Ematic EGlide XL Pro II, ICS Tablet On A Budget
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Those of you who have been looking for an affordable Ice Cream Sandwich-running tablet should have a quick look at this Ematic eGlide XL Pro II. Priced at just $174, this is one of the cheapest ICS tablets money can buy right now. It has a 10-inch display and comes with a wide array of ports that some other more expensive tablets don’t have, including a miniHDMI port. However, the tablet is far from being perfect since a few compromises had to be made in order to keep its price tag this low.
First and foremost, we don’t like its back panel since it’s made from an overly glossy plastic which as you can imagine it’s a real fingerprint magnet. To keep the price tag low, there’s no rear-facing camera which isn’t really a drawback since we still consider that there’s no place for a rear-facing camera on a tablet as taking photos is quite strange when holding such a large device. Anyway, the back of the tablet holds a gray logo of the company, as well as a silver speaker. The edges of the panel are faceted which makes the tablet look more like a jewel.
Compared to the Iconia Tab A200 from Acer, the eGlide XL Pro II is lighter and thinner as it weighs 1.4 pounds (1.6 pounds for the Acer) and it measures 10.5 x 6.5 x 0.43 inches (the Iconia measures 10.2 x 6.9 x 0.5 inches). However, the one from eGlide is bested by the Samsung Galaxy Tab II which is only 0.38 inches thick and weighs just 1.28 pounds.
On the right spine of the tablet you are going to find all of the available ports, including the aforementioned miniHDMI, as well as the microSD card slot, two miniUSB ports and a headphone/microphone combo jack, along with the power jack. In the top right corner you will have access to a bunch of black matte buttons for the volume and power. The glossy display of the tablet measures 10 inches and it is encased in a black glossy bezel which is considerably thick. Slightly to the right there’s a 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera which as you would expect it won’t blow you away with its quality.
The glossy 10-inch LED of the tablet has a maximum brightness level of 182 lux so it’s quite dim, plus it has a resolution of just 1,024 x 600 pixels. Obviously, you’ll notice a considerable amount of fuzziness in text, while the colors are quite dull. The display of the Iconia Tab A200 is considerably brighter and has more vivid colors, while the one found on the Galaxy Tab 2 from Samsung is way better, with a 424 lux brightness and extremely sharp and vivid colors. While watching a video on the screen of the Ematic eGlide XL Pro II you will notice a considerable amount of pixelation which pretty much ruins the multimedia experience.
As far as the audio is concerned, this won’t impress you either since the speaker is just too weak as it doesn’t have enough oomph to fill in a small room, while at a maximum volume the sound is distorted a little bit. Don’t expect to get any bass as the sound is flat and hallow at all times, regardless of the song you’re listening.
For typing you get the regular Android virtual keyboard which consists of generous black keys that have enough plenty of room between each other, but the main drawback is that the user is not able to access the alternate characters by doing a long-press on the button. In addition, haptic feedback is noticeably absent, but at least you get Google Voice Typing which is very accurate.
Despite the fact that this budget tablet runs on Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich, you might want to know that it doesn’t come with the usual Google services so you don’t get Gmail, Play Store, Search and the rest of the goodies.
The Ematic eGlide XL Pro II has five homescreens to offer which can be customized by adding shortcuts, folders and widgets. In the top right corner you are going to find the apps page icon, while at the bottom of the screen you’ll have access to the Back, Home and Recent Apps. If you perform a tap on the digital clock located at the bottom it will raise the notification shade while in this shade there’s a big digital clock that has the date, along with battery life, Wi-Fi network and Settings icon.
Instead of the traditional Play Store from Google, the tablet comes with the company’s own app store which has a surprisingly decent number of apps, but if you are like us you’d probably want the Play Store. The good thing is that the user has the possibility of sideloading applications using a microSD card. Some of the games that come bundled with the tablet include Connect Em, Ant Smasher and Bubble Burst 2.
Also on board is Daily Paper which provides you with news from a bunch of publications, like Chicago Tribune, New York Post, as well as the Detroit Free Press. You will also find OfficeSuite, Astro File Manager, Box, as well as a Siri-like personal assistant called Ematic Digital Assistant.
The tablet is running on an ARM Cortex A8 processor clocked at 1.0 GHz and comes with a Mali 400 GPU so it’s not very impressive in terms of the performance offered. The images grabbed with the front-facing camera are sufficiently bright and with good color reproduction regardless if there’s a natural light available or fluorescent lighting. However, the sharpness is not that great, while when you are recording videos you’ll notice blurring while moving the tablet.
The Ematic eGlide XL Pro II is able to last for almost five and a half hours during a LAPTOP Battery Test which consists of doing Internet surfing from a wireless connection. This is considerable lower than the average among 10-inch tablets which usually last for about one and a half hour more, but for the money you’re paying for this model it’s a decent performance, at least that’s what we think.