Mobility

Review: RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet

Can an inexpensive Android tablet direct from Asia make the grade as a portable business device in the United States? Mark Kaelin finds out with this review of the RAMOS MID W9.

Earlier this year, I reviewed an inexpensive Android-based tablet PC (LY-706 Tablet Pad Netbook) for the 2011 Geek Gift Guide. If you read the review, you will see that I was not impressed by that device. Well a representative of the distributor (Focalprice) responsible for importing the device to the United States, suggested I try a more expensive and full-featured tablet PC.

He was kind enough to send us the RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet.

Specifications

  • Distributor: Focalprice
  • Product: RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet
  • Operating System: Google Android OS V2.1
  • Max RAM Support: 32GB, 8GB tested
  • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
  • Display: LCD at 800 X 480, resistive touch
  • Display Diagonal Size: 7 inches
  • Hard Drive Capacity: 2GB
  • Ports: USB2.0, microphone, HDMI
  • Networking: WiFi, 3G, Fast Ethernet
  • Cost: $180

Who is it for?

The RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet is designed for anyone looking for an extremely portable device for reading email, doing light Web surfing, and/or reading reports or ebooks. It does not replace a desktop PC, but it would supplement a desktop PC for users on the move.

What problem does it solve?

The RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet is an inexpensive tablet PC that sells for approximately 75 percent less than the Apple iPad, making it a potential alternative to more expensive devices.

Special features

  • Touch panel: The input method is via a resistive touch screen digitizer and is based on finger gestures and a virtual keyboard.
  • International: One of the more interesting aspects of the RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet is its international orientation. The tablet can be configured is several different languages including English, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish.
  • Marketplace: The RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet includes access to the Android Marketplace.
  • Construction: The tablet seems very sturdy and has a solid feel in your hand. This is important for travelers and commuters using these devices on the move.

What's wrong?

  • Resistive touch screen: The digitizer is resistive and not capacitive, which means the touch screen is often slow to respond to commands. Especially in the configuration settings, the tablet would load configuration sections that I was trying to scroll past.
  • Android version: The installed Android version is 2.1, but the most current version is 3.0, which means the RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet is behind the curve when it comes to the operating system. There will be very little chance or reason to upgrade the device - you are stuck with what you get out of the package.
  • Slower processor: The processor seems very slow compared to the Apple iPad 2 and Motorola Xoom - another indication of being a few steps behind the technology curve.

Competition

Bottom line

The RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet is a serviceable 7-inch screen tablet, but hardly cutting edge when it comes to technology. At around $180, you are sacrificing technology for the sake of a few hundred dollars (or more depending on the comparison). The tradeoff may be acceptable for some users, but the product life cycle of a tablet like this in a business environment will be very short. Still, if what you are looking for is an adequate portable device at low cost, and if cutting edge technology is not important, the RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet is one to consider.

User rating

Have you encountered or used the RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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