Exclusive: Hands On With The ePad Android Tablet

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epad side 300x260 Exclusive: Hands On With The ePad Android Tablet

UPDATE 3: Epad 2 now available! Get full details here.

UPDATE 2: The Zenithink ePad gets another update and front camera.

UPDATE: The ePad has had a major update for 2011 check out the new specification details here.


Zenithink ePad Review and hands on!

It’s cheap, light, has a 10 inch screen, front facing camera and micro SD card slot! Just looking at these short ePad specs alone would make you second guess an iPad purchase!
So how does it compare to Apples ‘Magical’ iPad?

Lightweight

The ePad is very light! Much lighter than the iPad and therefore it’s going to be much more comfortable for those with weak wimpy wrists while reading, playing and browsing the web.

Winner: ePad

Cheap

It’s cheap at only 1500 yuan (all though you can find better prices if you hunt around online) that’s over 3000 yuan cheaper than the iPad! Obviously part of this price difference is due to the makers of the ePad not having to develop the open source Android operating system, nor pay for a license, but other cost cutting measures have been made.

Winner: ePad

Complete review after the jump!

 

ePad Android home screen 300x244 Exclusive: Hands On With The ePad Android Tablet10inch Screen

The 10 inch screen maybe the same size as the iPad’s and the bezel surrounding it may mimic the little Apple tablets with mirror like detail, but looks are not all they seem. The screen is where one of the biggest cost cuts have been made. Where as the iPad’s true touch screen offers crisp vibrant colours, the ePad looks dull and washed out. On the touch front the ePad looses even more marks. The idea of a tablet like this is the touch screen, if the screen isn’t anything more than a joy to use it’s pretty much defeats it’s purpose. The iPad’s touch screen experience is fantastic, you touch an icon the icon opens, you open a game the game starts, you type the word ‘Google’ and you get ‘Google’.

The ePad has a terrible screen in comparison. To be fair the screen on the ePad was never meant to be used in this type of application it was designed to be used with drawing and writing pads with a stylus. Take away that stylus and you’ve got a very stubborn little tablet. Applications open when you try to swipe from screen to screen, or not at all when you press them and when you type ‘Google’ you do eventually get ‘Google’ but not without physicaly pushing onto the screen rather than just touching it.

Winner: iPad

ePad back 300x254 Exclusive: Hands On With The ePad Android TabletThe Body

The body is again another area where the ePad has saved the customer some money, but not all is bad with the plastic back. It’s much lighter than the alloy iPad, and the plastic will also allow WIFI signals to be stronger further away from access points.

I know from first hand experience that my alloy Mac has really weak WIFI compared to my brother plastic Macbook and my wife’s plastic Lenovo.
That being said alloy is always going to be more durable than plastic and it also feels better to the touch.

Winner: Tie

Operating System

This is really difficult for me to judge. I’m not really an Android fan, although I do see it has many advantages over iOS, price being one.
Each time I have used an Android device however I’m always left underwhelmed, this in part is due to Android devices generally using lower quality parts, such as screens, which really effects my judgement of the system.
iOS is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it has a lot of drawbacks over Android, but it is very simple and quick to use/learn to use.
In the case of the ePad though, it wouldn’t matter what O.S was running on it as that screen really hinders it’s performance.

Winner: Tie (Both OS’s are fine, but the ePad’s screen lets Android down)

ePad side USB 300x167 Exclusive: Hands On With The ePad Android TabletConnectivity

The iPad has bluetooth, WIFI, and a 30 pin dock connector which allows an SD card adapter or USB adapter to be plugged in for file sharing.
The ePad has a built in micro SD card reader, USB, HDMI port, WIFI, Bluetooth and a front facing camera which can take VGA stills or video.

Winner: ePad

ePad gaming 224x300 Exclusive: Hands On With The ePad Android TabletHardware

The iPad was the first device to use the Apple A4 1GHz CPU which is phenomenally fast and offers more than enough processing power to browse the web, edit video and photos and play 3D graphic intense games.
The ePad is also packing 1GHz of power under the hood, but this time an ARM A8, this little beast had enough power to start up, browse the web in a snappy fashion, play choppy video clips and crash when we attempted to open a racing game that looked like it had come from a Commodore 64!! It then refused to do anything before it had had been given a complete hard reset!

Winner: iPad

Conclusion

The overall scores are 3-2 for the ePad!! Plus two ties due to personal choice regarding O.S and the material of the body.
So the ePad has won right? WRONG!

let’s really look at the scores. Sure the ePad got 3 but it’s also getting a minus point for having a screen which basically embarrasses the Android operating system, I’m not finished there though as I’m taking another point from the ePad for crashing when trying to launch what looks like a 20 year old game!
The scores are now 2-1 to the iPad, I could take a point from the iPad too for costing a hell of a lot more than the ePad, but I won’t because, like I’ve mentioned before the iPad does something all these cheap Android devices don’t…. It works and it works very very well and what’s the point in buying something that doesn’t work just because it’s cheap!!

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Andi Sykes is the founder and editor of Gizchina.com. He is a huge technology and gadget fan with a soft spot for hacking devices to do what they were not intended for. Follow Me! Linkedin

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  • Chris

    you forgott a very important aspect; batterly life….

  • Randy

    This is not an apple to apple comparison. Comparing the ePad to iPad is a big gap considering that the iPad has a 16GB minimum memory as an entry level against a 256MB memory. The screen technology for ePad is just enough for the purpose it was made while iPad’s screen is absolutely better because the purpose of the device is different as well.

    Yes, what is the point of buying a device even if it is cheap if it does not meet your need. My take on this is on the other side. What is the purpose of buying an much more expensive device if you have many features you will not use.

    The battery life is reasonable for the ePad. The only comment I can say about it is the heat from the battery while using it. I compared the situation with my MacBook which also heats up during usage so I don’t think this is even a factor to consider.

    Just my two cents.

  • Stuart Halliday

    It’s got a Resistive type screen this leads to a poor user experience as you do have to push the screen rather than the iPad light touch. Resistive screens are cheap compared with Capacitive types such as those used on the iPad.

    It also is quite low resolution compared with the iPad which is another big cost saving for the company.

    It also only has 2GB of storage which is awfully low. Again, this tablet is far cheaper than a ipad.

    Randy – it has 2GB not 256MB of storage. The ipad only has 256MB of RAM. But it doesn’t need much more. The iPhone 4 has 512MB. So rumour has it the next iPad will also have 512MB of RAM.

    It would be nice if someone launched a Android 2.2 10″ tablet with a capacitive screen, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a USB slot, a 1GHz ARM CPU, 4-5 hours battery life, 3G ability built-in and which weights hopefully less than the ipad.

    At a price less than an ipad, they’d have a clear winner!

    All these hard cost-cutting, under-performing Tablets from China are swinging far too much towards the low-end market.

  • Zak McDaniel

    I think it is BS that they are comparing the two of these tablets. You have apple ipad a multi million dollar company vs epad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so maybe the epad may have a few flaws but really tell me a system that is perfect. I for one love the epad. I dont need all the hard drive and memory the ipad offers. im happy with the simpol web browsing 2GB epad. so hell with this guys review. apple blows anyways. buy the epad!!!!!

  • Zak McDaniel

    Zak is back!!!!!!!!!!!! the apple ipad is so gay!!!!!!!!!!!!! it has no front facing camera and thier excuss is cause overweight people will take pixs of their double chins. how pathetic!!!! what about us good looking people? its the 21st century and video chatting is the new cell phone. apple is behind on technology. Which is sad coming from a multi(billion) dollar company. when apple comes out with a HALF decent product. let me know.

  • pcprologic

    the Epad has more bennefitts nice nice ipad think twize

  • legobricker

    Why do you need a webcam Zak surely you can go and meet your friends in person rather than having to chat through your computer. The epad is a pile of crap and that’s that! the wopad looks promising though!

  • Zak McDaniel

    legobrick unlike you aparently i have a deversity of friends all over the world. but go ahaid and walk ur happy @$$ to china!!!!!!

  • travis

    Yeh Ive got one just got it about 12 hours ago and was messing with it after the apps market didnt work an now the screen is comepletely blank and the pad is playing a very annoying tune. can anyone help me with this. i ghave reset it and everything but is there a hard reset. please let me no at traviswood87@yahoo.com

  • Mario

    I just bought an epad but after reading this review i think i made a mistake. I havent used it yet because is on its way from china. I will let u know once i test it.

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      Don’t worry you might have been lucky enough to get an newer model with better screen! Fingers crossed!

  • coocoo

    hi
    i have found some cheap epad’s on ebay and they even come with extra’s, also it is updated to google android 2.0. check it out: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/7%22-ePad-aPad-Tablet-WiFi%2f3G-G-sensor-Android-2.0-Webcam_W0QQitemZ320632843951QQcmdZViewItem?rvr_id=188396419708&rvr_id=188396419708&cguid=8697363e1290a0aad4d4d464fed70c3a

  • Andrew

    I think if the creators of the ePad had as much money as Apple then they would make a tablet that could run hoops against an iPad, and unintelligent people will just buy something that has a shiny screen and an Apple logo (which shows where about 70% of the sales have went)

  • http://gizchina.com Andi
  • rdw

    I just got a ipad on order 32gb wifi

  • Stuart Halliday

    Why buy a iPad now? The new iPad is due out very soon.

  • Bill

    Well these things don’t seem to last long(amonth at most) as i see with others having the same trouble as my self..It will not go passed the (ANDROID _ ) start up part..Only any good as bin fodder..
    How the hell do you sort that out..

  • edward

    i will love to have epad how much is it.

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      About 1000 Yuan but do you really want one!!??

  • niccah

    i got an epad… it works fine and the warranty covers everything.. i heard there’s certain files for it only.. i hope mine wont bug down if i download the right apps for it…

  • Ellyse Kate dixon

    What is the price for the e-pad

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      Around 1000 Yuan ($152)

  • jc

    I just bought one of these from http://jl-liquidators.com for only $150 w/ shipping. Great machine for the price!!!

  • kaybono

    I’m expecting to receive mine tomorrow. I ordered from a dealer in California, so it only takes a few days to ship to Texas. Anyway, it is sad that there are so many ifanboys out there who would rather knock a decent product just because it cost less, yet has more. I actually prefer the epad because of the USB ports, the webcam, FREE word processing (you have to pay 10 bucks for the ipad app)and ability to read ebooks. That’s all I really wanted it for. Not for ubercoolness or popularity. I don’t care about name brands. I’m really cheap and as long as it works, I’m happy.

  • bryan

    1st off who wants to lug around a 10” piece of glass and metal?
    2nd huge price difference for the same if not more apps and ideas!

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      1) What about the millions of iPad owners?
      2) Did you even try an ePad?

  • kirk

    i brought an 10″ epad android tablet from china,im in the uk(brighton) ive been to my lockle stores to find out this question:ive got an external hard drive and its got my films and music on.all i want to do is plug my hard drive into the epad,but it wont let me.it comes up a black screen and wont do nothink.can u help me out please as i want to take my epad on hoilday and watch my films when away

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      The ePad won’t have a hard drive but should have an SD card installed as that’s actually what your computer will be reading when adding and transfering files. So I would check your SD card is in properly and working on other devices. Then plug it in to your computer if it doesn’t see the SD card head in to the setting on your ePad and look at ‘USB and Development’ and toggle those settings to see if your computer can see it. hope you get it sorted!

  • Stuart Halliday

    Kirk – try formatting the hard drive to FAT32. It probably doesn’t recognise a NTFS one perhaps?

  • Kevin

    Hi guys. just bought an ePad. I am having trouble with my micro sd card. I bought a 8 gig card, but when i plug it in it tells me that it is damaged. It works perfectly in my phone and laptop. Any suggestions?

  • Landon

    Can you charge it with an iPod charger?

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      Nope

  • laura

    Hi my epad won’t load from the front screen that reads android can anybody suggest how to actually get on my epad?

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      Did you try a hard reset? It is usually done by holding down the home and power buttons together for about 30 seconds. Depending on you model of the Epad though (there are a couple now) you might find there is a dedicated reset button. Give that a go and let us know how it works.

  • Antonio

    I HAVEN’T REALLY BOUGHT THE E-PAD YET..I INTEND DOING THAT BUT AS OF WHAT AM HEARING NOW OF IT SMALL MEMORY SIZE AND REJECTING THE INSTALLATION OF OTHER SOFTWARES,..AM REALLY GETTING CONFUSED NOW COZ I REALLY WANT TO ENJOY USING IT WITHOUT ANY REGRET…I THINK THERE SHOULD BE AN UPGRADEABLE OF IT’S HARD DISK TO 16 GIG,,DAT WILL BE COOL THOUGH..

  • L

    Hi I am thinking of getting an Epad, can I use a stylus on it? How is the battery life? Thanks.

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      there are actually a few different companies using the ePad name so it all depends on which you are looking at buying.

  • L

    I see… I am not too sure because the box only says epad, it doesn’t mention about any other stuff.

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  • hobbyhands

    I have an epad 7 inch. Payed $90 usd. That includes shipping. For all the rant. Here is a down to earth look.

    Does it perform like and ipad. No, but an ipad can cost $400. Ipad 2 more of course.

    You have to decided what you are using it for.

    Surfing – Great!!
    Games – Run slow.
    Playing videos – mine works fine.
    ftp or edit html pages – fine
    I use my phone as a hot spot, and thether using the wifi. that works great, and I have a larger scren to look at when I am not at home.
    ————
    So if you surf, watch you tube, or want to play videos from the sd then it’s fine.
    ————–
    for the price I think it’s a good deal. Mine did come with a few scratches on the screen.

    Again it’s not as fast as an ipad, but for basic stuff it’s fine.

    P.S. I had to reformat my memory card from the unit to get it to recognize.

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      Great comment and thanks for your views!

      When we tested the e-pad the prices were closer to $200! But for $90 I think you are correct it does exactly what you expect a cheap no frills tablet to do.

  • nadine

    Hi. I’d like to know how to upload photos from a digital camera to the E-Pad? I got Andoird 2.2.

    Thanks …

  • Azmi

    I am about to purchase a Android 2.2 etab – manufacturer Pioneer Computers. Do you think it would be wise to buy a epad instead of a ipad?

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      No

  • saleh

    i will be in china next week where i can find e pad in what store

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      Any good Computer City or Computer market will have them.

  • bruno

    this is the best thing ever done and it will be the top if they make it to be a phone build up on the EPAD..

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      The newer model does have 3G so perhaps calls are possible

  • Jacob

    look people epads rule there cool who caRES about crappy ipads noone really what big deal all it its is a dumb thing with fruit at the back now epads rule there fast great to surf the internet and they’l beat the ipoo 24/7

    • shayla

      the pic on here doesnt match the one i have

  • olime felix

    i have an android epad which i bought in china getting back to nigeria the epad will on but can display and i dont know to do if i can get help how to go about will be appreciated.anywhere i can repair it

    • http://gizchina.com Andi

      Sorry to hear you have a problem I hope you figure it out

  • Anonymous
  • HS

    Just got a ePad running Android 2.2 as Christmas present at work and there is only one thing to say about it. What a piece of JUNK!

    Resistive “touch” screen with a resolution like mid 90’s and best controlled with a pen from hell! :O Come on… We are in 2011!
    Wifi connection not being able to connect unless you are under 2 meter from the access point.
    Android 2.2 < Won't even comment on this…
    And the best part. No sign of who made the product… But of course I wouldn't put my name on it either.

    Hopefully the company will be able to refund it or else it will just go out with the trash.

    • Anonymous

      Yup, if you got the original one then it is truly a piece of junk. More recent versions are better but they are still not the greatest tablets on the planet!

  • Darick_2767

    How can we access if the Epad looks Booting……. i dont know what im going to do…

    • Anonymous

      Whats wrong?

  • Sdewittr

    need new pascode

  • shayla

    i hate when your looking on goggle and cant find what your looking for

  • CurelessSynergy

    You are on something. You have got to be. This thing is a piece of crap. Slow, buggy, resistive touchscreen, etc. There are too many negative factors for anything to balance it out. Also, their custom homescreen that they provided, which wasn’t even set as default when I got it, is just a rip off from an old launcher that used to be in the market. Returned it within 3 days.

  • Raj

    My MID Epad has battery completely down. I can cnot re-charge it. So I fail to boot it. Help and advise. Thanks

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  • florence

    please i have a problem with my e-pad. it seems its from the battery, i got it barely 2 months ago. is there a way a can get it replaced? its really great and i don’t want it to go to waste.