A while back, I helped one of our clients to choose a cheap mid- sized tablet for her use when stuck in traffic. Initially, she had approached me with a request to recommend to her a tablet that she could buy so as to remain productive as she travelled between her house and the office.
She explained that being stuck in traffic was something she had become used to while working in Nairobi for five years. The impulse to buy the slate came when she began wondering how to deflect her frustration during the endless hours moving from her house in one of the estates to work in the morning and having to endure the same jam during the return journey in the evenings. Then it hit her that she could leave work and finish responding to some of the email on her way back home and in the morning, she could read a few chapters of her latest book before getting to the office. She explained that she needed a cheap device that she could carry around, it had to be affordable i.e. less than Ksh. 30, 000, it had to support both Wi-fi and GSM connectivity and it had to have the right size of display so that it was bigger than her smartphone and not too big as not to fit in her handbag.
I ended up recommending the Galaxy Tab E which turned out to be the right fit for her. That was about 6 months ago and when we met recently, she wondered why I had never done a review for the tablet despite the treasure that it was. I felt I should share with you her experience over the six months of using the slate and ask those of you who have already experienced it to share their thoughts as well in the comments section below.
One of the major reasons it worked out so well for her is that it allowed her to multitask. Using the multi-window feature, she was able to open her email while sorting through her to- do- list. She was also able to check out her social media pages and update them while listening to the latest house music playlist her husband had created for her. The 9.6- inch display screen was also wide enough for her to comfortably read her e-books without having to strain her eyes.
She might have found the multitasking enjoyable but she may not have realized that it was largely thanks to the quad core Spreadtrum processor inside the unibody. At full speeds, the CPU was capable of clocking up to 1.3 GHz when we analyze the technical specifications. Also for multi-tasking to really work smoothly, she would need adequate RAM and the 1.5 GB that comes in the Galaxy Tab E is just about all the RAM she needs for her use.
Although the 8 GB memory her tablet provided was not quite enough to accommodate all her music, photos and videos, she had installed a 16 GB memory card to store the rest of her files. Her Dropbox account stored some of her work related documents and she could continue revising it on the move. She was able to use Orange 3G internet because the slate she bought was the SM-T561 model which supports both Wi-Fi and GSM connectivity.
There is yet no update for her Android 4.4 Kitkat (or it is possible that she might not have checked for it) but according to her, she does not find any problem with it. After all, her five- year- old daughter enjoys playing with the slate whenever it is switched to ‘kids mode.’ She doesn’t mind at all that the Android platform is advanced three generations into the future. Besides, my friend seems to think that by the time laptops are introduced in class 1 for public schools, her daughter will have already outgrown the kids mode altogether and would have to enroll for special classes. I must say, she sounded terribly serious at this point that I wondered whether there was a joke in there or if she really was genuinely concerned.
During her spare time in the weekends, she especially liked watching the pre- recorded videos of her family’s vacations to places like Naivasha, the Maasai Mara and her rural home in Kituyi. The 5 megapixel camera on the tablet could not take very good quality images but she always transferred the content from a DSLR camera they always take with them during trips onto the slate. The 800 x 1280 pixels display was able to replay the HD video in just the right quality.
Because she often only used the slate to and from work, it took somewhere between three to four days before she had to recharge it. This is because the non- removable battery on this slate has a capacity of 5000 mAh. On this aspect, perhaps she could have done even better with Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7; but she insists that this was just the right fit for her.
|Dimensions (LxWxD)||241.9 x 149.5 x 8.5 mm
|OS||Android OS, 4.4 KitKat|
|Processor||1.3 GHz Quad-core,
|Internal storage||8 GB|
|External storage||Micro SD, up to 128 GB|
|Screen size||9.6 inches|
|Resolution||800 x 1280 pixels (HD)|
|Pixel density||157 ppi|
|Screen type||TFT capacitive, 16M colors|
|SIM||Micro SIM (Optional)|
|Speed||HSPA+ 42.2Mbps DL, 5.76Mbps UL|
|Battery||5000 mAh, upto 26 h 3G talk|
|Camera||5MP autofocus, 2MP front-facing|
|Others||GPS, Kids Mode|