Review: Visual Land Prestige 7 (ME-107) 7-inch Internet Tablet
I’ve been looking for an inexpensive tablet for my Mom to get her comfortable with using email, browsing the web, and perhaps Skype video chatting with family and friends.
Finding an inexpensive tablet that could do Skype video chat has been difficult. I didn’t want to spend too much money because I’ve built computers for my mom in the past that was never really used. I’m hoping that a tablet would be more user friendly for her so she would actually use it and have fun.
Over the weekend before Mother’s Day, Best Buy had a 2-Day special on the Visual Land Prestige 7 (ME-107) 7-inch Internet Tablet with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for only $129. I had never heard of this company before but the low price, feature set, and generally good reviews piqued my interests. And there were indications that Skype video chat would work with it. Here are the general specs:
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 7” Capacitive 5 Point Multi-Touch Screen
- 8GB Flash Memory
- ARM Cortex A8 1.2GHz Processor
- 512MB DDR3 RAM
- Multiple Colors: Red, Blue, Black, White or Purple
- Front Facing Built-In 1.3 MP Camera (Still/Video/Webcam)
- Built-In 802.11b/g/n WiFi
- HDMI 1080p Out
- MicroSDHC Card Slot (Up to 32GB supported)
- Flash 11.1 Support
- Built-In Li-Polymer Battery – Up to 8 hours continuous use* (5 days standby)
- Dimensions: 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.4″
- Weight: 10.5 oz.
So, I decided to take a chance and placed an order for it. It arrived at my local Best Buy store in about a day or two which surprised me because the cart said it would arrive well after Mother’s day. I went after work to pick it up and immediately brought it home to set it up for Mother’s day.
The package contains the following items:
- Visual Land Prestige 7 Internet Tablet
- AC Power Adapter
- USB cable
- USB extension cable
- Ear buds
- User Manual
My first impression of the tablet was that it has a good build quality. The plastic case felt solid in my hands and I thought the red color was attractive. The bottom of the tablet has a headphone jack, a mini-USB port (which is capable of charging the tablet and connecting a USB keyboard as well as for storage), an HDMI port for 1080p output, a micro SDHC card slot (capable of using cards with up to 32 GB of memory), a DC power adapter port, and a microphone. There is also a little pin hole for resetting the unit if something goes wrong.
The top of the table contains a power on/off switch and a volume rocker. I turned on the unit and was slightly disappointed with the screen quality on the home screen — it looked a little grainy to me. The resolution (800 x 480) was the same as my Motorola Triumph phone. Compared to my Nook Color and RIM Playbook, it just didn’t impress me. The home screen had 4 apps on it for easy access:
- One to control the settings
- Amazon App Store
- File Manager
- Web Browser
I immediately went to the File Manager to have a look around and I found an HD video file of a squirrel and playback was extremely good. The video looked sharp and bright and played back very smoothly.
Web pages also looked pretty good. So my 2nd and 3rd impression of the screen quality was definitely better than my 1st impression. In addition, I was very impressed with the overall zippiness of moving around and general operation of the tablet. The tablet felt very fast and responsive.
As with most inexpensive Android tablets, this one did not have “out of the box” access to the Google Play App Store. There are instructions on the net on how to enable this but I didn’t bother with it. It does offer access to the GetJar and Amazon App Store and I’m hoping this will be good enough for my mother.
The tablet comes with the following pre-installed apps:
- Adobe Reader
- Aldkio 2.0 Book Reader
- Angry Birds
- Amazon App Store
- Documents To Go
- File Manager
- Flash Player
- GetJar App Store
- Hi-Q MP3 Recorder
- Super-HD Player
I tried Angry Birds and it looked and played just as well as on my other tablets. YouTube videos also looked and played great. I easily set up the wireless connection to my home network and the included email client to sync with my Mom’s AOL account.
The included Skype app (v18.104.22.168-21) did not work however. Searching the web, I discovered that you had to install an earlier version (v22.214.171.124) which can be obtained here. To install the app, just download it to your PC, connect the tablet to your PC using a USB cable and transfer the app to the tablet. Once on the tablet, just use the file manager to locate it and you can then install it. The earlier version of Skype works great! I was able to video chat with my computer. Camera quality was ok — typical 1.3 MP webcam quality.
So far, real world battery life seems to fall short of the advertised 8-hours. On my 2nd day of non-continuous use, the charge is at 35%. I would guess I might have been using it for around 2 to 3 hours. Hopefully, the battery life will improve after it gets used for awhile.
Overall, I think this is a great starter tablet for the budget conscious buyer. It has an amazing full feature set and impressive performance for the price. I can definitely recommend it. I’m actually thinking of getting one for myself!