Enter The Gentouch 78 *Let the pigeons loose!*
Well, I took the plunge and decided to actually locate and purchase this alleged first on the market Android tablet from Augen and Kmart. For $169.00 you get a functional Android tablet with.. Well.. Problems. Now if you are a novice user type or not technical at all, you are kinda SOL if you buy one of these in their first incarnation.
Let me list the issues for you:
- The micro SD slot has a large opening that also can lead to you placing the card into the body of the device and miss the actual connections. I had to turn mine over and shake to get the card back out luckily
- The HDMI port.. well there isn’t one even though there is a marker saying HDMI
- The company who makes this failed to actually talk to Google so the android market place will not work on the box at this time. They came up with an alternative though that is ok…
- The USB drivers for the Gentouch do not work with Windows 7 and you have to find their wiki page and download the update to make it work. You then have to use the reset/hard reset to get the update to work. Even then it seems to take some jiggering to make it work
- The 800 mghz architecture along with a straight install of Android is DOG SLOW once I rooted it I found that they had not done any kind of tailoring of the OS. It was tying up precious ram with phone services and a GPS service.. Neither of which are on board!
- The original install of Android had no way to calibrate the screen and the touch sensitive-ness of this machine leaves much to be desired. Typing on this thing is rather useless if you want to type effectively
- I read that all of the Gentouch 78’s out there have the same mac address.. Crazy! I get near another on the same wifi network and its drop the sig time
Once I took care of the rooting issue though, I was able to streamline the memory and kill processes to make this thing move a bit faster. However, the scrolling and the general flow of the system is kinda choppy. I originally bought this to be a 7″ reader device for pdf files as well as ebooks and I have to say so far it has been pretty good for that. In fact, Sunday morning I spent a good amount of time reading the NY Times on it and enjoyed it quite a bit.
The device is easy to handle and light. It does get a bit warm though, so it can be seen as maybe burning itself out at some point. Once I got used to the issue with the SD card and other technical issues of connection and system tweaking, I have been rather happy with it.
So, overall, not bad.. I hear though that Augen is not continuing with this version so a new one will be coming.. Soon? Kmart has also decided not to carry this machine any more, so after their debacle with the rain checks and lack of shipped product. So, it is likely you will have to get one of these on Ebay if you want one. That is until they come out with version II… Of course they may be in trouble with other factions like Google etc.. So who knows what will happen.
All in all.. not too bad.. It’s been a ride.