tablets

Velocity Micro Cruz r103 Tablet Review

Micro Cruz Tablet r103's bad touch interface and slow processor makes for an infuriating experience indeed.

May 24, 2011
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Controls

Imagine a tablet crashing on its user, forever.

Where the most anger, minutes lost to frustration and grey hairs come from with this tablet is the user interface. We cannot overstate how completely horrible and unreliable it is. Not only is the screen very unresponsive to touch, but it also simply does not have the miniscule amount of processing power necessary to turn an eBook page. It would be one thing if there were physical controls that served as an alternative to the Lovecraftian horror that is the Cruz Tablet r103 (4 GB)'s user interface, but there aren't: you're doomed to suffer the fate of Sisyphus trying to read an eBook, to start reading and after 2 pages the tablet crashes, leaving you to start the process all over again, ad infinitum.

At the lab, we had issues with the touchscreen in the following ways:

*Keys on the virtual keyboard are poorly mapped, often the incorrect key would be pressed

*Sensitivity of the screen was so bad that pressing the keys dead-on results in a different keystroke (eg, tapping "delete" would result in the "l" button getting pressed

*Difficulty pressing page turn buttons, as sensitivity was an issue

*Extremely slow processor makes it impossible to tell if a touch was registered before a couple seconds pass

*Constant crashing of software, and terribly slow load times

We briefly considered using a ball peen hammer for our testing, but decided against it, as we don't do that for any other tablet.

Connectivity

The Cruz Tablet r103 (4 GB) has a Micro USB port, but it didn't seem to work for us at the lab. While it does have wireless, if you want to transfer files to your tablet, you will either have to download them straight off the internet, or use the proprietary software or install ZumoDrive on your computer to make your files accessible to your Cruz Tablet r103 (4 GB).

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Battery Life

We'll be honest with you: the Cruz Tablet r103 (4 GB) was so bad that it just could not complete our testing protocols because the screen was simply not responsive enough, and the processor too slow to turn the pages of an eBook. While we're tempted to give the Cruz Tablet r103 (4 GB) a zero for this section, the fact of the matter is that we're testing battery life, and functionality is not indicative of battery life. Therefore we're going to count the Cruz Tablet r103 (4 GB) as being unable to read eBooks, and score only the media that worked.

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As far as audio and video are concerned, the Cruz Tablet r103 (4 GB)'s battery held out long enough to play audio for a full 24 hours (leaving 65% of the battery afterward, projected battery life of about 2 days, 2 hours) and video for approximately 9 hours (when it decided to work). While this performance is not bad, consider that the backlight doesn't go that bright when cranked. Despite the good marks in this category, it comes at a huge tradeoff with performance.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Velocity Micro Cruz Tablet T301 Comparison
  11. Motorola Xoom Comparison
  12. Amazon Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi Comparison
  13. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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