(By CEDRIC GITURA) There have been many attempts to produce fairly low cost tablets many ending up half arsed and unimpressive but I think the NOCA instruments have hit the spot. They have managed to come up with impressive tablets at very affordable prices.
I saw the NOCALIBRI 7 tablet with a work mate and I could not resist sampling it. After just a couple of hours of showing off the tab and its features someone else could also not resist it and swiped it. The NocaLibri 7 came with a black leather casing that makes it look like an executive diary. Very convenient for those swanky boardroom meetings especially when you need to leave an impression. The tab itself is 7 inches and the leather case comes with an embedded keyboard.
I tried the device and the instance it powers up you’re greeted with the 1024 by 600 pixels screen. The colors are crisp; the contrast stands out, the screen bright and is easily viewable. It has a clean feel to it and I must admit I was awfully impressed with the display.
I installed Chrome for Android to test the browser and it installed seamlessly, starts up faster than opera mini would on a smart phone and with the screen viewed in landscape orientation there’s no noticeable difference between the tab and my computer screen. I tested some radio apps and there was no need to do any horizontal tilting of the screen, all the content fits snugly on the screen. For this device I tried out Evernote, every young professional or student should have that app and then tested the Twitter app. In both cases the NocaLibri 7 was really impressive. No squinting or unnecessary scrolling.
The processor had impressive performance, it’s not fair to let the tab go without testing a game on it, it’s also not fair to test Angry Birds or some other light weight game on such a device. I downloaded the heaviest drag racing game I could find on the app store and tried a couple of rounds. The MTK Cortex A9 1G X2 (MTK6577) dual core processor coupled with 1GB LPDDRII system memory comfortably hold their own. The game was seamless, no rendering problems and the screen completes the beautiful synergy of the processor and the system memory to provide a great gaming experience.
I had to test the adjoined keyboard. I have to say I was not too happy with it, it was a tad bit small and difficult to type on with sausage fingers but very convenient if say you are typing in a car on a bumpy road where the on screen keyboard would be a complete mess. It was also a little difficult to hook it up to the tablet. The Bluetooth hook up was a bit dodgy but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy.
The leather casing for all it offers in aesthetics is a bit of a hindrance, it halfway covers the navigation keys at the bottom of the screen. I like the way it looks but while using it I found myself striping the leather casing to be able to use it easier.
With its minor annoyances and wealth of pluses, the NOCA tab Libri 7 is definitely on my wish list. I didn’t mention the best feature of the tab: THE PRICE. Only $229! For a device that stands head and shoulders above its contemporaries it comes at a cost that won’t break the bank.
There’s a ton of other interesting features on this tablet but these are the ones I had time to cover on this review. I didn’t even test how it handles with a SIM card and Africa’s 3G infrastructure but with as much as I have seen, it’s a definite buy. A second review is coming soon.