Monday, April 16, 2012

SmartQ Ten3 T15 and TI OMAP 4430 review

This is a not-so-in-depth review of SmartQ Ten3 T15.


Latest Update
Androidmall.co.uk just fully refunded my money including the first shipping cost (I opted to use DHL when I ordered so paid extra) :O Was not expecting this and to be honest I feel a little bit guilty as this is not really their fault and I would gladly pay for the initial shipping fees. Although it took them a full 3 weeks (I used Royal Mail to ship it back as they specifically said not to use DHL, ParcelForce or TNT so I was expecting it to take about 2 weeks) to issue the refund, nonetheless they refunded me. A pleasant surprise and I look forward to ordering from them again.


UPDATE
As if the touchscreen issues are not enough(refer to bottom of this post), my charger suddenly decided to stop working. It wont charge even if the tablet is turned off. Decided that its just not my luck this time and shipped it back off to the seller in China straight away. So, I am sorry that I wont be able to complete this review as I originally intended. There was supposed to be a video comparing the tablets' speakera, images taken using the built-in front camera, complete battery life testing (non-stop 720p video loop) and tests on video acceleration capabilities.  While I know I can easily buy another charger, I have just had it with this tablet (mine anyway). I hope my seller knows what a refund is, otherwise I will have to pay for shipping again. In that case, I would certainly sell it off to eBay so at least I can get some of my money back. Wish me luck!

Why
Was searching for affordable dual-core tablet (non-tegra) and this came up on top of the google searches. Right now, I am on a mission to compare the different solutions of dual-core SOC available on the market. After experiencing the horrid screen of Advent Vega, I decided that IPS screen is a must on any future tablet that I were to purchase. And needless to say, it is worth it. Read on to read more on the device itself and the SOC that it contained. I purchased mine through Androidmall.co.uk for a little under £200.

Ten3 T15 Review
Specifications
CPU: TI OMAP 4430, dual-core Cortex A9 at 1Ghz.
GPU: PowerVR SGX 540
RAM: 1GB
Internal Memory: 8GB
Screen Size: 9.7"
Screen Resolution: 1024x768
Webcam: 2.0MP (front only)

Build Quality
Summary: Excellent. The device itself is generally solid. Nothing really to fault here. One small issue is the touchpad keys slider. You would have to slide it all the way to one side to make it work and after that it will wobbles in-between the two position. I have no idea how to explain this better but its no biggie. It works anyway. In practice, the device feels solid and not once did it creaks under any amount of reasonable force.

Screen
Warning: All the images may look similar to you. And thats because the screen is GORGEOUS. Brightness is plenty. Infact, I often use it at its lowest setting but this may be because I mainly use it before I sleep to surf and game.

Viewing angle is superb as you will see. Its just... GOOD! Colours are vibrant and not over saturated (unlike those AMOLED displays). Contrast is good although obviously not the best.

Head on.

View from the bottom (landscape).



View from the top(landscape).



View from the left(portrait).

View from the right(portrait).


Video

video

Summaries all the above. As I said earlier, compared to Advent Vega this is just perfection.


Camera
I find the camera to be acceptable. However, Vega's camera seems to deal better with lack of lighting but its usable for Skype. Free video calls in Skype compresses your video anyway so no use for HD camera here.

As expected, lack of focus, sharpness and everything else that makes a good picture are absent here. I expected nothing more anyway.

Speakers

Disappointing. I read reviews online before purchasing this and one mentioned that this has powerful speakers.  I know sound quality is a highly subjective matter so take this with a grain of salt but I find the speakers to be far cry from powerful. What it is (to me) are
1) Loud ( loud is not powerful, and vice-versa)
2) Piercing at 70+% volume.
3) Obvious distortions at 50+% volume.

I was not expecting Hi-Fi quality speakers, just some decent speakers with at least audible mid range but this has none. One way to make it sounds acceptable is to use equalizers and turn all the way down frequencies below 3k, which seems to significantly reduce the distortions at most volume levels but it will also reduces the volume (amplitude). Quality over quantity any time baby~

Summary - Meh...

Battery Life
-to be updated-
I played this(http://download2.dvdloc8.com/trailers/divxdigest/simpsons_movie_trailer.zip) 720p Simpson's trailer and looped it from 100% battery (started the stopwatch). This is with bluetooth off, Wi-Fi on and connected to my access point and brightness at 100%.



TI OMAP 4430
General Performance
Browsing, playing games, scrolling through menu are smooth. Browsing can slow down on sites with Flash ads enabled but nothing major.


Performance
So here comes the main reason of purchase. TI OMAP 4430 ladies and gentlemen!

Sunspider 0.9.1

9.6% faster than Tegra 2.

Rightware Benchmark 
OMAP 4430 beats Tegra 2 by 4%.

GLBenchmark 2.1.4

Here the two are performing nearly the same, with OMAP 4430 being faster by 1fps in Pro.

Basemark Taiji

Here OMAP 4430 beats Tegra 2 by 33%!

Linpack Mutli-Thread
OMAP beats Tegra 2 by 24.6%

Linpack Single-Thread
OMAP 4430 wins by 20.7%

The Obsolete Quadrant. 



Antutu
I have seen some people using this as reference. Have yet to know what the workload distributions are. Included for completeness sake.

Overall Conclusion on Tegra 2 vs. OMAP 4430
Obviously OMAP 4430 wins hands down. This is no doubt thanks to the architectural advantages of 4430 over Tegra 2. The 4430 have dual-channel access to the RAM while the Tegra 2 has single-channel access. And the PowerVR SGX 540 is simply more potent than the Geforce ULP.

However, at the end of the day this is to be expected considering Tegra 2 was released into the market way way earlier (>6 months?) before OMAP 4430 and taking this into account, the gains of OMAP 4430 over the Tegra 2 are no longer impressive. This is where, in my opinion, where NVIDIA aggressive schedule for introducing products is paying off.

Video Acceleration 
One of the main advantages of  TI OMAP 4430 over Tegra 2 is the more flexible codec support. Where Tegra 2 supports hardware accelerations of very limited video profiles/types, TI OMAP 4430 can accelerate wider varieties of formats and supports higher video profiles.

Touch Screen Issues
My only major complaint. I received a defective unit. In fact, there are plenty (>3) people online complaining of some sort of touch screen problem. My touchscreen has the following symptoms:

1) Sometimes the touch panel will stop responding out of the blue for no reason.
2) It can react erratically and appears to presses it self (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBdu6iodkJE)
3) Sometimes, I cannot long-press some parts of the screen. It simply registers it as multiple single presses.

1/2 can be temporarily 'fixed' by pressing the power button twice. Problem 3 is the trickiest, I would have to let my unit cool before using it again.

For the price, I expected none of this to happen but this is what I have to pay for buying non-Branded products. The way SmartQ is handling this is disgraceful at best. Do you really expect users to ship your products back and pay for the shipping fees? If this is Asus or any other known manufacturers, the media won't let this go unnoticed and free recalls would certainly be made.

To be fair, there are users who does not seem to be having any problem whatsoever with their units. And according to SmartQ this will only happen to older batches not meant for overseas buyers. If its not meant to be sold outside China, tell your distributors NOT to sell it outside China. Quality control anyone?

Anyway, I am trying to get an RMA number from Android.co.uk and hopefully I can get a refund for this. Don't really mind paying the shipping fees (not that I have a choice anyway). On the brighter note, I will soon have HP Touchpad to review! Next month I will be reviewing Blackberry Playbook and hopefully Ainol Aurora II (if the released date is 19/04 as rumoured that is). Till next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment