Android Tablet: Linx Commtiva N700 tablet

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Commtiva-N700-TabletIntroduction:

The Linx commtiva N700 is an entry level android tablet usable straight out of the box. It comes complete with multiple features such as a multi-touch screen with expandable memory and optional Mobile Sim. The question is in a crowded market can a basic tablet such as this compete?

Specifications:

600 MHZ processor

Android 2.2 OS

512mb Ram

7" WVGA active multi-touch screen

GPS/GPRS/UMTS/HSDPA/WLAN

Bluetooth 2.1

Hubs and ports: Mini USB/3.5mm Audio Jack/Micro SD Card slot/ USIM mobile Card Slot

3MP camera on back and 0.8MP camera on front

Review:

The Commtiva certainly isn't lacking in features, it offers a range of options and runs off the fabulous android operating system. The range of features is quite extensive for a value priced tablet, it's just a shame that it doesn't quite live up to its potential. Mostly because tablets have come a long way since the n700 was released last year and as with all technology its forbears have done a lot of improving since then.

The N700 looks good, it has a nice shiny design for its edges which are smooth and comfortable to hold one handed and includes a leather slipcase for protection as standard. The buttons and ports are sensibly laid out and easy to find/use and on first glance the n700 looks great even if it is a little chunky and weighty compared to its younger brethren.

It's only when you fire up the n700 for extended use its short fallings become apparent. Firstly its processor is dated by comparison and this becomes obvious when using labour intensive apps and games, the tablet often freezes and slows down struggling to compensate especially if multiple applications are in use. Secondly the screen is significantly lower resolution compared to modern phones and competing tablets. It is difficult to see in low/high lighting and glare is a real issue.

The tablet itself runs at a fairly nimble speed if resigned to the basic functions such as internet browsing and emails, and for these purposes it functions fine. The touch screen is responsive and the Android OS really helps to keep everything working smoothly and user friendly. The interface is similar to other smart-phones and android based tablets with a few extra button features added by Commtiva such as a 'favourites' button and easy volume controls. With the Commtiva you have full access to the Android store and its apps however the tablet is not compatible with the newer 2.3 gingerbread OS.

The n700 fails to capitalise on other tablets failings, for some inexplicable reason the ability to watch and use flash (one of the biggest advantages of the Android OS) is completely missing. Also the options of use of the camera for video calls are limited and frustrating. There are also limited WiFi options, meaning it has slow bandwidth even on higher speed connections. I tested the speed using a 50mb connection and got an average of 412kbs transfer.

The two cameras are fine albeit not exceptional they produce fairly adequate picture and video capture akin to a entry level webcam. They do fulfil there purpose though and allow video calling and capture options. Similarly the multi touch screen is responsive if prone to getting very dirty but does little to exemplify itself as a competitive option for tablet computing.

Price:

£170-350

Verdict:

3/5 - As the tablet market becomes more and more crowded, the choice and availability of quality tablets has increased. The Commtiva N700 while offering a solid entry level tablet struggles to compete with its competitors.The slow processor, poor screen quality and lack of certain features such as flash distract somewhat from what could have been a very complete package but instead leans toward the mediocre demographic.