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Time2Touch HC710A - Screen, Video and Battery Life

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Aside from the FroYo interface, which is conspicuously less-than-perfect for the device, the main price compromise of the Time2Touch tablet is its screen. The 480x800 pixel display gives a pixel density of 133dpi, which is actually slightly higher than Apple's iPad 2 (at 131dpi), but the panel used is a basic Twisted Nematic model.

Pixels

Pixel density is fine, but the arrangement gives a slightly less-than-seamless image

Brightness is perfectly good (you'll need to set it to max brightness for outside use) , but colours are less vivid than you'll find on the IPS and PLS screens of more expensive panels, and tilting the tablet backwards in landscape orientation causes contrast shift. This is where angled viewing diminishes contrast and brightness, robbing images of all shadow detail and altogether making them look ugly. It comes into play the most when watching videos, where the natural response is to angle the device backwards. It's less damaging than in some tablets though, such as the Storage Options miScroll.

Time2Touch contrast shift

There's significant contrast shift, but we've seen worse

The tablet's buggy nature comes into play once more when fiddling with the screen settings. Although there appears to be a light sensor on the front, automatic brightness doesn't work - it just sticks on whatever brightness level was applied beforehand.

Native video support is surprisingly good. Where well-known tablets like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer and Motorola Xoom fail to play even the most basic Divx files, the Time2Touch can play a wide array of formats including MKV, Divx, XviD and even RMVB. The on-box claim of 1080p video decoding is somewhat rich, as it struggled in most of our HD video tests and high bit-rate 1080p MKVs caused the media app to crash.

Media

This is as close as you get to a built-in media player

Given the well above-average video support, it's disappointing to see that no proper media player app is installed as standard. There is the ES File Explorer suite pre-installed, which will play videos from within the file manager interface, but for Android newbies this is not very inviting. That said, a quick browse of through the Android Market will uncover a bundle of free options.

Using any media player that uses the tablet's native video decoder though, the bugs return en-force. Pause video and, more often than not, you'll lose sync between audio and video once restarting playback - if you don't lose the image altogether. Testing video caused more fatal crash bugs than any other task. This is a huge disappointment when its power and codec support should make it a winner for SD-quality playback (we found all our 720p and 1080p files played back at less-than-perfect speed - although most did play.)

To test Time2Touch's claim that the 3400mAh battery will last for 7 hours when playing video, we set it to playing a 720p file repeatedly at maximum brightness (unlike IPS-screen rivals, max brightness is far from a ridiculous supernova level). It lasted for 3 hours 15 minutes - bear in mind that using an SD-quality file and lesser brightness this figure will increase significantly.

jontywills

August 30, 2011, 9:11 pm

Check out the specs but I can't see where this device improves significantly on my Kogan 7" tablet which runs Gingerbread, also has a capacitive screen and can be bought on ebay for under £100.

Andrew_TR

August 31, 2011, 2:25 am

They are comparable devices, certainly. Not sure where you can get it for under £100 though, as Kogan retails for around £150 in these post-release times - unless you're talking about "proper" auction listing. The main differences are the dual-core processor and GPS (which, as far as I can see, the Kogan doesn't feature). The carry case and USB converter cable are also neat additions.

I will admit to a slip of the keyboard here - I actually meant to bemoan the lack of Honeycomb primarily, not Gingerbread. Not something good to get mixed up as a tech writer, but hey, we're all human.

Al

August 31, 2011, 1:10 pm

Kogan Agora is only £119 + p&p direct from Kogan UK.

harivilla

August 31, 2011, 7:43 pm

Jonty and Al, you're not comparing like for like. The Time2Touch HC701A Tablet has a Dual Core Cortex A9 Processor and has Full HD 1080p playback ,with a standby battery time of 7 days and active battery time of 6.5hours. I'm afraid the product mentioned above doesn't even come close.

jontywills

September 1, 2011, 12:40 am

I was simply pointing out that the Kogan is a lot cheaper, runs Gingerbread and is similar in some important ways. It's true the Kogan uses an A8 processor, but I'm not so sure that would make a lot of difference. And, given that the battery life and video playback of the Time2Touch is questioned in the review, is it really worth the extra? Perhaps it is, but as price is such an important factor at this end of the market I'm sure my original comment was valid.

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