Test Zenithink ZT-180 epad

Epad Zenithink-ZT-180 - click to enlarge

Epad Zenithink-ZT-180 - click to enlarge

Test Zenithink ZT-180 epad

I was looking for an afforable tablet PC lately. Reason is that I am reading in the evening PDF´s and ebooks that I downloaded during the day.

Actually I was reading them on my notebook PC, which was “sitting” on my chest when I was reading the stuff on the sofa. Not the most convenient way to read.

My first idea was to buy an Amazon Kindle, but found it it too limited. With all the tablet PC coming on the market now I looked around in the web for a while.

The Apple ipad is for sure a great product, but the price of about R 6.000 to R8.000 was far to high for me to consider it. And I am Linux fan and have Ubuntu Linux running as main OS on my PC. So an Android Tablet would make much sense for me.

After a while of Googleing for Adroid Tablet PC and not finding something what I liked I almost forgot about my idea. Then about 4 weeks ago I found an offer on Bid and Buy www.bidorbuy.co.za.

The advertisement said “10.2 inch / 10.2″ android 2.1 WIFI, ZT-180, tablet pc, touch screen Epad” (look it up here)

So I checked it out and started to Google for info that would help me in my decision. I found some YouTube Videos “Second look at the Zenithink ZT-180 ePad…next to Apple’s iPad “

Look it up here:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MMfeMCuUNw

and some tests on Android websites all saying that the product is ok.

For a price of R1200 and R350 for DHL I ordered the epad in Hong Kong and about 10 days later it arrived here in Cape Town. DHL tracking worked well and Ramon the guy from the chinese company answered all my questions within a few hours.

The epad has 2GB internal memory, so I decided to invest R399 for a MiniSD card with another 16GB. A good investment.

Android 2.1 Tablet PC - click to enlarge
Android 2.1 Tablet PC - click to enlarge

The nice box did not contain much: The epad, a manual, a headset, power supply and an USB Port adapter for LAN. The epad looks the same as an ipad but is slightly longer.

Here are the Specifications:

  • CPU: Zenithink ZT180 1.0GHz
  • Operation system: Google Android 2.1
  • Memory: 256M RAM
  • Storage Device: 2GB NAND Flash, extend to 32GB
  • LCD Size: 10.2 inch TFT LCD with resistance touch screen, single point touch (resistive)
  • Resolution 1024*600 Pixels
  • Battery type: Rechargeable polymer battery, 2400mAH,7.4V
  • Speaker: YES
  • WIFI: Marvel8686 SDIO 802.11b/gI/O ports TF card, U disk, RJ-45, DC in, Ear phone
  • Multimedia video: MP4,AVI(XVID,H.263,DIVX), MKV,3GP, RMVB(supports 1080p)
  • Music: MP3/WMA/AAC/AAC+/WAV
  • On line chat: MSN/QQ/SKYPE/GTALK/LUMAQQ/ICQ
  • E-book: PDF/TXT/CHM/DOC/EXCEL, PIC JPEG/GIF

The epad works with Android 2.1 and does a good job here. It takes a bit to boot, but not really long.

A lot of apps (software/applications) were pre-installed. So basically after setting up the Google login details for Gmail you could start with email, Google reader and lot of other stuff.

I browsed around the net to find more apps and only was looking for apps recommended by others.

So this is the list of apps that I have installed right now. You can get them all FOR FREE at the Android market.

  • Adobe Reader
  • Advanced Task Killer Free
  • African Vuvuzela
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Amazon MP3
  • Angry Birds
  • Any Cut
  • Apps Organizer
  • Astro File Manager
  • Automatic Task Killer
  • Battery Snap
  • Battery Status
  • Dolphin Browser
  • Dropbox
  • gReader
  • Jewels
  • Laputa
  • MSN Talk
  • Real Player
  • Rock Player
  • Skype
  • Stern
  • Taskiller
  • TweetDeck
  • WifiFoFum
  • WifiScanner
  • Winamp
  • YouTube

I am not really a novice when it comes to computers, but I must admit that getting used to Android and how to operate it took me a while. Not because it is so difficult, it is just different compared to work on a normal PC. It was a bit of trial and error and again Google helped a lot.

Again I was happy to for a free OS and made the same experience as with Linux: The community out there is huge and very helpful. You will find questions to your answers within minutes.

So how were the first 2 weeks with the epad. I managed to import all my Google Reader RSS feeds, to upload my ebooks and PDF via USB, my email accounts and my TweetDeck settings. All this was quite painless and very straight forward.

With all the above software and my account settings it is a really nice tool. Connection to Wlans works very well.

With my initial idea of using it as a reader gadget I am quite happy. Amazon Kindle works quite well and I am now in the risk to buy and download more books than credit card can handle 😉

And as a bonus I can use all the other tools that a Amazon Kindle reader can not provide and an Apple ipad can, but for a much higher price.

I have ordered a leather case (with an integrated keyboard) for the epad Zenithing ZT-180, has not arrived yet. (I will add to this article once it has arrived).

Any downsides: Yes and No.

The ipad has for sure a brighter display, but the epad has a larger display. The build quality of the ipad might be better and the battery might last much longer. But to be honest, I am not using it to travel, only to read for a hour in the evening. So 3.5 hours battery life or 8 hours do not make a difference to me. Guarantee might be a problem, because the seller is in Haing Kong. But to be honest the gadget price is only R 1.200 and compare that to Apple…

So far I am happy with the device and have already ordered another 5 for friends of mine, who have seen mine and want to have it as well. Again Ramon in Hong Kong was quite helpful with this 😉 Actually it is almost sold out this point of time. Which is not a bad time.

So all together I am quite happy with this gadget so far and have no complains at all and for the price it is a real bargain.

If it breaks or I want more power and a more quality device I might go for a Samsung Galaxy tablet in the future. But for now I am happy with my epad ZT-180 from Zenithink.

What experience or option do you have about Android Tablet PCs?

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