* Prices may differ from that shown
- Background to Purchase-
I wanted something small that I could use around the house for internet browsing. My 4 year old laptop had broken and with a now 15 month old son a laptop wasn't that practical. I decided that a tablet would be the best option as it could be quickly hidden away from prying fingers. Well that is my theory anyway.
I originally wanted a Google Nexus 10" but money was a bit tight so I decided I would go for a cheap tablet as temporary measure. The specs on the Yarvik Xenta seemed good for the money (I paid £100), it has a Cortex A9 1.6 GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, expandable memory (unlike the Nexus), 150 Mbps wireless card, scratch resistant display and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
- Out of the Box -
I ordered my tablet online from Stuff-UK and it came within 5 working days. The box is attractive, it is shiny black and made of thick card. Unlike some cheap electronics which come in flimsy card boxes with even more flimsy plastic inserts.
Opening it up revealed a really nice looking tablet - a shiny screen with matt black case. It comes with a USB Host Cable, USB Cable, 2.5 to 3.5 mm Audio Cable, Power Adapter, Start Guide, a Before you Get Started Guide, and Factory Reset Guide.
- Switching it On -
I plugged it into the mains and noticed that the charger does not go all the way into the tablet. I double checked by giving a wiggle but it would not budge. This means part of the metal end of the charger is exposed when plugged into the tablet.
It took a few hours to charge, I would say around 4 and a ½ but I did play around with it a little while it was charging. The charging time on the box says up to 5 hours.
- Using It -
The tablet is quick to load, the screen is responsive and very clear - I thought the screen might not be of the best quality but it was a nice surprise how clear, bright and sharp the display is. My sister picked up a cheap tablet from eBay and the screen was fuzzy but I suppose for £50 you can't expect much, it was also not the most responsive to touch. I thought however, even though the Yarvik was more expensive, that it might not have a very good screen as it was a "cheap" tablet - I was wrong.
The device fits in your hands well - it is quite thin and has a nice weight to it. It's not so heavy that you wished you'd bought a lighter model but at the same time not too light to make you think that the slightest knock or bump will make it smash into a thousand pieces.
The device comes pre-installed with a range of apps including FBReader (E-book reader), Email, Web Browser, Alarm Clock, MobiSoft Office Suite, and Google Play Store amongst others.
I didn't try all the apps and you will see why if you carry on reading. I did test out the rear 2 MP camera, the tablet includes both a rear and front facing camera, and it was of OK quality.
- Connecting to the Internet -
This is where my initial delight with the device turned into frustration and disappointment. I have a Super Hub from Virgin Media and a 120 Mb internet connection. My old laptop plus my husband's new one have had no problems getting a decent network and internet connection speed all-round the home and garden.
The Yarvik was struggling to get a 2-5 Mbps connection to the network when sat in my living room. It's worth adding that I live in a 1960s brick built semi-detached house - so there are no metre thick walls blocking the connection. At times the Yarvik could not even manage 2 Mbps and would completely drop out. Even when sat next to the router it was only getting 19 Mbps in one spot, it did however peak at 54 Mbps when I put it on the ironing board (this was next to the router too). I suspect that maybe the ironing board was acting as an antenna and this is why I saw the speed increase.
With a 2 Mbps connection I was getting a very slow internet speed. Speedtest.net showed a 565 kbps download speed when in the living room.
I tried changing the channel that the router was transmitting on, this saw no improvement in the connection. Not that I thought it would make a difference as the laptop could get a decent connection but I thought I would give it a go.
I can only assume that the Yarvik Xenta is supplied with a poor/cheap quality wireless card. I have contacted Stuff-UK to arrange collection as I want to return it for a full refund.
- Conclusion -
I had the Xenta less than a day before wanting to send it back. The whole point of a tablet is that you want to be able to browse the internet on it, if you can't do that then it's useless.
I think what makes it more disappointing is that the rest of the tablet looked to be of very good quality. I was really pleased when I first opened the box, now I can't wait to get a refund.
If you want a decent tablet for browsing the internet then the Xenta is not for you. Because of this I'm awarding the Yarvik Xenta 1 star out of 5, it's such a shame because if it had a decent wireless card then I would have probably given it 5 stars.
***I have awarded the Xenta 4 bars for Processing/Quality because of the screen and speed of the tablet***