Chinon tablet

We love seeing new Android tablets get announced and released, honestly we do.  Especially when they are nothing like the new Chinon Swift series tablets, which pretty much set a new standard for cheap craplets running Android. The idea is solid -- an affordable option to the high-priced tablet market here in the US, but the execution is flawed. There's no one thing inherently wrong with tablets like this, but the sum of the parts makes for a less-than-satisfying whole.

Chinon is dropping a 7-inch version, the Swift 7, and a 10-inch Swift 10 tablet, at prices that will tempt you. The Swift 7 checks in at just $160 and the 10-inch version is $280, so it's obvious that more than a few of us will be taking a long, hard look. Start with the specs to really tell you all you need to know here, as the capable 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM CPU (of unknown make) is matched up with just 512MB of RAM and Android 2.3. This should set off a warning flag before you drop any dollars for these things, and if it doesn't, the 4:3 aspect ratio just has to make you do a double take.  (Or the giant iPad design ripoff.)

This isn't how good Android tablets are done, folks. There are a lot of better things to spend your money on, and even if these things prove me wrong and the performance blows our doors off, you're still better served to spend just a few more dollars on a Kindle Fire or Acer A200, depending on the form factor you want. Of course, someone is bound to buy one of these and have a great experience with their new toy. In fact, I hope it happens and I'm wrong about the whole thing.  But I don't think I am, and I don't want to spend my money to find out. I certainly don't want you to spend your money and find out either.  

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Reader comments

Chinon announces a new set of Android tablets, but we wish they hadn't


I don't know why you guys are so negative about it specially after defending fragmentation by saying that apperence Amazon store was "intended" by Google :p Such tables crap or not are sign of freedom of platform same as Amazon store, and you won't avoid seeing china Android devices whatever they crap or immitation or great ^^'

Wouldn't it be less biased to actually just report that the tablets were announced and then review one when it is released so that your position would have at least a modicum of foundation? I mean, the tablet hasn't even been released yet, and Android Central has proclaimed it a bust, sight unseen. That doesn't seem to be very good journalism.

I understand that a lot of tablets are being released, but I find it odd that this particular one is being given the kiss of death before it is even launched.......

And I understand that you may take the position that if it ain't running ICS then Android Central will not recommend that you buy it....but that really should just be one component of a review, not the sum and substance. There are plenty of folks out there that would not know Gingerbread from Honeycomb from Ice Cream Sandwich, so long as they can watch their netflix, update their Facebook status, and get their emails while surfing the web.......

Please don't start rubber stamping devices without even having tried them. It devalues the rest of your reviews.

For starters, they are using the same non-device optimised build of Gingerbread every other Chinese knock-off tablet maker uses, and it's horrible.  It's slow, it's buggy, and on devices without a cellular radio it kills the battery life as fast as you can charge it.  There won't be any support for users once they part with their $160 either.

After that, there's really no reason to look any deeper.  I've used and held more of these Chinese craplets than any man should have to.  They are all the same under the screen.

So... Is this thing going to even make it to market? Or do you think crApple will sue them until they don't exist?

Definitely no love for any tablet that's not running ICS.

But, why hate on the 4:3 form factor?

I've tried the Transformer, Galaxy Tab 10.1, iPad 1 and 2, Touchpad/webOS, Touchpad/Gingerbread, and Touchpad/ICS (alpha, obviously).

I think the 4:3 form factor is way better. I (mostly) use a tablet for reading email, surfing the web, reading eBooks, and playing games. And, occasionally, to watch a movie. And, for all that except watching movies, I think 4:3 works better.

Reading eBooks and email is better in 4:3 portrait. Tabs like the Transformer are too long and narrow when reading the stuff in portait and too wide and short when reading those things in landscape. There's a reason that actual paper/print books are the shape they are...

Surfing the web is better in 4:3 landscape. Again, Widescreen is too short when surfing in landscape and too narrow in portrait. I like games better in 4:3, too.

Movie watching is a bit better on a widescreen. But, even then, if you compare the measurements, the actual image size of a movie on a 10.1" tablet is only a LITTLE bit bigger on a widescreen tab versus a 4:3. And, at least for me, that slight advantage is completely overwhelmed by the advantages of a 4:3 10.1" tablet.

I also prefer 4:3 for nearly everything I do on tablets. I think I know where the hate for 4:3 comes from, but I'd be interested to hear Jerry talk about that. Seems like a needless jab without any reasoning to support it.

Ummm, this product is not for tech heads like us. It's aimed at the lower class and/or people who are not knowledgeable (or don't care) about the latest and greatest gadgets. What the average consumer sees is a tablet computer that's more affordable than the Kindle Fire and way less expensive than an iPad.

With being an Android fansite, it's disappointing to see them cut down a new product. If anything, low-end tablets will introduce more end-users into the ecosystem and help chip away at Apple's dominance in the market.

you are correct the only problem is if it is a bad implementation of Android the end-user introduced to the "eco-system" gets a bad taste in their mouth and instead of chipping away at Apple's dominance it bolster the "it just works" mentality.

Definitely agree. I see far too many people coming into the Verizon store I work at who refuse to get an Android because someone they knew had some type of Android device that just didn't work and they want an iPhone because those "just work". It's impossible to even get them to look at the new devices, which we all know are head and shoulders above the old devices, because someone they knew had a bad experience. It only takes one bad review to stick with you.