I bought this for my mother, who, like most of our parents, is NOT a technical person. She wanted something inexpensive that would operate as a portable photo frame, enabling her to look at and show others all her family photos, so anything beyond that would just be icing on the cake. I will describe and rate each function separately and let you come to your own conclusions.
First of all, the main use I bought it for: photo viewing is easy. I've only tried jpegs, though, so I can't say for other photo formats. You can look at one photo at a time, selected photos, or look at everything, with or without a slide show. You can also zoom to examine a portion of a photo, good for photos you haven't or can't crop.
Playing mp3 music files is also easy (haven't tried wmv, or other, less common formats). Play a single song, a playlist, everything in the memory; repeat or shuffle.
I've only tried a few video files, with limited success; the tablet is supposed to play mp4 formatted files, but the only one I tried produced sound, but no picture, so some more experimentation is needed in that regard.
I haven't used the eBook capability much, but what I have tried is also satisfactory. You can read books in a couple of formats, ePub and Adobe, and zoom the page or change the font size for easier reading, as well as leave bookmarks for easy return to the proper page or search a word or phrase. There is also an included dictionary for looking up words as you read that is no problem to use. The tablet is set up to use the Barnes & Noble website or open book sites, such as your library might have, and those are the easiest to access, though you might also be able to use Amazon. Do some web searches on your own and find out.
Neither my mother nor I are gamers, so I never explored this area.
The WiFi is fine; contrary to others' experiences, I had no problem going on the web, looking at email, downloading applications, and even listening to some internet radio stations and looking at YouTube videos. You need the right application (Tubemate, which can be searched, downloaded and installed easily from the (included) Android app, worked well for me) to do this last, however--you can't go directly to YouTube. You can use it with an open wireless system, such as in a library, or set it up for a password protected one with WEP or WPA. I also tested the distance of reception, and found I could go up to 2 1/2 floors (I was checking its workability through floors) or 100 feet or so horizontally away from my Access Point with no problem. I could go on a lot of the most popular websites, though some activities are limited, such as controlling spam; again, if you search for Android apps, you can probably find other browsers, such as Opera, Skyfire, or Dolphin, that could be more user friendly than the included browser, although that one is fine for basic things.
The screen is a Resistive type, not a capacitive, so you can't do fancy stuff like use two fingers to zoom, or shrink, or rotate 3D images, but it is a touch screen, allowing you to open applications; create, move, or delete shortcuts; scroll or "flick" pages, choices, etc. And yes, it does have an accelerometer inside, so you can rotate the unit and the screen turns with you.
I looked at possible upgrade/rooting options, but decided against them: I believe they would void your warranty, and really, my mother doesn't need much more than the capabilities of this unit.
In conclusion, I would like to agree with others elsewhere, who have said that this is NOT a Kindle, a Nexus, or an iPad, and it will probably not allow you to download media willy-nilly and access it, such as television shows or movies, though I haven't tried working with much content off the cloud, aside from the aforementioned Tubemate/YouTube, which I like, is fun, and works. But this unit doesn't cost $200 or more. And of course, any virtual keyboard will be much slower than a physical keyboard, so unless you plan on adding a keyboard, or possibly downloading Swype (which I read is possible, but I didn't verify) forget trying to compose the Great American Novel, or any lengthy emails, for that matter, on it. Still, I have to say that for the money, this is a good, basic machine that allows you to use the internet, read books, listen to music, look at photos, and look at some videos. Possibly play games. If you want more, pay for it. If that is sufficient, why pay more?
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