Geek Gifts 2011: LY-706 Tablet Pad Netbook

Choosing a tablet device can be difficult given the multitude of choices, but Mark Kaelin has found at least one to cross off the list of potential candidates.

There are literally dozens of tablet computing devices on the market, or coming to market, in 2011. There is no doubt that tablet devices are going to be a popular gift this year, but with so many to choose from how will you decide which to purchase. Well, here is one tablet that you can safely eliminate from your list.

Get a look at what's inside the LY-706 MID Tablet Pad Netbook.


  • Company: After extensive research, no company is willing to sully their brand name on this device
  • Product: LY-706 MID Tablet Pad Netbook
  • CPU: VIA MW8508
  • RAM: 256MB
  • Display: 800 X 480 TFT 7-inch Touch Screen
  • Audio: Built-in stereo speakers and a microphone
  • Camera: 1.3 Megapixel
  • Wireless: WiFi 802.11 a/b
  • Connections: 2 USB ports and Ethernet connection provided with an adapter, MicroSD memory card slot
  • Price: Around $100, shipped from China
  • Focal Price product page

What I like

  • Exists: This may seem like a strange thing to list as a positive, but the LY-706 Tablet Pad Netbook actually exists and it actually works. I originally ordered the tablet on December 10, 2010, hoping to get it for the 2010 Geek Gift Guide. The device actually arrived on January 28, 2011. I was beginning to think I had been defrauded.
  • Camera: The LY-706 Tablet Pad Netbook is equipped with a camera, which should be standard for all tablet devices. However, the camera is not very good.
  • External connections: It also includes an adapter that can be attached to the device which provides two USB ports and an Ethernet connection. Such connections should be standard on all tablet devices.
  • Price: There is no escaping the fact that, compared to premium tablets like the Apple iPad, the LY-706 Tablet Pad Netbook is very inexpensive.
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What I don't like

  • Shipping: The LY-706 Tablet Pad Netbook is built and shipped from China - essentially eliminating the middleman importer. While this keeps the price down, it means that there is no real support for the device. If the device arrives with a cracked screen, I'm not sure there is a practical way to return it. Editor's note: According to Stefan Innerhofer of FocalPrice, they do have effective return, replace, and refund policies, which is good to know.
  • CPU: The CPU is tremendously underpowered. Everything happens very slowly, whether it is a flip from one screen to the next or the starting of an application.
  • Display: The LCD and touchscreen assembly is very cheap and the resolution is much too low at 800 X 480. There is no glass to protect the LCD which leads me to question the longevity of the device. The touch sensitivity is frustratingly poor and often unresponsive.
  • Quality: While the all plastic case feels moderately solid, there is definitely the aura of cheap surrounding the product. Bill Detwiler performed a Cracking Open on it that shows just how cheap cheap can get.

Bottom line for the Geek

The bottom line for the LY-706 Tablet Pad Netbook is pretty simple really. The LY-706 Tablet Pad Netbook cost $100 but is not worth it, even at that low price. The slow CPU and the unresponsiveness of the touchscreen make the device exceedingly frustrating to use at times. There is absolutely no reason to get this tablet as a gift for your favorite geek, except, perhaps, for one - as a gag gift.

Geek Gift Score

  • Fun factor: *
  • Geek factor: **
  • Value: *
  • Overall: *

For more reviews of tech gadgets, gizmos, games, and books, download the PDF of TechRepublic's Geek Gift Guide 2011.