XES3D Pad 7” 3D tablet review
2014.09.12. 14.49A few days ago a young man has approached me, who stated they want to bring a pioneering technology to success in Hungary, in the market of tablets and other smart devices. If someone presents me something in such a manner, the enthusiasm is usually greater than the potential market value of the ‘long-awaited’ product. But Zoltan absolutely did not exaggerated. Even I would say, he spoke in a quite modest manner about the XES3D Pad 7” tablet.
Earlier I was approached with a similar product, by the Hungarian distributors of the EyeFly3D display film. They wanted to convict me about the viability of the technology, with a solution, which would make every gadget display in 3D. They targeted the owners of smart devices. The film layered on traditional displays delivers acceptable 3D viewing experience. The solution works quite well in everyday circumstances.
In spite of this, the XES3D Pad 7” by Xtreme Electronics 3D System Ltd. sports a glasses-free (!) 3D capable display, which delivers an expectedly better experience. I was sure about this before using the device itself.
I received the device in the nearly final box and packaging. It is ‘nearly’ only because of the device itself and its accessories are under heavy development in the moment. They want to make sure the future revisions are even better. The box resembles the plain white box of iPad. It shows the company logo and the product image, which display a robot emerges from. Because this actual product is an internal test version, the rear of the box shows only the availabilities of the company.
After removing the cover, we see the neatly packaged device itself, which is protected by a spong frame from possible impacts. Raising the product and the separator cardboard, we find the ESD protected micro-USB cable, the power line adapter, the non-ear-fitted earphones and the user’s guide. Zoltan states that in the near future they will supply ear-fitted earphones and an OTG cable as well.
At first sight, the tablet looks exactly like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. I think an unskilled observer could not tell the difference beetwen the two devices. The housing is also similar, which measures 193.6×116×11 mm.
The front panel sports the aforementioned 7-inch display, an earpiece and a 0.3 MP camera. There is no ambient light sensor, but I don’t miss this feature particularly either.
The top edge has a mini HDMI and a microUSB connector, a MicroSD slot, and a 3.5 mm audio jack. On the left edge we find a classic (mini) SIM card slot, on the right sit the power/lock and volume keys.
On the rear there is no other apart from the 5 MP main camera, the company logo and name, and a sign reading ‘HUNGARY’. All the device sports a clean style, alone the dry painted silver coloring did not meet my taste, but of course it is a question of taste. The tablet is protected by films on the front and rear sides from impacts. It isn’t a bad solution, because the plastic body is not quite strong in hand. But of course, the product is not meant to be dropped into a marter wheelbarrow in construction sites.
Summarizing, the appearance is not groundbreaking, it resembles to Samsung’s design principles. Simple, nice to eyes, straightforward, but won’t get an innovation award, like Samsung neither.
The XES3D Pad 7” got an 0.3 MP front panel and a 5 MP fix-focused rear side camera. There is no LED light and software-based photo extras neither. We find the well-known stock Android Camera app, which we won’t introduce. It’s clear, this device was not made for photoshooting - but generally the tablets neither.
It’s no surprise, that near objects are blurry, in artificial light the image is noisy, the low lighting results in a black square. So I would not recommend this current product version for those insisting on making photos with a tablet.
The camera produces acceptable, slightly noisy pictures from objects more than 2 metres away in daylight. It’s impossible to shoot sharp images from near objects because of the fixed focus and under worsening light conditions the images will have more and more noise. The pictures shot by the selfie camera will look like oil paintings slightly, so it makes acceptable results in Skype video calls rather.
Under the housing we find a quad-core, 1 GHz/core, ARM Cortex A7 CPU based SoC, 1 GB RAM, a PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU and 8 GB integrated storage. It can be expanded by a max. 64 GB MicroSD card and a USB storage devices (OTG), like pendrives, memory card readers, USB-HDDs. The performance of the hardware is not particularly high, but using it for 3 days I didn’t experience any severer lags, although I installed numerous apps and tested 3D games as well. The developers got it well, this configuration is more than sufficient for the average user for at least the coming year. In content consuming scenarios its performance rivals the high-end. In everyday usage there is no app which would utilize all of its power.
Concerning communication and other extra features, we have GPS, accelerometer, SIM card slot, 3G phone, handwriting support, mini HDMI, Bluetooth, TPM system and Wi-Fi.
The operating system is Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It doesn’t has a unique user interface and bloatware. We get the stock Android (rooted) with some extra 3D apps: 3DPView, 3DV Game Center, 3DVPlayer. The base software is properly optimized, there are no lags. The RAM usage is much below 1 GB after boot. Because of these facts, I hope they’ll preinstall the stock Android in future versions as well.
The display has a 7-inch 800×1280 pixel TFT panel, which means 215 ppi pixel density in this case. The pixel-enthusiasts won’t be happy, but eyes used to 300+ ppi displays will also notice the lower quality. But the pixel density is also equal in Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0, and the aforementioned Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is below the 190 ppi mark. Summarizing, it is a quite good buy based on its display in its price category, the quality is enjoyable.
But the XES3D Pad 7” is outstanding just because of its unique display. The device enables glasses free 3D viewing experience with an acceptable price tag. This time we get not the horrible 3D experience from theatres but sharp images. That sharp we find scary because of the great depth of deep scenes in movies. I was disappointed up to now with 3D movies. But this device enabled me what I’ve been waiting for all the time: true 3D viewing experience. I’ve kept watching the Avengers 3D trailer and others from YouTube (Star Trek, Demona, Prometheus, TRON, etc.) They won’t get boring.
There is a key question: where and how do we get the 3D content (MP4, 3DV, etc video files) from? We have legal and illegal sources, but be prepared: you should have a min. 100 GB USB-HDD at hand. Because these movies start at 15 GB. And the 3DVPlayer plays only Side-by-Side (2 pictures side-by-side) and 3DV format video files. The Top-and-Bottom (2 pictures top and bottom) format video files aren’t supported – yet.
We can download 3D demos and trailers from YouTube. Searching for ‘3D’, the Side-by-Side format videos can be easily downloaded using Linux, because we only need to issue two simple commands in a terminal:
YouTube-dl -F <URL address of the video>
This command lists the available formats, generally the version with the code ‘22’ is the best:
YouTube-dl -f 22 <URL address of the video>
Choose the best format from the list from the previous command! We issue the code after the small ‘f’ switch, then the web address of the YouTube video and the download is starting. Pay attention to the spaces and there are no < > characters around the web address.
As Windows-user we can use the YTD Video Converter for that videos.
Nowadays the usage time is a crucial question after the lag-free operation. The XES3D Pad 7” sports a 3100 mAh rated battery, which is not a nondischargeable power supply, but you can’t discharge it within 2-3 hours usage as well. It goes even for a day with average usage (checking Feedly, weather, Androbit now and then). With occasional usage it goes for two days. In the whole device, I would name THIS the only weakness. Fortunately we have more than plenty of power sockets around.
The XES3D Pad 7” is not a high-end tablet. It’s not waterproof, fireproof and shockproof neither. It doesn’t have a 8-core CPU and 4 GB RAM. There could be more storage and the camera should have autofocus.
But beside of these, I must say, this device itself had such an impact on me which not a single tablet did. The hardware configuration is sufficient in everyday, the 3D display is simply amazing. Because the price of similarly powerful devices is around 290-370 USD, I think this price for this wonderful tablet is completely real and friendly.
- Display: 10 point
- Design: 9 point
- Battery: 8 point
- Software: 9 point
- Hardware: 9 point
- Camera: 8 point
- Price/value: 10 point
- Result: 9 point
Original Hungarian article by József Makay