Apad WM8650

The Apad WM8650 is here. What can it do? Is it worth the title of the best cheap android Tablet PC? Time to find out! Here is the only Apad WM8650 review you need.

By Chris Messenger | Published 16/08/2012

The Good

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Only £44.99...

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Works well as an ebook reader

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Excellent tablet for beginners

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Access to Google play

The Bad

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Painful loading times

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Screen response is awful

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Surprisingly slow application loading

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Specifications make device sluggy

Introduction

As an e-Reader, this isn’t that bad a device. I hesitate to say ‘good’, but certainly not the worst e-Reader on the market (though, for this price you’re really better off with a second hand Kindle).

About this time last year, some bright spark over at, um, wherever it is that they make APad products (a quick Google search, for those interested, revealed the location as China), decided to make an attempt at bucking the (by now well established) trend that cheap Tablet PCs have to be really, really rubbish.

 

Unfortunately, he was not successful, but he came closer than most. Let’s find out what went wrong...

 

The Specs

The Holy Grail of computer design is a machine that is affordable and yet able to compete with the big guns in terms of functionality. If the two of us (by which I mean me writing this review and you reading it) were to set up a computer manufacturing firm today, the only way we would gain any advantage over a company like Apple would be by undercutting them on price. This is a business model that has paid dividends for quite a few companies in the short term, but they’re all names you can scarcely remember a couple of years later.

 

Said companies are the corporate equivalent of ‘Bug Catcher Ricky’ hiding by the exit of Viridian forest (in order to ambush you on your way to the Pokemon Centre), in that they are a mild annoyance and not much else (and if you get that gag, then I feel for you, I truly do).

 

Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a heck of a lot of duff (but cheap) Tablets come our way, often seemingly thrown together from a mishmash collection of rubber bands, tin foil, four colour edible crayons and Granddad’s prescription lenses. The Apad, however, does at least attempt to strive for something more.

 

 

The Price

You can own this Tablet today for £50. Like most other Tablets in its price range, this is unequivocally its strongest selling point.

 

The Performance

This cheap Tablet does deviate from the norm in a number of key areas. Where the oldest version of Android is usually employed (one suspects ‘Free Trial’ at times), the Apad utilizes the much newer Android 2.2. Where a camera is usually left out of cheaper Tablets, the Apad has one built in. Where Flash Player is usually nonexistent, the Apad runs up to 10.1. So you can see that it is at least trying to be more than the sum of its parts. Amazingly, none of this has affected the price at all, which does boost the hope that one day a Tablet PC will come along that is dirt cheap and yet still worth buying.

 

As an e-Reader, this isn’t that bad a device. I hesitate to say ‘good’, but certainly not the worst e-Reader on the market (though, for this price you’re really better off with a second hand Kindle).

 

Where the oldest version of Android is usually employed (one suspects ‘Free Trial’ at times), the Apad utilizes the much newer Android 2.2.

It honestly does try to be more than it is. It fails, but at least it tries first. It would make a good gift for the scores of people who will no doubt praise every athlete in the coming Olympics on the grounds that “its not the winning, but the taking part” when that happens, hand them this Tablet and say “no, its the winning.”

 

An overambitious design, in this case at least, does lead to yet more things that can go wrong. To start with, the WiFi has an infuriating habit of dropping out on you at inopportune moments.

 

Boot up time is painful and the machine generally runs really slowly. It is also difficult to the point of impossible to download apps that do not originate from China.

 

The worst thing by far on this list is the Apad’s tendency to fall apart. By this, I am not over exaggerating. I do literally mean ‘fall apart’ as in the screen falling out or the SD card slot becoming unable to mount a card. Just look at how many online reviews mention that, especially when the product has only been on the market since last year.

 

What Other Users Say

The user reviews for this little critter have been particularly harsh. ‘RTFF’ (1/5) says that the battery indicator doesn’t actually tell you when the battery is low, while ‘Sue’ (1/5) called it a “waste of money” as well as a “load of rubbish”.  Its not all bad, however, as ‘Jim B’ (4/5) claimed to have been “pleasantly surprised” and ‘David’ (5/5) called it “great” recommending an upgrade to Uberoid V9 in order to sort out the app-related headaches this Tablet is prone to causing.

 

Our Verdict

There is no way I can recommend a product that can’t even stay in one piece over a twelve-month period. Sadly, this is one more Tablet to file under ‘cheap & nasty’ and just forget about. The good thing that has come from this model, however, is the bundling of functions and options (usually reserved for much more expensive devices) into an affordable Tablet. I feel that we should reward the theory at least, even if we ultimately have no choice but to disregard the end product as massively crap.

 

Frighteningly, however, there are still worse Tablets on the market than this one. So make sure you always do your research thoroughly before buying.

 

 

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Tags: Apad WM8650 Tablet PC Review, Tablet PC Review

 

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