Thought you might buy the £180 Next tablet pc? Read this first.

5 October 2010

A week after Bitterwallet revealed details of the Next tablet pc - a  10" Android-powered gadget for £180 - the national media have suddenly woken up to the story. None appear to have reviewed the product so far, which means an awful lot of readers will believe Next are selling an absolute bargain - a tablet computer to to rival Apple's iPad, but costing £250 less.

Before you do anything, you need to read this review by PDA-247, as pointed out to us by avid Bitterwallet reader Mark. Here are a few highlights from a reviewer who was initially annoyed that critics dismissed the Next tablet without trying it:

The iPad is solid and the screen looks and feels great; the Next Tablet feels hollow and tapping the screen is akin to pushing your finger onto a wobbly piece of plastic, a very thin piece of plastic at that... if I lift it up with one hand it creaks. I was amazed that it did this, but it feels as if the screen is going to lift off from the casing. The build quality is quite frankly appalling in every single way.

It is so slow that you can actually see what it is doing while it opens the app you have pressed; when you tap an icon, it goes away, flashes up the main home screen, goes back to the app for a second or two and then eventually the app opens. Every screen scroll is juddery and slow, every screen tap is imprecise and slow to react... one word? Crap.

Oh well, at least I could play with the OfficeSuite app instead- such a shame it’s the Chinese version! I suspect that no-one has even checked this device for consistency and that no-one involved with the project cared anyway.

And in conclusion?

I give up. I simply cannot be bothered to write anything else about what has to be the worst product I have ever had the misfortune to review. It is simply terrible on every level and gets nowhere near its budget price of £180 as far as value is concerned. It can’t get near because it not only doesn’t work very well, it barely works at all. It is a sub-standard, low rent, cheap piece of nonsense which should not be sold by such a well known company.

And those are the nice things the review has to say about the Next tablet. Read the rest of it here. Any avid Bitterwallet readers like to chip in with their review?


TOPICS:   Mobile


  • Phil
    So its better than an ipad then....
  • Joff
    I was tempted to write my own review, having also not seen the device in person but I really can't be bothered. Tablets are all just the Emperors new clothes surely?
  • PaulH
    Interesting to hear some more reviews - considering using these in a Energy Saving Project to display current energy usage from a web page. Does anyone know if it's able to render full HTML web pages or does it treat it like a mobile browser?
  • Big A.
    Stick a picture of an apple with a bite out of it and the Fanboys will be drooling over it
  • PokeHerPete
    Id pay £500 if it had a Apple logo on it
  • Idi A.
    Next will take de phrase "I was amazed" and put dat on de addyverts.
  • MrRobin
    What on earth are Next doing?! It's a clothing chain, why are they doing their own brand of electronics, and extremely poor electronics at that! The only thing this will acheive is a tarnished brand, surely. It's akin to IBM opening budget clothes stores, there's no way they would penetrate that market sucessfully.
  • Mark
    I was gonna let this lie as another BW bullshit story, but Paul, you were miles behind with this story anyway. Plenty already knew it was Elonex, and it was all over the register the week before anyway. No doubt this will be censored - but I mean no harm. I wouldn't have posted if you hadn't gone on about how you "revealed" it - yet again. You really didn't.
  • NickS
    @MrRobin, Next have been doing this for years without so much "tarnishing" their reputation, I didn't actually know they had a reputation to tarnish in the first place though. Look at any xmas sales at Next, loads of electronic novelty gadget toys reduced from their stacked up prices, and its all "Next" branded chinese tat that you would see for sale from the likes of DealExtreme. All major retailers do it, they buy in bulk from chinese warehouses, through the likes of wholesaler listings as then "badge" the units. Just try going to and search for "10" Android Tablet" and it results in prices around $140-160.
  • Paul S.
    Mark, The Register's first story on this tablet appears to be this: That's two days after our first story and the afternoon after we sent the lead to The Register and several other tech journalists (including CNET, who did follow it up the next day). That's not to say El Reg used our lead - they most likely didn't since they didn't know the manufacturer was Elonex, a fact we'd already published thanks to an avid reader. I haven't seen much evidence that news of Next selling an Android tablet PC was circulating for weeks or even weeks beforehand. It certainly hadn't appeared on any other mainstream tech-related blog. So by all means, feel free to call bullshit on Bitterwallet again, but perhaps consult a calendar before you do.
  • christy
    Its pointless buying an android tablet yet. Froyo is designed around the nexus 1 a 3.7 inch smartphone and gives an excellent user experience on devices of this spec, but upscales poorly. When Gingerbread is released it will be worth a look. A great review of the Next technology gaff though .
  • Alexis
    Why would you buy an unbranded piece of consumer electronics from a CLOTHES SHOP?
  • NickS
    @Alexis People do this all the time, buying unbranded pieces of consumer electronics in Sainsburys (Red Electrical), Asda (Durabrand), Aldi (Tevion) etc etc...Matalan also sell electricals, primarily another clothes shop. It's a way of branding any cheap wholesale chinese electrical cack and making extra money...Next do home furnishings too, most likely cheap gash rebadged with exorbitant price tags to boot.
  • MrRobin
    I know major retailers get cheapo electronics and stick their brand on it but it's usually on small stuff, like toys and games, mp3 players etc etc that are around £10 - £30 or so. The general expectation is that these items have a short lifespan but that's OK because they're cheap and when they die you're probably bored of it anyway and there's better and even cheaper tat out there. A personal computer is a different kettle of fish, it has to be reliable, durable, and functional. I think people are going to look at this product and the reviews and come to the conclusion that all their stuff is shoddy
  • ButterMan
    iPad - £429 Galaxy Tab (which is fairly shit, by the way, and unusable compared to the iPad) - £599 Can all the "Apple haters" move onto Samsung please? Give those of us who just like solid, workable technology no matter what brand it is a bit of breathing room? I hear Windows Phone 7 is due soon, how about y'all start hating on MS again?
  • klingelton
    @ButterMan never stopped hating on M$.
  • DoubleBack
    PDA : Pretty Damn Awful
  • ButterMan
    As evidenced by your quaint 2002-ish "M$"?
  • Junkyard
    PaulH - even a hundred quid phone can render full HTML pages these days, so I don't think a tablet (even one this shockingly bad) is going to have any trouble.
  • charlie
    Does it do 3d :)
  • gdaffi d.
    @junkyard it depends on the phones os most phone browsers default to the mobile view to save data and you usually have to select full view etc to see it from the webpage or install another browser to the phone to do this even my x10 on android will show a mobile page unless i use skyfire or opera happens on pretty much any phone i have used although the upcoming 2.1 update includes html 5 many £100 phones dont have his functionality apart from the few androids around the 100 quid mark and a few nokias ,samsung and others
  • Mark
    Paul, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. If you look at the comments-waiting-for-moderation on your first story, you will see someone tell you it's made by Elonex, just before the reader who's comment you used. That person was me, and I knew not because I'm some kind of futuristic time traveling gadget lover, but because I read it on a website. I assumed that website to be the register, but clearly not. I will try and find the original link for you :) My original point still stands, BW is far too quick to turn into an arrogant patronising uncle at a wedding. Sometimes, when the uncle is bashing Orange repeatedly with a stick, its funny. Other times, not so much. I knew already, and it was on a popular website - I just can't remember which :P Happy Birthday
  • Paul S.
    That's ok Mark, we weren't waiting for you. And we're always happy to play the patronising uncle in the case of people who are automatically moderated, since we only go that far when people are being particularly dickish in the first place.
  • Wanted B.
    [...] is getting quite worrying. The Next tablet PC is clearly a lot of junk by all accounts; nobody has a good word to say about it. We’ve happily made it the booby prize in our birthday competition, but the concern is for [...]
  • Paul
    This looks exactly like the thenithinks zt180 tablet. Ive just bought it form beijing when i was there for £100. basically its still a work in progress. as a music player, its quite good, video is choppy, internet browsing is good. it has a 1ghz processor and is quite snappy, battery life is good about 4 hours. new firmware sorts out some video issues, give it till xmas and itll actually be ok, heard a rumour froyo was going to be put on it at some point too.
  • dunfyboy
    Dickish? I just called someone a cunt. And he is.
  • The B.
    [...] Well, wonder no more, folks – Toys R Us are the latest high street brand to unleash the power of the mediocre 10″ tablet PC on the unsuspecting public. This time it’s an eTouch product, with a similar spec to the Elonex tablet flogged by Next – you’ll remember the reviews if you read them. [...]
  • Motorola P.
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  • important i.
    I really like Apple iPad as it can do numerous things besides to being a regular eBook reader that other e-readers can't. iPad tablet is the clear winner here. However, tablet pcs didn't get mass-market adoption for almost a decade, and a primary factor being because they cost more than a notebook with similar specs. Apple inc has made a wise move by providing a model with fewer RAM and without 3G Internet at a lower price point. Aside from that, lots of individuals using tablet PCs do not own or even have a need an additional laptop, which a lot of iPad users may still would like to get in addition to the iPad, resulting in lower available budget. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that iPad tablet runs away with this one. On paper, the Apple iPad tablet has an extremely hard time rivaling with modern day Tablet computers, and even modern day netbooks in a number of respects. Nevertheless, a combination of awesome programs and a seamless, enjoyable user interface enabled the iPad tablet to make a name for itself. Thus for those who can pay for acquiring both laptop and one of the top tablet PCs Apple iPad is certainly a great asset to get.

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