Random Access Memories

April 21, 2017

Thoughts on my tablet upgrade.

by @ 1:59 pm. Filed under Personal

So.. I decided to go ahead and order a Mediapad M3 (7″ tablet) to replace my aging Nexus 7 2013. I don;t really carry a phone, just a 7″ tablet and an (aging) Verizon Mifi device that runs me 50$ a month for 5GB of bandwidth.

First impressions? Well.. mixed but generally good.

The good:
– It’s fast, blazingly so. It beats the crap out of the Nexus 7 benchmarking at 6835 in Passmark vs 2159 for the Nexus.
– The screen. Bright, crisp and huge. The device still fits in my hand the way I like with my thumb on one side and my fingers on the other yet the screen is more than an inch larger diagonally. (1200×1920 (320dpi) on the Nexus 7, 1600×2560 (480dpi) on the Mediapad)
– It was (relatively) easy to unlock the bootloader and install TWRP in the second (yes, it has two) recovery partition.
– Expansion. It has a MicroSD expansion port (128gb max) that the Nexus 7 lacks. I have not run out of space on my Nexus 7, but I like moving large files easily between devices.
– Vibration. This unit comes with a vibration device so it buzzes when I have a notification. This is a huge plus to me.

The drawbacks:
– Price. The 64GB model was 350$. (The 32GB would have been 50$ less)
– No “solid” case. I use a heavy-duty Seidio case on my Nexus 7, which I could not get for the Mediapad. I don’t like “book” cases, preferring the “glove” style rubber ones.
– No NFC. I hardly use it tho, but it was something neat to have. Not
– No wireless charging. This one annoys me, but I decided to accept it since it wasn’t really a deal breaker.
– The UI. Which the Huawei UI system that comes with it wasn’t really what I wanted, the ROM I installed made it “acceptable”. The only things that still annoy me is the habit to “round” the corners of the icons. (I admit the UI is something i’m much more picky about than most people)
– No 5ghz wifi. The chipset supports it, but it’s turned off for the US market. Likely in the future someone will figure out how to enable it. (Not a huge deal, since I usually use 2.4ghz here, but notable)
– Not much in the way of custom ROMs yet. (The one I am using I got here: https://www.androidfilehost.com/?w=files&flid=125388 )
– The second recovery partition isn’t useful. I screwed up my ROM install and tried to use the recovery partition to fix it, but it couldn’t. Eventually I fixed it the geeky way (with lots of tears) This might be because of how I messed with it, not sure.

Was it worth it? So far, yes. 🙂

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