I am Mr. Guest Post, and I have been a fan of OLPC ever since Nicholas Negroponte made his ideas known. I still have an XO-1 Laptop from the G1G1 in late 2007. I stuck by my green machine during the hiccups until the software stabilized. I even disassembled the bottom half to add electrical tape to fix the sticky keys. Gnome was a nice feature as well. The last few updates have made my XO-1 slow, and I think the thing is getting long in the tooth.
What I would love is a trade up to the XO-4. I know that isn't going to happen. So, I bought a XO Tablet and have been playing around with it for a few days. Here what I think:
My first impressions of the XO Tablet are positive. I love this thing.
It is snappy. I have no problems with its responsiveness, zooming, video playing, music, and ebooks. In direct sunlight, you can't see the screen, but in the shade I can see the screen.
Other observations include:
- Memory: The tablet has 8GB of space, but the installed software already takes half up. That is where the micro SD comes in handy. I plugged in the micro USB adapter, and then plugged in a flash drive. The XO tablet was able to see the mp4 video that was on it, and even was able to play it.
- eBooks: The eBooks are from Project Gutenberg, but I happen to like that site. There is an option to search from the tablet, and I typed "Dracula". So, I can read Dracula online, or download it to read offline. The tablet ebook reader allows bookmarks, background and font color, font size, and orientation. Just turn the page with a finger swipe. I found reading from the tablet easy on the eyes. If you want more books, use the Amazon Kindle app. It is on Google Play Store.
- Google Play Store: The tablet is Google certified, so Google play store is a great benefit, since it has a boatload of apps. Go wild for apps that are both free and paid.
- Cameras: Let's talk about the cameras. I know both cameras function. There is a camera app, that can switch between either front or back. I even hooked up a Kodak C813 with its USB cable through the micro USB adapter. The XO tablet can see the pictures, and even download them.
- Phone Calls: I tried skype. That involved installing the skype app from the Google Play Store. The app ran without any problems. Once I signed in, it configured itself. A call to echo123 had excellent sound quality. The final test involved a video chat with one of my contacts. Skype on the XO Learning Tablet received a passing grade. For those who live in the USA, Gmail allows phone calls through its site. I was able, with the help of one the many phone apps, to configure the tablet to make and receive phone calls.
- Audio and Video: Out of the box I tried videos. From the home screen, tap upper left, and then tap on My Videos. I tried to play various files. The XO Learning Tablet played all of them. Here are some examples: Video Encoding: H264, xvid, mpeg-4, divx, Video Containers: mkv, avi, wmv, mp4, flv, Audio Encoding: dts, mp3, aac, Frame Rates: 23.97, 25, 29.97. Some videos were 720p, and those played smoothly. I would rate the video quality as excellent, and the audio as very good. I will mention Youtube had no problems. I tried audios. From the home screen, tap upper left, and then tap on My Music. I tested mp3s, and the tablet sorted by albums. The audio quality is very good, and even better with ear buds connected to the 3.5mm port.
- User Guide: The only problem that is starting to bother me is the manual. A Quick Start Guide" was included, and it is also available here. I want the real user manual. It is not on the website, and I have called the support number 4 times now. They tell me that the manual is going to be emailed each time. After the 5th call to technical support, I was told by a supervisor, the XO Learning Tablet user manual is not available yet. When it is ready I will receive it by email. Well, I don't have it. I probably don't need the users manual, but I want it just in case I have to troubleshoot, or help someone else deal with a situation. For now, I am using google searches to answer specific question on android.
- Ports: The specs for the XO tablet don't completely explain USB-LAN adapter. It works on XO-1, but not the tablet. I am presenting trying others options. I ordered the BobjGear USB to RJ45 Compact Fast Ethernet Adapter (Not an endorsement). Here comes the tricky part. I hook the lan adapter up the micro USB, mentioned earlier, and nothing happens. The tablet shows me an icon next to the clock that looks like a computer and a unplugged cable. I check my router, and the it says the tablet is connected. The tablet is connected since I can perform a speed test. I go back and check the zoltantech ZU-80, and it does connect to the internet, even though the tablet tells me otherwise. So, I verified 2 USB lan adapters.
So I will say it again: the XO Tablet kicks-butt. I am still getting to know my XO Tablet. You can let me know if there are others things I can investigate on the tablet in the comments below.
I ordered the XO Tablet from Amazon, and I also bought some accessories. The following products are meant as information only and not as an endorsement. They worked for me just fine.
- BobjGear USB to RJ45 Compact Fast Ethernet Adapter
- eForCity Micro USB OTG to USB 2.0 Adapter
- Gold Plated HDMI to HDMI Mini cable, 1.83 m/ 6 ft
- SanDisk Ultra 32 GB MicroSDHC C10/UHS1 Memory Card with Adapter (SDSDQU-032G-AFFP-A)