Today I will be looking to review the new Polatab 10.1 inch tablet running the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop operating system. I think it’s known in terms of its name as the Polatab one word, but obviously some people are talking about it as the Pola Tab or Pola Tablet. No worries, I will stick with PolaTab I think.
Ok – What do we get in terms of physical items.
The package arrived containing…
1 x DC 5V – 2amp Mains Power Charger
1 x USB Cable
1 x Set of Mini Headphones (a nice touch)
1 x OTG host cable
1 x PolaTab Tablet with Android Lollipop (naturally)
It is well presented in its box, the back was wrapped in protective film etc (although the screen wasn’t – oddly enough – I thought why protect the back but not the screen and initially thought I must have been sent an item which had been previously used. I don’t think this now though after poking around the device memory and apps etc.
In terms of build quality (from the outside) this is not the most robust casing I have ever seen, but it looks as though it will do the job, which for me is to surf the net of an evening, do email and the odd bit of forum reading. The screen is plastic – not glass – which has its merits especially if you are investigating buying one of these Polatabs for the kids. A plastic screen type is not generally one for giving off an impression of quality though if that’s what you are looking for.
The tablet came pretty much fully charged – maybe around 95% so I was able to get it booted up right away and start to test it out. Now I am “fairly” well up on the tablet market, so I knew from the outset what I wanted to see from this device. I performed the following tasks seamlessly – which is what I had hoped for.
a) Connect to my Virgin media home broadband over wifi.
b) Log in to google play (play app already installed).
c) Download Facebook app.
d) Log into Facebook and browse.
e) Download to update Youtube and Chrome apps (both apps already installed)
f) Use the browser (Chrome) to connect and read email from my webserver
g) (Get a free chess game!)
h) Connect to my account on Google to play my music and videos
So a fairly typical list of things to do when the new tab arrives really. All of which worked 100% with no problems at all and the job was probably completed in about half an hour – if that.
Using it during the rest of the day I found the following things worth considering.
The screen resolution is quite low spec, so if you are used to having a real HD tablet at 1280×1024 then 1024 x 600 is going to be something of a letdown. Having said this, there aren’t many five year olds who would notice a difference when playing angry birds, so who’s worrying about that? And at the price we paid (£55) it certainly isn’t something I worry too much about. Again on the screen, the colours are not very vivid, and you have to hold the tablet at a particular angle to get the best view, something the high end tablets don’t seem to suffer from. The holding angle is perfect though and once more I really don’t consider this as a deal breaker.
The battery lasted from around 3pm until 11.30pm which I thought excellent. It was not turned on for the full duration, however it was working with facebook and the like for a good 5 hours I would say which again is great for surfing and childrens games (which may take a bit more power). This was it’s first charge though and it may extend on the next. We shall see, but for my own requirements five hours is more than enough. The PolaTab manual says to leave the battery charging for 10 hours, I have given it about 8 during the night and on waking up today its full as one would expect because it probably only took around 2 hours.
In terms of speed, it is fast. Now you have to consider that this is a new tablet and over time it would normally become cluttered with ads, rubbish trial games, malware, spyware and all the other junk shoved out by criminals, housekeeping and keeping a careful eye on what you download would keep it performing but that is beyond the scope of this review. For games I chose to compare it to a very popular tablet (and one which I consider a 10/10 in almost every respect) which is the Nexus 7 from google/asus. This is something we have used for a couple of years now. I downloaded a game onto the Pola Tab which was already installed and performing very well on the Nexus 7 (2013 mode). Side by side I started the game playing and in all truth I was shocked at the similarity. The ONLY difference in the playback speed which I could visually detect by watching was caused by not quite pressing the two start / play buttons at exactly the same time. In other words the Palotab played this game equally as smooth and fast as the Nexus. The thing to consider here is that the nexus is 7″ and cost £189 – the Palotab is 10.1″ and cost £69. Go figure!!! I was extremely pleased.
Here’s the review raptor video – just showing its boot time and a couple of bits and bobs so that you can get a feel for how it runs.
Palotab is relatively new to us, so longevity is not something I could go into any detail on, but at this price if it lasted a year before breaking I wouldn’t complain.
Retailers will provide the specs on their sites as packages may vary slightly from time to time with particular reference to Android versions etc. The hardware however should not change whilst the model is named as such so here is a quick list of the tabs important features.
HDMI Out Port
Micro SD Card Slot (Upto 32GB)
On/Off + Volume + “Back” button
3G (if you have a dongle)
Octa Core Allwinner A83T Processor – 1GB RAM
Front and Rear Cameras
Ok – to summarise, I am going to use the polatab now for around a month. If I have no problems with it, I am more than impressed enough to go out and buy one for my six year old. He goes through tablets like there’s no tomorrow because he simply isn’t careful with them. This one is plastic fronted, fast, up to date and ideal. With this in mind – yes I would recommend it – not because it is the clearest fastest smoothest tab i’ve ever come across, (although its very very close!!!), for the price it represents 100% excellent value for money and will do the job for myself as described above, and for game playing no problem at all.