole number two is for the power adaptor, hole number three is a micro USB port, hole number four is for headphones, it is best to be vigilant with this port as I accidentally plugged the charger in here, it doesn’t seem to of harmed the tablet, hole number five is for mini hdmi because the tablet supports 720p and 1080p.
The tablet has a built in microphone, but I have never used it so can’t comment on it, and stereo speakers, the tablet is very quiet so I don’t use it for music and I don’t use the supplied headphones as I have teeny tiny ears and can not fit them in my ears I use a pair of Skull-candies but I am usually too paranoid to wear headphones, I think someone is creeping up behind me when I wear headphones. Also my husband has assured me that the headphones are complete rubbish anyway.
The back of the tablet is plastic; the surface of this is matt so makes for easy holding.
It weighs about 1kg so while not as light as a kindle it is still ok to hold for a while without getting achy wrists.
I guess that brings me to what was supplied in the box, obviously the tablet, and a sock type cover for it, mini usb cable, usb adaptor, in ear headphones, a micro fibre cleaning cloth and a charger.
The tablet takes about two hours to charge fully and holds its charge for around three hours, so plenty of time for reading reviews in bed, it does last a while (five or six hours) longer if the Wi-Fi is turned off, for example when using the reader. Another annoying glitch for me is that it is not very efficient at telling you when the battery needs charging, one minute its there the next it’s gone. So I do recommend shutting it down fully after each use.
Another down side to this tablet is that you can not access the Google Android Apps market, it does come with AppsLib pre loaded that is not as big as the android market but is steadily growing in size, I also added another apps store myself as the pre loaded AppsLib was down over Christmas due to high demand. A lot of the apps are free but for the paid ones you can synchronise your PayPal account with the AppsLib and download them that way.
The down loading of apps is really easy as it is similar to a phone, most of the apps run really smoothly, I have mostly got simple apps such as pick up sticks, Simple Simon, dots and boxes, mah-jong etc… there are also lots of lifestyle apps for weight loss, calendars, etc…
One of my main uses for the tablet, apart from Ciao and Dooyoo, is reading books, the tablet came with Aldiko pre installed and you can also download other readers from the apps library. Unfortunately you can not install Kindle. I transferred a lot of books from my laptop on to the tablet using a memory card, the tablet uses EPub or PDF formats so you do need to convert books to these formats before loading them on. I have about 1000 books on my tablet and it is no where near full. You can access a book store through the Aldiko reader but as this requires credit card information to buy books I am not to sure about using it.One of the first things I did with the tablet was download some virus protection from the apps library, I run the AVG one and that has kept me safe from any possible viruses.
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