I was provided a review unit of the Camangi Webstation which is the first Android 7 inch tablet that was recently updated to compete with the iPad from Apple.
The Camangi Webstation statement of purpose from the company is:
Currently, Android OS is limited to Smartphone development. However, 3 to 5-inches screen can’t meet most people’s demand. On the other hand, an overly small device will limit creativity and capability. In our point of view, larger interfaces can be expected. We don’t see it as a mere technological product, but a multimedia and integration terminal device with high mobility, which can be used anytime and anywhere.
We believe that a slim and easy-to-carry product, like the WebStation, will be an essential device in our daily life. Whether you are a businessman, student, housekeeper, or even a senior, there is no doubt that a comfortable reading sized screen with an intuitive interface will improve our future.
Unfortunately I can not see this as any more than the poor man’s iPad as its costs about half as much at $275 US.
The Camangi Webstation reminds me of my first PC, a Packard Bell from the late 1980s, in its bare bones UI and somewhat simplistic hardware.
Opening the box it came with the device itself as well an Android adorned carrying pouch, a cloth screen wiper, the adapter with a county outlet option, the US outlet connection option, earbuds with a microphone, a suction cup stand attachment, and the quick start guide.
Internally it comes with a removable 8GB SD card as well allows connections via USB Mini B & standard USB – which allows you to attach a 3G dongle for a mobile data connection.
It also has the A/C connection for power but I was able to charge the device while it was on – which the iPad currently can’t do – via the USB Mini connection to my laptop.
For media it does have stereo sound on the back of the tablet and has a 3.5mm headphone jack plus a microphone as you can perform VoIP calls via Fring.
The device weighs less than 14 ounces and has a Marvell PXA303 624MHz processor with 256 ROM / 128 RAM – similar to the G1 HTC Dream processing & memory.
Turning it on the boot up takes about 40 seconds and you are presented a customized but essentially bare bones Android UI setup.
The screen is a 7 inch resistive TFT LCD touchscreen with a display of 800-by-480 pixels in 16 million colors.
Unfortunately the Android version is 1.5 while Camangi states they have plans to upgrade it to 2.x in the near future but I feel thats doubtful with its similar specs to the G1.
The applications it comes with are pretty standard as it also comes with Gbook & Aldiko (another book reader) plus 3G Wizard, Fring, & its own Android Market.
There is no ability to access the true Android Market but only Camangi’s Market by tapping on the flower pot icon.
Frustratingly the Camangi Android Market only contains 77 apps at this time.
Most frustrating was the touch sensitivity of the screen, or rather lack thereof, especially when scrolling as it was nearly impossible to pull down the notification bar.
Selecting with the touchscreen did require a much firmer press than I am used to with Android phones, same could be said with the buttons on the device, which when pressed provided the sound of a Pop-O-Matic Trouble board game.
My personal assessment of the Camangi Webstation is that it may be a good barebones device for a young student or beginning Android programmer but it doesn’t have the refined quality for more advanced users nor the ease of use the iPad provides to allow it to be the defacto computer & reader for the elderly.