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Review: Ekotab 7 Tablet by Ekotek

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Before this review, I have never actually heard of Ekotek before. A quick search in Google revealed the company has a good line of tablets and smartphones available locally. The company name, Ekotek, stands stands for economical technology. They want to inspire a sustainable lifestyle among the new generation.

Today, we will be reviewing their tablet, the Ekotab 7 — touted to give you more power for your money. It’s only P3,899, so we’ll see if that is the case.

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KEY SPECS:

  • 7 inch screen (1024×600; 160 dpi); 5 point multi-touch
  • 1.2 MHz dual-core CPU
  • Mali 400 MP GPU
  • 8GB of storage (+microSD of up to 32GB)
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2MP fixed focus rear cam
  • 0.3 MP front cam
  • WiFi
  • Mini USB port
  • USB 2.0 port (with OTG support)
  • HDMI
  • 10 mm. thin
  • 280 grams
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • P3,899

WHATS IN THE BOX:

The package has a nice design that has an “eco” feel to it. Inside, you will find the Ekotab 7 tablet, a warranty card, a charger, and the mini USB cable.

ekotab-7 (7)   ekotab-7 (2)

DESIGN: 

The Ekotab 7 has a clean design. It has soft curves and a simple profile. Around the screen are big bezels (that helps you get a grip while using the device) and the 0.3MP front cam.

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The 7 inch tablet is light at 280 grams, and thin at 10mm. It’s comfortable enough to hold, even at extended hours, but the edges around the screen feels a bit sharp.

On the left side you’ll see the power button and volume keys. Up top you’ll see the mic, the mini USB port, an HDMI port, a USB 2.0 port, the 3.5mm stereo plug, an microSD card slot, and a DC-in jack. The right side and the bottom are devoid of anything.

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The back is made of a glossy plastic material that feels a bit on the inexpensive side. There you’ll find the camera, and a recessed reset button that can be accessed with a pin or paper clip.

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Ekotek also placed labels for the ports at the back cover for added convenience.

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To give you an idea of its size, here is the Ekotab 7 between an iPad Mini and a Nexus 7 2012.

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Overall, the Ekotab 7 is good enough for the price. Its clean looks and light weight are a plus. I’m unsure of the quality of the plastic used for the back though, as it sinks a little when pressed. But the device feels solid, despite that.

HARDWARE AND DISPLAY:

The Ekotab 7 is powered by a 1.2 MHz dual-core CPU. The CPU is pretty old by tech standards, but does the job well. Together with the Mali 400 MP GPU and the 1GB of RAM, scrolling through the launcher was relatively smooth and snappy. It will lag once in awhile, but it’s not a big deal considering the price of the tablet.

One negative is that Ekotek used a mini-USB port instead of a more modern and standard micro-USB. Another is that they placed a separate DC-in jack instead of charging from the mini-USB port. I guess that’s what was needed to cut costs and keep the price of the tablet low.

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The 7 inch screen is pretty decent. It may not have the best viewing angles, but it’s bright and has nice colors. It’s responsive and sensitive, except for around 20 pixels on top and bottom of the screen. It sometimes takes a few touches for my swipes to register.

PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY LIFE:

If you like numbers, here are some benchmark scores for you.

Screenshot_2014-05-24-07-37-45   Screenshot_2014-05-24-07-37-27

Overall, the performance is satisfactory. It’s smooth and snappy, with very few lags here and there.

Surprisingly, the Ekotab 7 scored an impressive 72.8 fps in Nenamark 2. The score is probably due to the combination of the Mali 400 MP GPU and the low resolution screen.

Screenshot_2014-05-24-07-50-16Screenshot_2014-05-24-07-50-25

The tablet also supports an impressive array of media formats, such as MP3, WMA, APE, FLAC, OGG, WAV, AVI, MKV(XVID/px/H.264), MOV, TS, M2TS, RM/RMVB, FLV, 3GP, MPEG, DAT, MP4 (up to 720P). It was able to play the 720P movie I loaded without any problems. You could even open a floating movie window, allowing you to do something else while watching.

P1140901 P1140900

The Mali 400 MP GPU and the 1GB of RAM is good enough for some casual games. Angry Birds loaded quickly and played without any problems.

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The battery is rated to have a standby of 48 hours and playback of 3.5 hours. With WiFi on, the tablet will last around 5 to 6 hours with moderate use. You’ll get around 2 to 3 hours for gaming.

There is also a performance tab in the settings that allow you to choose from three CPU governor settings. Basically, a CPU governor in Android controls the CPU speed in response to the demands the user is placing on their device. Meaning it will have an effect on the fluidity of the UI and the battery life of the device.

Screenshot_2014-05-29-09-26-10 Screenshot_2014-05-29-22-17-15

SOFTWARE:

The Ekotab 7 runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, with an Android Honey Comb like launcher. The experience is as close to stock as you can get. Again, the UI is smooth and snappy, with very few lags here and there.

Screenshot_2014-05-23-05-30-01   Screenshot_2014-05-23-05-32-24

One gripe is that the browser keeps on defaulting the home page to a specific website, even after I set it to default to a blank page. However, you can always install Chrome to by pass this.

CAMERA:

The 2MP fixed focus rear cam is okay for social networks. Images came out soft, and details where a bit mushy. Colors could use a boost too. Personally I don’t like shooting photos from a tablet, but if you must then this “better to have a camera than none at all” cam will serve you when you need it. Here are some sample photos from the Ekotab 7. Please click  the image to see a larger version.

IMG_20140530_061634   IMG_20140530_061727 IMG_20140530_061746   IMG_20140530_061754

WRAP UP:

Before we wrap this up, here are the advantages and disadvantages I saw while spending time with the device.

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Advantages:

  • Clean design
  • Price
  • Smooth UI relative to price
  • Huge media format support
  • USB 2.0 port has OTG support
  • Thin and light

Disadvantages:

  • Uses a mini USB port instead of micro
  • Separate DC-in jack for charging instead of micro USB
  • Camera performance
  • Default browser defaults to preset web sites
  • Quality of back plastic cover

All in all, the Ekotab 7 is a capable 7 inch tablet for the price. It will perform the tasks you need, and then some. If you are a casual gamer  with a tight budget who likes to browse the internet from time to time, and also happen to enjoy movies and videos, then this is for you. Power users need look elsewhere.

The Ekotek Ekotab 7 retails for P3,899. You can find it in SM Megamall Cyberzone Ekotek kiosk, SM Megamall Cyberzone Xsite Mobile shop, all Shopwise branches, select Puregold branches (Valenzuela, Monumento, Libertad, Shaw, and Taguig), and in select SM Hypermarket stores (MOA, SM North, Cash and Carry).

For more information, you can also visit their site at www.ekotek.com.ph.

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