Monday, June 19, 2017

Tablet Shootout!

A few years ago my mother gave me her first gen Kindle Fire, after she found a really good deal on an HP tablet. Up to this point I was a PC or laptop person, I had never used a smart phone or a tablet for any extended period of time. I find getting new electronic devices extremely exciting, but since it's a Kindle Fire that excitement was quickly quelled. Perhaps I could say that fire was extinguished? It's my blog and I'll make stupid jokes if I want!

The first things I noticed about the Kindle Fire were that I was locked to their browser, no Firefox or Chrome for me, just some lame, cut-rate browser that worked OK. Secondly I was greeted by the absolutely abysmal app store Amazon offers. Many apps I wanted just weren't available and I'm assuming never would be, without rooting the device.

Not wanting to take a risk and root the damn thing I trudged on with the tablet, hey at least I had one. As the excitement waned I just let the thing sit on its own and didn't touch it for weeks on end. The few apps I had grown attachment to were now abandoned, based solely upon the performance of the device and not the quality of the app itself.

Eventually the Kindle Fire would become a thing of the past, all thanks to a tablet that isn't built anywhere near as well as the Kindle Fire. I present to you the Apex Solo 7i, a tablet that truly feels like it might fall apart in your hands. At least this one is full Android, and not a truncated version controlled by an online shopping website.

The Apex was yet another amazing find at the outlet store, but it didn't come in perfect shape. A few scratched here and there, but overall the tablet is in working order and is actually quite nice. Quickly, even despite it's build quality, the Apex has become my tablet of choice over the Kindle.

The Apex Solo 7i runs Android KitKat, meaning I can access the Google Play store and download any friggin app I want! The screen is quite vibrant but shows how cheap it is when trying to view it from most angles that aren't straight ahead. There are both front and rear facing cameras, although they're such low rez they're absolutely useless, but the option is nice, and the tablet allows for Bluetooth connectivity.

To sum up the Apex's faults I would say the build quality is pretty lacking, the screen isn't great from all angles, the battery seems to be moderate, but not great, and anytime I watch videos on anything above 480p the tablet absolutely craps itself, although so did the Kindle Fire.

Where the Kindle Fire made up in build quality it completely lacks in functionality, usefulness and overall desire to use the damn thing. If you want a tablet strictly for watching videos on the go, or you don't need a large library of games, the Kindle Fire might be worth picking up used, although the newer versions have to be better and they're actually quite cheap these days.

Where the Apex Solo seems like an extremely cheap piece of junk, it's actually quite a good little tablet. Admittedly I've accidentally dropped the thing a few times and it seems more sturdy than I originally thought, although I wouldn't drop it from great heights onto hard surfaces. Since the Apex is running KitKat it's limitations, thus far, are few and far between. There are so many apps, browsers, etc. that I can use it's almost limitless.

Is the Apex Solo 7i better than the first generation Kindle Fire? Simply based on how useful it is, yes! Leaps and bounds yes! The Kindle Fire might have been an amazing little tablet, had it not been restricted so ludicrously by Amazon. Even so, I used the heck out of the Kindle until I realized there was a much larger and better world out there, a world ran by Android.