Commtiva N700 – Initial Thoughts

The Commtiva N700 is an Android ‘Froyo’ 2.2 tablet, with a 7-inch touch screen, a 3 megapixel camera, a 600Mhz processor and a low cost attached – but is all this enough to take on the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab? Read on to find out One Mobile Ring’s Initial Thoughts on the device.

When the Apple iPad was first announced, many people questioned whether there was a substantial market for a tablet device. Now, months after the iPad’s release its competitors start coming out fighting, as they too tackle the high-end market with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Commtiva N700 now breaks through, with an array of features squarely aimed at the budget tablet market.

This budget hardware is unfortunately the N700’s biggest stumbling block, with a stripped back processor and memory, resulting in the Commtiva device feeling both sluggish and unresponsive at times. Commtiva’s tablet offers little more than the budget Android handsets, such as the HTC Wildfire – where it feels disappointing that the Commtiva is around £200 more expensive.

So what do you get for that extra money? Well you certainly get a lot more ‘device’. The 7-inch touch screen is nice for viewing images and videos, but ultimately it provides a very soft, blurry picture that does no justice to your content. At the same time, its weight is a major disadvantage. Holding the N700 for long periods of time feels awkward and impractical. Overall, the Commtiva tablet looks clunky and basic, with no real thought put into its design.

Android tablets do certainly offer more than the iPad, that is a given. The microSD card and full Bluetooth support is very good on the Commtiva N700, where we believe these will add a welcomed edge to the competition. There is also the option to use the device as a Wi-Fi hotspot, although many mobile phones can already do this today and without the extra bulk of the N700. The full voice-calling support is certainly a plus point in the device’s favour, but it is only usable in speakerphone mode – which immediately diminishes the level of personal security you have with the Android tablet.

The Commtiva N700 is a step in a direction that One Mobile Ring is still not convinced we need to go. For the same price, we could buy a mobile handset and a netbook that together, would offer all the same functionality and more. There are definitely opportunities for the tablet market to thrive, but the level of mobility the N700 offers is not sufficient enough to make a dent in the mobile phone market.

Apple would no doubt be quick to dismiss that comment and remind us all that tablets are not trying to compete directly with mobile phones, but at a base level they do offer the same apps and functionality.

At the end of the day, you will need to make a big compromise between investing in a device of pure social desire such as iPad or Galaxy Tab, or buying a generic yet functional product such as the Commtiva N700. However, without a true need and purpose, along with a definite lack of wow factor – One Mobile Ring is left with a simple question: What is the point?

– C

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