Review: Identity Tab, 7-inch Froyo tablet with Android Market access

Summary:There are many Android tablets available, but few good ones at a decent price. Enter the Identity Tab, a 7-inch Android tablet that has few compromises but is available in a WiFi-only model for $299.

There is no shortage of cheap Android tablets that appeal to those willing to accept compromises in order to save a few bucks. There are fewer options for those concerned about cost but who find features in a tablet to be important. Enter the Identity Tab from Dynamism, a 7-inch Android tablet that has few compromises but is available in a WiFi-only model for $299.

The first thing that is clear when unboxing the Identity Tab from Enspert is the construction. The brushed aluminum body is much like that of the larger iPad, and the attention to detail is evident in the hardware specifications.

Check out the photo tour of the Identity Tab Android tablet.


Image Gallery: Check out the Identity Tab Android tablet from Dynamism.
Image Gallery: Samsung Focus
Image Gallery: Samsung Focus browser

Specifications
  • Processor: Samsung Hummingbird, 1GHz
  • Memory: 512MB
  • Display: 7-inch, 800×480 capacitive multitouch
  • Ports: 3.5mm headphone jack, SD card, miniUSB, miniHDMI out
  • Power: 4,100 mAh Li-polymer
  • OS: Android 2.2 (Froyo) including Android Market
  • Graphics: PowerVR SGC 450
  • Storage: 8GB NAND Flash
  • Communications: Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, DLNA
  • Camera: 3MP (no flash)
  • Dimensions: 7.52×5.14×0.57 in., 0.93 lbs.

The only two areas of that could be considered a compromise in the hardware department is the display and the camera. The display, while a nice responsive touch screen, only handles 800x480 compared to the higher 1024x768 of the more expensive Galaxy Tab. The camera is 3MP and lacks the LED flash that is common in more expensive tablets. All other aspects of the Identity Tab are similar to more expensive Android tablets.

The Identity ships with Android 2.2 (Froyo), and while some will consider that an older version of the OS now that Gingerbread and Honeycomb are available, I find it handles the 7-inch tablet very well. My Galaxy Tab runs Froyo and I find it provides a good user experience, as it does on the Identity Tab. Those desiring the latest and greatest operating system should pass on these tablets running Froyo, but my recommendation is not to overlook Froyo thinking it's not a good OS for tablets.

Tour around the Tab, Software and Conclusion »

Tour around the Identity Tab

The front of the tablet is a glossy glass cover over the 7-inch capacitive touch screen and a black bezel. There are three physical buttons beneath the screen (Menu, Home, Back) that are flush. These buttons are not backlit and it can be difficult to see them at certain angles. There is no Search button which is common for Android tablets. There is no front-facing camera which may be a negative for some.

Stepping around the sides of the Tab we find a microUSB on the bottom used for charging and connecting to a PC. There is nothing on the left of the device (portrait orientation), and on the top of the unit is a 3.5 mm headphone jack and power button. There is also a large cover that opens to reveal a full SD slot (a rarity) and a miniHDMI port. This cover opens and closes easily and securely. The only controls on the right of the device are two volume rocker buttons. The 3MP camera is on the back of the Tab on the upper left.

The unit feels good in the hand and is comfortable to hold for extended periods. The body feels very solid and not too slippery when held. The battery life is very good due to the 4100 mAh battery, and easily lasts all day with heavy usage.

Software

The Identity Tab ships with a stock Android 2.2 software package which will appeal to those who prefer stock implementations. The Froyo UI is very basic with multiple homescreens that can be customized as desired. The tablet can run all software available for Froyo, and thus can be heavily customized through apps and widgets. I encountered no problems running any Android software on the Identity Tab.

The only software unique to the Identity Tab is the Convergence One app that is used for the DNLA wireless connections. This allows the tablet to be wirelessly connected to any device that supports the DNLA standard. I don't have any DNLA equipment so couldn't test this capability, but the software looks easy to configure and make such connections.

The Identity Tab is one of the few budget tablets that is GSM certified allowing installation of the Android Market which is preinstalled. This opens up the Identity Tab to all Android apps and widgets in the Market, a major benefit. I have tested tablets without market access and that is a deal-breaker as it restricts the usefulness of the Android tablet.

This certification means the full assortment of Google Android apps are also preinstalled on the Tab, and all worked well for me. The Identity Tab is a good email device using Gmail, and all Google Mobile Services apps worked as expected.

Conclusion

The Enspert Identity Tab is a full-featured tablet for the price. It handles every task I throw at it without issue, and it is a comfortable device to carry and hold. A higher resolution display would be better, but I find the display to be nice and bright for extended use. The lower resolution was noticeable using the web browser, but most other apps that have configurable settings work well. I didn't have any issue that I would consider a deal-breaker for the Identity Tab at the advertised price of $299.

The Identity tab ships with a little carrying sleeve that works well, and cleaning cloth, power adapter, USB cable and earphones. Enspert is providing a lot of value for the price. The tablet is available from Dynamism and from J&R for $299.

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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