I have had a review unit of the Vantium m1 with me for over a week now and put it through its paces. Before now, I already published a first look, and here I now give my full review.
– Size: 190 x 117 x 12.5mm
– Weight: 330g
– Display: 7-inch 800×480-pixel, Multi-Touch Display Capacitive Screen
– SIM Card Slot: Support for phone calls, SMS and 2G/3G mobile internet
– Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Dual-band support (2.4GHz, 5GHz)
– Mini USB2.0 (OTG), and USB2.0 adapter: support for flash drives and 3G modem/dongle
– Mobile AP: Wifi Hotspot for sharing 3G internet
– Memory: 512MB (RAM), 8GB (ROM) + microSD Slot
– Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
– Battery: Built-in 4,000mAh Lithium ion battery
– Camera: Front camera: 0.3 MP. Rear Camera: 2MP Camera
– Browser: Google Chrome Android™ Browser Adobe® Flash® support
– Operating System: Ice Cream Sandwich Android™ 4.0.3
In the Box
– 2.5mm PIN charger
– mini-USB cable (the m1 charges via this as well)
– Owners Manual
– 3.5mm audio earpiece
Software: Pure ICS experience
The m1 runs Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), so it is very up to date. Only a very few number of Android tablets have anything more recent, and the only more recent version is version 4.1 (Jelly Bean).
The 7-inch capacitive diplay works well. However, not without some weak points. While usable, it is not very bright, and viewing angles are poor. I certainly found it tough to use outdoors.
WebSoft have done a good job in making it easy for anyone to pickup an m1 and start using without the hassles of going to the Play Store. All the basic apps are pre-installed. There’s DStv Mobile, Facebook, Twitter, QuickOffice File Manager, Skype, alongside the regular Google suite of pre-installed apps, including Wifi Hotspot. There are also a handful of games, including Angry Birds and Asphalt5.
For most users, a Vantium m1 is good to go right from bootup.
We have the stock Android media suite of audio and video players.
Music playback is okay. Sound quality is average. it isn’t superb or bad. However, it seems that the device struggles to play music smoothly while another heavy process is running side-by-side. For example, playing music in the background while browsing the web results in an occasional stutter. Apparently, the CPU struggles to run both processes smoothly. I will comment further on the CPU in the Performance section below.
There is a rear 2 megapixel camera, as well as a o.3 megapixel front-facing camera. Both work but I wouldn’t bother with them much. Quality of pictures and videos aren’t anything to brag about, but then I don’t know anyone who gets a tablet because of the camera.
The Vantium m1 has got 8GB internal storage for your use, which is okay. It also has support for USB-on-the-go via an included adapter, allowing you to plug in your USB flash drive or self-powered external hard drive to move files seamlessly on and off the device. It worked fine with my flash drive which was automatically detected once plugged in.
My 250GB external hard drive doesn’t have its own power and so wouldn’t work. The m1 also supports USB modems from both GSM and CDMA networks, should you ever need that.
It also supports USB mouse and keyboard. In effect, the Vantium m1 is the closest tablet to a full PC connectivity experience that I have seen.
There is an HDMI port, as well as a TF card slot.
There is no Bluetooth connectivity available on the m1. Honesty, I personally did not miss it. I see a tablet as a netbook replacement, and I don’t use Bluetooth on my netbook.
The m1 easily picked up my mobile wireless hotspot and all internet-based functions worked as they should – email, web browsing and others.
3rd Party Apps
Google’s Play Store is on board and all apps that I downloaded from there installed and ran without issues.
I found the m1 a bit laggy in use. You will notice this especially when browsing the web, though there is no area where it is entirely absent. It appears that the 1.5GHz processor often struggles to run the device smoothly. Or is it the 512 MB RAM, or a combination of both?
Being a 3G device, I found that the m1’s battery life isn’t exactly at par with other 7-inch tablets that I know. It is not terrible, but it does drain faster. That is understandable, as 3G connections are known to be battery draining. I got 4-5 hours of heavy/constant use maximum.
Availability and Pricing
The Vantium m1 is available for N49,000 and you can order online from here.
The Vantium m1 is a good effort and has a market. Its unique selling point is the presence of USB-on-the-go. The ability to use a dongle, as well as make calls and do SMS is there too. As far as connectivity is concerned, the Vantium m1 is the most versatile tablet that I have reviewed.
If you need those, this is the device to look at. Of course, it has its weak points as already pointed out in the article. But then, there are no perfect devices in existence.
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