The question with Android tablets has always been, to buy expensive and feature packed or to get in there with a cheap and nasty and hope it’s not too nasty for your cheap. The winner in that battle seems to be the cheaper Android tablets with the iPad still holding its place as the king of the top end of the tablet market. The Prestigio Multitab 10.1 Ultimate 3G will never win an award for its name but It may just have enough to win a few hearts and minds with a rather unique offering at it price point.
Looks & Build
The Multipad comes with many of the recent notebooks to be released into the market with slots for a 3G SIM card, microSD card, a mini USB port for the USB-to-go adapter and a mini HDMI port to connect it to the TV. The charger is a proprietary one which is almost unacceptable in this day and age. MicroUSB has become the de facto standard across the industry (unless you’re Apple) and having to find another open plug point next to my bed or in my office to be able to charge the Multipad was a chore that I would rather do without.
The Mulitpad 10.1 weighs in at a not-so-insignificant 680 grams, around 20 grams heavier than the aluminium clad 4th generation iPad. While not heavy as such, the tablet is not light and holding it in one hand for extended periods of time will definitely not be an easy task to accomplish without needing an ice pack to recover.
Coming in at a resolution of 1280 X 800 the display of the Multipad will hardly win any awards for pixel density but for many who may be considering the purchase as a tablet for the younger members of the household to play games and watch movies in the car the resolution won’t be an issue.
With a front and rear facing 2 megapixel camera the Multipad will never replace your smartphone or a dedicated point and shoot for taking pictures but it will suffice for the occasional Skype video call.
The Multipad runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box but has the possibility to be upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with an OTA update. The update makes a lot of sense as with Jelly Bean users will get smoother graphics from Google’s Project Butter which made Jelly Bean an ultra-responsive OS.
The problem with the OTA update was that it took me 8 attempts to install Jelly Bean. After stopping several times in the middle of the update and restarting the second of two required 200+MB downloads 5 times, the OTA updating tool began to cause havoc with the Android OS with an error exclaiming “System UI has crashed” popping up several times and killing the onscreen navigation buttons. The update eventually went through and I had no more problems with that specific error showing but for a few minutes it was rather worrying to think that the device was breaking itself.
The Multipad touts a dual-core CPU with quad-core graphics built on the ARM architecture which sounds remarkably similar to Apple’s A6X processor found in the iPad with Retina Display. One would therefore expect that with a much reduces screen resolution the SoC would offer blistering performance. This is not the case, performance was acceptable especially after the update to Jelly Bean with the navigation around the OS smoother than before the update. Gaming was very good on games with lower levels of graphic prowess with a good old favourite like Plague Inc running smoothly on the Multipad however once gaming got more intensive load times began to increase dramatically and the device began to show the typical strains of heating up and battery drain. Once again for its price point the Multipad offers performance that is acceptable and it is definitely helped by the lower screen resolution of its display.
Playing games and browsing the net while installing applications quickly took its toll on the Multipad. But it did show the remarkable ability to charge to about 60% battery from 10% in just over an hour which came in handy when the use of the tablet was required by more than one person (my friends wanted to beat my score on Plague Inc)
Should you get one?
The answer to that question depends entirely on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for an Android tablet of any size you would be better off getting a 3G enables Nexus 7 tablet which has the same screen resolution at a higher pixel density for around the same price, it has a better CPU, battery life and build quality and will get Android updates immediately. If you’re looking for a 10” Android tablet running Jelly Bean with 3G and expandable storage and the ability to plug it into your TV then the Multipad would be a simple solution to all of these requirements and it will do it for you at a price that won’t hurt you too much.
Prestigio Multitab 10.1 Ultimate 3G
The good: Price, expansion ports for almost everything
The bad: display resolution and pixel density, build quality
Rating: 7/10 – It may not be the best tablet, but it is s great tablet at the price.
- Operating System: Android 4.0 upgradeable to 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
- CPU: Dual core ARM @ 1.6GHz
- Display: 10.1-inch 1280 X 800 resolution
- Memory: 16GB internal, microSD card slot up to 32GB
- Camera: 2MP front-facing, 2MP rear-facing
- Battery: 6 400mAh
- Data: 3G
- Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, mini HDMI, USB on-the-go
- SIM: Full size SIM card