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$180 RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet teardown

Bill Detwiler cracks open the $180 RAMOS MID W9 Android Tablet. This low-price tablet has chips from Samsung, Hynix, Rockchip, and Analogix.

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Topic: Processors
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Want a tablet, but don't want to spend $499 for an Apple iPad 2 or $799 for a Motorola XOOM? Then you might be tempted to purchase one of the low-cost Android tablets that are floating around the Web.

In February 2011, we reviewed and cracked open the $100 LY-706 MID Android tablet (distributed in the U.S. by FocalPrice.com) in February 2011:

We're back with another low-cost tablet, the $180 RAMOS MID W9
(also distributed in the U.S. by FocalPrice.com). Follow along as we take a peek at the hardware inside this sub-$200 tablet.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

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As of this writing, FocalPrice lists the RAMOS MID W9 at $179.90 (US) with free shipping. The device has a 7-inch TFT-LCD (800x480 resolution) with resistive touchscreen, HDMI output, and runs Android 2.1. Inside the W9, you'll find a Rockchip 2818 processor (which can operate at up to 640 MHz), 8GB of NAND flash storage, and 2GB system memory. It also supports Wi-Fi and 3G.

Note: Several of the technical specifications listed on FocalPrice's website appear to be mislabeled. For example, the company reports that the W9's "Max RAM Support" is 32G and the "Hard Drive Capacity" is 2G. Neither of these values make sense. When most new laptops come with 4GB of RAM, I doubt a low-cost tablet is getting 32GB of RAM. Furthermore, I would expect even a sub-$200 tablet like the W9 to have more than 2GB of storage. After looking at the chips, I believe the W9 we tested actually has 2GB of system memory (RAM) and 8GB of storage.

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The RAMOS MID W9 comes with a USB cable, a set of earphones, a connecting cable (not sure what this is for), and product documentation (written in Chinese).


Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
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There are no physical buttons along the front of the RAMOS MID W9.

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Using a thin metal blad and plastic spudger, I detached the RAMOS MID W9's metal rim.

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Thin metal edging surrounds the RAMOS MID W9's LCD. It is held in place with adhesive and covers several screws. I removed the edging with a thin metal blade.

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Using a Phillips #000 screwdriver, I removed the screws that hold the touchscreen assembly's plastic bezel in place.

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With the screws removed, I used a thin metal blade to pop loose the plastic bezel.

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With the plastic bezel removed, we can lift the touchscreen display assembly up from the main PCB and case.

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The RAMOS MID W9's battery takes up a significant portion of the case inside the case.

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The RAMOS MID W9's battery is soldered to the main PCB. There are limited markings on this battery, but it appears to be an AE5258118P 3750mAh battery.

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Several Phillips #000 screws hold the RAMOS MID W9's main PCB to the white plastic case.

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The RAMOS MID W9's LCD uses a removable ribbon cable, but the touchscreen's cable is soldered to the main PCB.

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The RAMOS MID W9 has two Hynix H27UBG8T2ATR NAND Flash chips. I believe each of these chips provides 4GB of storage--giving the device a total storage capacity of 8GB.

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The RAMOS MID W9 has an XPT2046 4-wire touchscreen I/O controller.

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The RAMOS MID W9 uses an Analogix ANX7150 HDMI Transmitter.

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Focal price provide no specific frequency data on the RAMOS MID W9's processor. But, the Rockchip RK2818 processor is capable of working as frequencies up to 640 MHz.

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The RAMOS MID W9 uses a Samsung  SWL-2480 802.11b/g Wi-Fi module.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

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The RAMOS MID W9 maind PCB has markings that indcate the board was either made by, or for Rockchip, which isn't surprising as the device uses the Rockchip RK2818 processor.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
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The RAMOS MID W9 wasn't difficult to crack open. Unfortunately, the fact that its internal components are soldered to the main PCB make is very difficult to repair.

For a complete review of the RAMOS MID W9, check out Mark Kaelin's TechRepublic review.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

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