A Low Cost Android Tablet Recommendation

Android was the recommended OS in our previous blog post on providing a self guided tour app.

We actually have been digging a little deeper into the topic for some time. To test how much hardware life one could expect at what price point, we gave a toddler a low cost Android tablet.

The thinking was that the toddler would be the worst case scenario in terms of letting a museum visitor or tourist run off with a tablet.  (Insert your industry specific joke here.)

Our Low Cost Android Subject

We settled on the Zeepad 7.0 Allwinner, 7″ single camera Android tablet for our extended evaluation. This unit was – at the time of writing – available on Amazon.com for $59.99.

Zeepad tablet running Android - complete with Whitepoint app

Zeepad tablet running Android – complete with Whitepoint app, gel skin, and dirty screen protector.

We also added a screen protector. Be sure you get a custom fit one – not one you have to cut to fit. This mistake will cost you time and a headache. Our Zeepad shipped with a custom fit screen protector, but the . . . er, toddler screwed ours up.

Finally, we added an “almost-Whitepoint-red gel skin. This was money well spent at about $10 – $15. We highly recommend this for public applications.

Here’s what we found:

  • First off, the Whitepoint app ran beautifully on the Jelly Bean version of the OS shipping with the Zeepad.
  • Even with erratic toddler turn on / turn off behavior, there have been no issues charging, powering up, or powering down.
  • Wifi connectivity and setup has been flawless.

Here are our two complaints:

  • The power button seems cheap and flimsy, though we (including the toddler) have had no related issues even after several months.
  • The gel skin we bought for the tablet hinders the power adapter plugging in smoothly. We just pull the skin back and plug it in to charge.

When you think about a per tablet investment total of less than $70, even this price point for a self guided tour app roll-out would work for many non-profits. And, like those silly handheld audio tours, a museum or walking tour could charge a small amount to use the Android self guided tour.

Or, Spend a Little More for Your Android Device

For more money, you can get an even more solid Android hardware device. We have experience with the Toshiba Thrive and Samsung tablets, for example. These are a great value and still come in at a lower price point than using an iPad for your self guided tour.

Custom Brand Your Android Tablet

You also have the option to use a custom branded Android tablet. These can be surprisingly economical.

Interested? Let us know how we can help you with tracking down a custom branded tablet for your self guided tour app installation. You can email us at info -at- whitepoint.mobi or on Twitter @WhitepointMobi.

Matthew White

Matthew White blogs on all things related to virtual tours, mobile touring, and tour apps as well as how they relate to web design, SEO, and content marketing. There is also of course helpful information on using Whitepoint - the framework for smarter virtual touring and mobile-friendly tours.

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