Herotab C8 Review: “Daddy, how is this unknown Chinese tablet kicking the ASUS Transformer’s ass?”

So here’s a common scenario: You just got your fancy new Galaxy Tab 10.1, Motorola Xoom, Kindle Fire or ASUS Transformer Prime. From the moment you laid eyes on it; you were in love with the gorgeous screen. Then you get home with it, are struck in awe by the outstanding playback quality you get with video.

Three days later though, you notice your enthusiasm has diminished greatly… and why? Because those very same gorgeous 1024×600 and 1280×800 screen resolutions came at the hefty compromise of damn near every piece of software worth running. Oh, of course you’ve picked internet forums dry – just in hopes of getting even one freaking current Gameloft game to run; and to no avail.

I speak on behalf of this instance because a completely unexpected hero(tab) has come to rescue sore Android tablet owners from their myriad of software incompatibility issues!

The Herotab C8

If your spidey senses tingle a bit whenever you’ve sighted no-brand Chinaware, congratulations for being sharp. However, if you’re the kind that hears “Chinese offbrand” and expects low-tier crap, you’re in for one hell of a mind-blowing reality changer.

While China-originated hardware has become so well-known for offish quality that the phrase “Chinese Bullshit” was coined, this would be one of many shocking exceptions, but enough of my talking; lets let the Herotab C8 itself show what it’s made of.

Now if you’re tech-savvy enough to know what key aspects of quality to look for; you’re likely already thinking “Holy shit that thing is smooth!” and there’s a lot of reasoning behind that.

To start things off, this beautiful glossy 7-incher is packed with a lot of unexpectedly high-tier components. To power this beast; there is an extremely snappy Samsung 1Ghz ARM-Cortex TM-A8 processor, accelerated by a S5PV210 chip. Memory is a beefy 512MB DDr2 with 4GB of on-board storage (and microSD extension up to 32GB). External ports include HDMI-out, 3.5mm audio out, USB and a OTG port which will become incredibly useful in later details of this review.

The absolute best part about this, however, is that the screen resolution stays at a very modest 800×480. This is the absolute most “standardized” resolution for Android; and that means that this off-brand avoids the common issue made by the manufacturers of all these branded tablets.

Whereas you could get a Xoom, Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Transformer Prime and have massive power made counter-productive by weak software compatibility; the Herotab C8 pairs power with such a wide span of compatibility that any buyer of this will have their pick of the litter on software.

Connectivity comes in a few different flavors, depending wholly on which model of the Herotab C8 your eye is on. For the most part, they share WiFi 802.11 B/G standards and the optional 3G extension, but one (possibly) integral difference is that only the higher-model includes bluetooth.

If you’ve ever looked into the business end of owning a tablet, you’ve noticed all these external keyboards have progressively been trying to usher in a generation where tablets can replace some integral laptop uses. Herotab C8 takes an approach to this that’s so efficient that other tablet designers should wield their notepads and prepare their revisions.

It's a bird, it's a plane - no! It's a tablet trying to be a laptop!

Much unlike it’s cumbersome brethren, the Herotab C8’s keyboard approach does away with all the need-to-pair nonsense that all these bluetooth keyboards bring; and also eliminates the needs to constantly be worried about the charge of another device by taking a wired approach. Primitive in a way; but sometimes the old way of doing things has a lot to offer that newer methods have lost touch with.

A businessman with a fast and frantic lifestyle would greatly value a keyboard solution that doesn’t pester them with worries of connection or the thought that they not only have to charge their tablet; but the associated keyboard… quite a nice convenience too; seeing as the cumbersome solutions cost upwards of $80 – a far cry away from this $14 do-it-all tablet case.

For such a small device; any buyer would be surprised to find that this little sucker is weighty! The 1.20lb weight gives it a bit of a sturdy, well-built and professional feel though – and has enough even distribution such that it doesn’t particularly hurt to hold. Not really surprising either when we consider it’s dual 2250mAh (4500mAh combined) battery and the resulting 4-6 hour battery life.

The pricing may just be the best summarizing aspect of this tablet, because getting tablets that rank lower in competence and functionality usually cost more. This underdog tablet that’s beating out names bigger than itself in software compatibility… can be obtained for under half the cost of a Transformer Prime .

Various sources sell it for $160, but it can be found for even less than that. Call it a bargain, call it a steal; either way, this tablet just compromised the integrity of regional technology generalizations about Chinese hardware. If you’re looking into buying an Android tablet; want something that runs loads of software, and would like to save money, this is a very realistic option.

UPDATE: And just in case you weren’t convinced by the first video, see this tablet doing some real work on an extended performance demonstration!


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