When I told my son I was taking part in the Money Supermarket Inspect-A-Gadget challenge he asked me if it meant I was going to start roller skating on springs. Luckily for me the challenge involved reviewing travel gadgets. When you travel ideally you want to take your gadgets with you so that you can use them; most gadgets are expensive to buy and there is always the risk of losing them, having them stolen or fall in a swimming pool. The idea behind this challenge was to look at cheaper gadgets to see if they have the same functionality as their expensive counterparts. Obviously if I lost a £50 gadget I would be much less upset than if I lost a £500 gadget.
There was a choice of four gadgets and I chose to review the Allwinner A13 Android Tablet. When I travel I like to keep in touch so I needed something that would allow me to read emails, read, watch videos and play games. The tablet cost £36 so I was really interested to see what functionality I got for that price.
Allwinner A13 Android Tablet
The tablet has a 7″ touch screen which makes it a really nice size for packing. It can be easily held in the hands. It weighs 500g so it is nice and light. The tablet also comes in a range of colours which is nice, I picked a lovely blue colour but you can also get it in pink, white and black.
The tablet comes with a mains charger and a USB cable that can also be used for charging. The tablet comes with 4GB internal memory and this can be extended with an SD card. It supports up to 32GB. There is also a socket which allows you to use headphones with the tablet.
Once charged the tablet is easily turned on using the small button on the side. At the top of the tablet there is a switch which allows you to control the volume. The screen resolution is 800 * 480 pixels and it is bright and clear enough to read.
The tablet comes with an instruction manual which details how you use it. If you are familiar with Android you will not need it. The instruction booklet is written in rather strange English, which made me smile. For example it implores you “Please don’t be in high temperature, moisture or very dust place”
The tablet is Android and comes with the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Operating System installed. There are some icons on the bottom of the screen.
You have easy access to an internet browser, a camera, a video and photo player and a music application. Clicking the icon that looks like a load of little boxes in the right hand corner of the screen allows you to access other applications.
There is a calendar, office suites, calculator, access to email and plenty of other apps. If this is not enough you can easily enter the google play store and install more. Email is one of the things I would use a lot whilst travelling and this is really easy to set up. I am not sure why Android has gmail and other emails in different places but this is a minor thing and does not stop you reading email.
The tablet has wi-fi access and this is easily set up under the settings screen.
The tablet comes with a front facing 1.3 Mega Pixel camera which is simple to use and has a lot of camera options. It would be more useful for conference calls than taking actual photos but it is a good feature to have. You can easily view photos and videos using the provided HD player and this is good quality.
I was very pleased with the tablet. The functionality you get for the price is great, it certainly does all I would want to do whilst travelling. I liked the size as well, it is much easier to carry around. My only niggle was the battery life. It is meant to last 3 hours but if you are travelling a longer battery time would be better.
Sadly I now seem to have lost the tablet to my son who is quite happy playing games on it.
I am quite happy with that as it means I get to use my own tablet and he has one he loves.
Disclosure: I was sent a tablet in order to do an honest review. I was not told what to write and all my opinions are my own.