Tuesday, March 6, 2012

JXD S7100 Tablet Review

The JXD S7100 is an Android 2.2 based tablet, designed with gaming in mind. It has a seven inch screen, a d-pad, four buttons, and an analog stick. You can get it either with a resistive or a capacitive touch screen; it also has start and select buttons. The buttons are alright, though a bit clicky and cheap feeling. The capacitive touch screen is good enough that I decided to type this little review on the tablet's touch keyboard using Kingsoft Office. So far, so good.

The S7100 also comes with a micro SD slot, a mini USB port, headphone jack, volume rocker, charge port, reset, mic, and a mini HDMI. Also included are front and back cameras, neither of which are really worth using unless youre desperate.

The neat thing is that the unit comes loaded with a bunch of games and emulators. it can play everything from NES and SNES, up to N64 and PSX from day one. Also included are a bunch of touch games like Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds. There are other emulator consoles out there that offer the ability of being able to play just about any rom you throw at them, but the big advantage the S7100 holds over them is the fact that it can also run Android. Which means access to the Android Market, an easy to install (or change, or root) operating system, and the ability to get some real work done.

There are some cons. If you aren't capable of rooting a device, or comfortable with learning how, then the S7100 isn't for you. When mine arrived, it was mostly in Chinese, had no access to the Android Market, and the home screen looked like someone had thrown up a bunch of icons. I updated the firmware to the English version, installed the Market, and created a second home screen with ADW Launcher. I would consider all of these steps to be necessary to make this tablet your own.

And if I am honest, the screen isn't terrific. It's very capable of hd, and the touch sensitivity is good enough that as type this, I have not once just said screw it and reached for my laptop. But you won't be mistaking this thing for an iPad, it is just not as sharp or colorful. The seven inch screen is great for gaming or watching movies in HD, but you are going to need some huge pockets if you expect to carry this portably without a bag. As a plus, the big screen size means watching a movie won't force you to squint or hold it an inch from your face. There is no kickstand for hands-free movie watching, sadly. 

The emulation runs well enough, with occasional drops, but nothing that'll really keep you from enjoying the game. The one big knock is that there are no shoulder buttons, which effectively makes some games unplayable. For some folks expecting to play Goldeneye or Metal Gear Solid just how they remember it, you will be somewhat disappointed. The battery life is ok, something like four or five hours. As an added plus, the HDMI out works great for both games and movies with no hiccups at all, even if it's a bluray file. So you can use it to play Tekken 3 on your TV, then switch over to watch Tekken: Blood Vengeance. All this for less than $180.

For the price, this thing is boss. Customizable, capable of doing just about anything you throw at it, and surprisingly quick; the JXD S7100 hits the spot as far as alternatives for buying one of the emulation consoles (Geimei A380, Wiz, Canoo). If you do your research, you'll see that this is the best one of the best options for a portable gaming tablet or an emulation console.

Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5

by Chris Alexander
PSN: Imnotonfacebook
XBL: Mastergief