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OlivePad VT-1000 – 7 inch Android 2.2 Tablet Hands-on Review

My Purchase Decision

Having used the Galaxy S phone for some time and the cheap ePad tablet I knew what to expect on this tablet. Nevertheless I wanted to be sure that this is the one I wanted to buy. The cheaper tables available on eBay.in  were mostly Chinese unbranded models. They were cheaper, but none of them had a capacitive screen, even though there were a few models with Cortex A8 chips, but a capacitive screen was a must.  At that time I had not use the SWYPE keyboard much, on a hindsight looking for a capacitive screen was a good one.

At Chroma, I had two choices Samsung Galaxy Tab or the OlivePad. I spent lot of time evaluating the two. I even popped in my SIM card to try out both the tablets with network connectivity. The Galaxy Tab actually is sightly heavier than then OlivePad, but felt smaller and lighter; while the OlivePad felt much more solid.  Comparing the Galaxy Tab with the OlivePad – for me the only tangible advantage was that Galaxy Tab had a much better screen. The faster 1 GHz A8 Hummingbird processor on the Galaxy Tab did not seem much different in  responsiveness compared to the ARM11 600 MHz chip on the OlivePad. No doubt there was be use case where the Hummingbird chip will come handy – but my primary use case was light web browsing and mostly reading eBooks.

Finally the OlivePad was good INR 13,000 less in price. After spending close to 60 minutes playing with both the Galaxy Tab and OlivePad I made the decision to buy the OlivePad. Bottom-line, the Galaxy Tab did not offer really much in real world compared to the OlivePad to ask such a high price.

Good Product / Poor Marketing / Future ?

Olive Telecom has a pretty good story with the OlivePad. I am kind of perplexed at Olive Telecom’s marketing effort –

  • There is hardly any buzz in the Internet about this, there are similar tablets from Archos that are better known than OlivePad
  • While OlivePad is being sold in Chroma, there is not one on display. Only if you ask the folks at Chroma will pull a demo unit out from a drawer. Tablets area new category, some shelf space in the stores can help. Unless I knew what I was buying, I would never have found out about OlivePad.
  • Hardly any online retailer list OlivePad, only in the last week or so I am seeing a few listing on eBay.in

Olive Telecom needs to understand that the this is a fast moving market, a product like OlivePad can be obsolete in a short time. A good sales backed up a commitment to future Android upgrades like Gingerbread (Android 2.3) or Honeycomb (Android 3.0 ?) is the only way to keep the product relevant.

If Olive Telecom wants to establish itself as a prominent player in this market – it needs to demonstrate to it’s commitment to it’s customers.  Are you willing to invest  in providing newer and better software upgrades and other value adds ? Lear from Apple who have kept older iPhones and iPod Touches relevant for long with software upgrades. Please don’t be a Nokia.

Support

When I purchased the salesman at Chroma told me that I could bring the OlivePad to Chroma if I needed support. The Olive Telecom does not provide a phone support number on their website. On their website they have a Contact Us form. I posted a question there if they have any plans to provide a Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROM.  I often post such questions on company’s website, either I never get a response back or get one weeks later.

The next afternoon when a rep from Olive Telecom called me, I was pleasantly surprised.  I am very happy to find the company very responsive. When I asked him if Olive Telecom had any plans for a Gingerbread upgrade, he told me that Olive Pad was a new product they just launched and they did not have any plans to provide a Gingerbread upgrade.

Recommendation

OlivePad VT100 is a very capable tablet – excellent form factor, good set of bundled apps, Android 2.2 by default, available at retail stores. Considering the quality of the display, the price could have been a notch lower.

Overall, this is a good buy when compared to the uber expensive  set of Tablets available  – Galaxy Tab, iPad. I would recommend that you try one out in a store before buying.

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December 25, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. Hi,

    I have had my hands on the olivepad and today its available at around 17k INR at Croma.

    Have you tried 3G on this? I havent been able to experience 3G, rest my reqts it fits well and I intend to buy it in a day or two itself.

    Just wanted your opinion on the followings:
    1) how good was ur 3G experience
    2) Upgrade to future Android OSes (Gingerbread or watever)
    3) Swiftkey – can you buy this app and replace ur default software keypad on the olivepad?
    I have Never used any android device. Also can other default apps be disabled and replaced with better ones?
    4) Flash Memory is way too less you mentioned above. With Froyo I understand you can install your apps in external SD Card (16GB comes bundled with olivepad). Does this make any difference in the apps performance as compared to running it on default flash memory?

    Please reply to me on rajveer_help@yahoo.co.uk

    Look forward to your positive reply.

    Thanks for the review.
    Regards,
    Rajveer

    Comment by Rajveer | June 9, 2011 | Reply

    • Rajveer-

      Thank for appreciating the review. Please find my response below.

      Have you tried 3G on this? I havent been able to experience 3G, rest my reqts it fits well and I intend to buy it in a day or two itself

      I have not tried 3G on the olive pad. I mostly use it with wifi.

      Upgrade to future Android OSes (Gingerbread or watever)

      There is no new ROM available from Olive Telecom. However I have found one custom ROM in xda-developers. This is based on the latest ROM for the Viewsonic ViewPad 7 ( same h/w as the Olive PAD). I very much doubt there will be Gingerbread update, but even with Froyo the user experience is pretty good. The 600 MHz CPU is deceptively fast, this one has a floating point unit making it faster than most 600 MHz droid devices in market. I have compared this with a Galaxy 3 ( 600 MHz ARM11) and found olive pad much more responsive.

      Swiftkey – can you buy this app and replace ur default software keypad on the olivepad?
      I have Never used any android device. Also can other default apps be disabled and replaced with better ones?

      Go for SWYPE, beta available for free. I use SWYPE only now a days both on the Galaxy S and the Olive Pad. Root the OlivePad , you will be able to uninstall other default apps.

      Flash Memory is way too less you mentioned above. With Froyo I understand you can install your apps in external SD Card (16GB comes bundled with olivepad). Does this make any difference in the apps performance as compared to running it on default flash memory?

      Use Apps2SD on Froyo, this will free up much of the Internal flash. If you root the device ( it can be done pretty easily) you will be able to free up more space by uninstalling some default apps that you wont use.

      Hope it help. Let me know if you have more questions.

      – Manas

      Comment by Manas Kamal Bhattacharya | June 12, 2011 | Reply

  2. I am using this vt 1000 but am not able to use the video call plus smm10 is not working on my pad.. please help

    Comment by Achum | June 25, 2011 | Reply

  3. @Manas
    First of, thanks, your above comments were very descriptive. Manas, I needed a little help though:
    1) I need to know where exactly can I find details on how to root the Olivepad.
    2) Where exactly can I find the 2.3 rom for olivepad? Sure viewsonic will do?
    3) I know this is not s/w related, but where can I get a screen guard for this.
    thanks.. 🙂

    @Achum
    SMM10 is a part and parcel of the 16GB mem card. If you have somehow formatted it, do not worry, olivetelecom.in will give you a downloadable SMM10 rar that you should unpack and reload onto the SD card. I do not know about the videocall though. Hope that helps.

    -Milton

    Comment by Milton Reuben Rodrigues | July 15, 2011 | Reply

    • @ Mitlon

      “1) I need to know where exactly can I find details on how to root the Olivepad.”

      Use Superoneclick – http://shortfuse.org/?page_id=2 to root Olivepad. Superoneclick can be troublesome at times, be persistent and use google you will be able to root the Olivepad. It too me good part of a evening to root it. You will typically get find superoneclick hung at “waiting for device” or “running psneuter”. be persistent you will get it to root the olivepad 🙂

      “2) Where exactly can I find the 2.3 rom for olivepad? Sure viewsonic will do?”

      I have not found any 2.3 gingerbread rom ( at least not a stable one yet). I recently moved to a viewsonice custom rom ( 2.2 android). If you find a stable gingerbread rom , please post back here.

      “3) I know this is not s/w related, but where can I get a screen guard for this.”

      I have not come across one in any local stores in Bangalore.

      Comment by Manas Kamal Bhattacharya | July 16, 2011 | Reply

  4. I am using 3.5 G and it is phenomenal, but there is a lot of drain on the battery. As for the screen guard. There is not a special one available for this but you may go for the one for samsung galaxy tab or the Ipad and then cut it to shape.
    Some of the mobile stores where samsung tab is sold will be able to even install it for you.

    Comment by Amod | July 23, 2011 | Reply


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