Out of curiosity, I picked up a Cruz e-Reader from Fry’s for $160 this morning because it looked interesting with a 7″ 800×600 display running Android 2.0. This device is apparently tied in with Borders bookstore and it doubles as a cheap Android tablet device. After about 1 minute after I turned it on, I decided to seal it back up in the box so that it can be returned.
As a side note, the Black Friday sale at Fry’s Electronics stunk this year. Nothing good in the processor memory section with no combo deals.
So what’s wrong with the device? Well the chassis actually looked and felt nice with a rubbery non-slip surface in the back and it had an SDHC slot as well as decent speakers. But it was completely ruined by the unresponsive performance of the user interface. Tapping took forever to recognize and the scrolling was extremely choppy just about anywhere you went. Yes I realize it’s positioned as an e-Reader, but I expect a bit more from a color device. I didn’t even bother testing the video playback capability because the sluggish user interface was a nonstarter.
I’ve already got a 7″ Telechip 8902 based Android 2.1 tablet with 800×480 resolution being shipped to me and I expect a decent experience based on this video review (Telechips device form MP4nation.net was garbage, don’t bother). Yes I realize it’s not nearly as nice as a Samsung Galaxy 7″ Tablet with 1024×600 resolution (which feels good in the hands and has a very responsive user interface), but the generic Telechip tablet is $430 cheaper and doesn’t require a data plan. I’ve already got a MiFi for 5 Wi-Fi devices so I don’t want another data plan.
UPDATE 1/5/2011 – I ordered the Telechips based 7″ tablet from MP4nation.net and it took 6 weeks to get to me. Then it came with a European AC power adapter which means I’ll have to buy another EU to US connector to use it. The USB charging doesn’t work with any of the chargers I tried.
Biggest problem is that Android Market is broken on the device.
Device is far more sluggish than showed in the video and the resistive display requires a lot of pressure to make it work. Screen surface doesn’t feel good rubbing, and the front edge feels too sharp that it is uncomfortable to hold. It’s also a lot thicker than the Nook Color. The back feels like cheap plastic instead of the rubbery grip on the Nook Color.