GSM Phablets / Tablets testing

December 24, 2013

My time lately has been wasted by testing trying with every bit of phone/tablet knowledge I have to get some tablets to work properly on the US GSM network.  So far the AX1, the U55GT Talk 79 and the PiPo 3G tablets all work (Pipo is not a phablet only data).  But the C98A nor the .Talk 79 clone from Julong Technology work (I spoke too soon, the Talk 79 type clone works I just got it to work.)  I’ve tried every IMEI combination and setting in the world.  I just don’t think those companies included the antenna for the US GSM network.  That’s what Christian Troy tells me anyways.  I’m not too sure why a phablet maker wouldn’t just include all the popular antennas to pick up all the popular frequencies.

As phablets and 3G tablets become extremely affordable I would be very careful about buying them before they are fully tested in your market wherever that may be.

It’s sad though because the C98A is a great tablet.  Extremely affordable.  The non-IPS version we would sell for $214.99.  Which is great at that price just for the tablet part.  I know for a fact that even if we told customers that the 3G didn’t work and sold them without it, they would use that as a reason to return it.  So….we aren’t going to be carrying them.  Which makes me cry a little inside but I’ll get over it.

I have a post about a tablet to absolutely avoid.  Be on the lookout for it.

Replacing the C93 & C93A with C94, still testing the C98A

December 17, 2013

We are officially retiring one of our best selling tablets in the C93 and the C93A and replacing them with the C94.  Thanks to the hard work by Christian Troy and the sponsorship of our company, we were able to get CM10.2 and CM11 working on the C94 and decided this would be the best route to take even though we love Amlogic chipped tablets.  The C93A has GPS (C94 doesn’t), but you can always add GPS to a Bluetooth tablet with a Bluetooth GPS receiver.  We actually sell the kits we just don’t have them online.  Not sure why I guess I need to get on that.

The ROM is in house only at this time and probably will be for a few months.  Unless people want to donate to Christian Troy for his Amlogic/Allwinner pop-AOSP builds, the only way to get this tablet with 4.3 or 4.4 is to buy from us.  We pay for the initial development and it’s up to the community to keep it going.  I wish my sales reflected how much we gave back to the China tablet community so I could pay CT full time, but they don’t.  And I’m not in the business of begging for sales, and CT is not in the business of begging for donations.  And I’m not in business of scamming people through forums like some companies that will remain nameless, cough Apadtv, cough.

So to use a played out cliche, It is what it is.

But, if you want a very good budget tablet in the Zenithink C94 Google Android Jelly Bean 4.3 or Kit Kat 4.4 tablet you know how to find my store.  I mean unless you are terrible at the interweb and can’t click the link up at the top or know what Google, Bing, or Yahoo is.  Just saying.

We are still testing the C98A.  It’s a great tablet.  And I mean great tablet.  Super (duper??) loud speakers, fast, metal frame, does everything out of the box…well almost everything.  The phablet part does not work in the US (Data or Phone call).  My guess is they are using a very old baseband version for the MTK8389.  I have tried to reprogram known good IMEI’s and I just can’t get it to connect to T-Mobile or AT&T networks.  Which are the two most popular GSM networks in the world so it should work you think…..  So until you see a post here about the C98A working in the US, I wouldn’t buy it.  Maybe it works in other countries, like China.  Maybe only China.  But it does not and I repeat DOES NOT on the 10 units I tested work in the US in any of the two SIM ports the tablet is built with.  The speakers are so awesome though I just hope that we can get this one issue solved.  Tablets fall short on the speaker side and on this tablet the speakers are almost ear piercing.

Black Friday tablet sale. Zenithink PiPo Cube 10% Off

November 23, 2013

10% Off Anything in our store Friday only.  This is a monster discount and will bring most of our tablets even below buying from China direct.  No coupon needed.  Just buy within the 24hr period of Nov 29th.

Take my advice and buy from the USA.  Included in this post is a picture of a return cost of a tablet to China.  I’m not trying to scare you, but this is the reality of commerce in the world.  You might save 3-8% buying from a trader in China but it’s going to cost you a huge headache and a lot of money if you have to return it.  To return something in the US it’s about $10 tops.  A lot less if you live in the eastern half of the US.  But no more than $11 if you do it right even out on the west coast.  Electronics can fail, even the ones built by HTC, Samsung, and even that great company called Apple everyone brags about.  Once you come to terms with that, it’s up to you to make the correct choice on how to make your life easier should you have to return something.


Big things poppin this holiday season. We have C98A 3G MTK8389 & new Rockchip Dual Core Children’s tablets coming in stock soon.

November 21, 2013

I posted below that the C98 would probably have the MTK or the Allwinner A31. Zenithink  has actually put the Allwinner A31S chip in the C94 (We already have stock.) and are using the MediaTek MTK8389 chip in their C98A.  Here’s the funny thing.  The C98A will not come native with an IPS screen like the C97 did.  It still will be way cheaper than a PiPo M6 3G (About $80ish) even with an IPS screen.  But we will see how bad the regular non-IPS versions of the C98A are really that bad of an LCD.  The non-IPS C98As will come in right above $200 and the IPS versions will be about $240.  I’m doing some guesswork here as the figures that were given to me were preliminary and I haven’t seen an invoice so I can factor in shipping and other silly costs like minor import fees.  We have both versions coming to our store.  All 16GB too.  Our focus this and the rest of the year is to have all $200ish+ tablets we sell stock with 16GB.  Now of course our budget lines in the low/sub $100s probably will have 8GB, but for anything in the high $100’s and low $200’s we are focusing on buying 16GB.

Even though these tablets have expandable memory, as more and more tablet makers go with MTP datamedia layout, it adds the full amount of internal space for app installation.  So essentially you would get all 16GB to go crazy on installing apps and then use your 64GB or 32GB card as media storage.  Again, this is the future of Android so not all MFGs are going with the datamedia layout.  They should…but some of them don’t.

So links and more interesting stuff will go here as we get the products in and put them on our website.

Oh I almost forgot.  We have two different children’s tablets coming in.  Both dual-core Rockchip.  One has 512MB Ram/4GB Storage and the other has 1GB Ram/8GB Storage.  We will get them in and see if there is a huge disparity in performance.  As we are marketing them to be used by kids I think if they are close in speed we will go with the 512mb one as we will be able to retail it for $79 and that includes free domestic shipping.  Both tablets have a rubberized top to guard against drops and smashing the LCD & Touch Screen.

Pipo M6 WiFi & 3G, Pipo M9 WiFi & 3G, Pipo S1 Pro, Cube U55GT Talk 79 All In Stock

November 8, 2013

Well I talked about how I dropped the ball on the PiPo’s at the beginning of the year and I’m trying to make up for it.  We also have some Cube U55GTs in stock.  They are a little more expensive than what you would get buying direct from China, but if anything goes wrong you can save a lot of headache having to return them to me instead of all the way on the other side of the country.

As we sell more and more Cube products we will try and get better prices, but our PiPo products are on par with China prices.

Ainol AX1 MediaTek MTK8389 Google Android Jelly Bean Tablet

September 27, 2013

I could say a lot about this tablet.  But I will just have to say that it’s awesome.  Out of the box it does everything, even Hulu which is/was an issue for China tablets.  MediaTek sure has its spit together when it comes to software.  A few years ago their software was one of the worst, and now it is easily the best.  Yea I said it….Sorry to my chip maker friends out there.  I’m sure yours will be comparable when you release your new chip.

So only issue now is getting the source code for the SoC because even though the software is great we still want to offer the popular custom ROMs available out on the net.

The only negative thing I could say about the tablet is that it doesn’t have an IPS LCD.  But with all of these features I’m not sure how much an IPS screen would jack up the price.  Our starting sale price will be $159 so I’m guessing with IPS that figure might be around $200.  Which would put it too close to a quad-core Nexus 7, but the Nexus 7 has less features.  This is all speculation at this point and I’m just going to be happy with the tablet the way it is.  One thing that I love the most is the battery life.

Key features in our eyes:
Antutu 13500ish
Decent GPU
Internal GPS
Internal Bluetooth
FM Tuner (That works unlike some other tablet MFGs but is kind of useless because of Radio & iHeart market apps.)
CDMA & GSM SIM card slots
Dual Camera with Flash (5MP if you want to be “that guy” taking pictures with his tablet)
Very loud speaker for a 7″ tablet
Deep sleeps and keeps wi-fi active without a huge drain. (Huge problem with other China tablets)
Battery Life
Slim design (This could be bad though in the end as there will have to be custom cases made for it)

Tablet repair and Warranty – All Models – Samsung, Acer, Asus, Zenithink, Pipo, Cube, Ainol, Eken

September 14, 2013

Just wanted to make a quick post about tablet repair.  It’s something we can do here in our office for almost every tablet on the market.  We will not do Apple products so don’t ask.  If you have a tablet you need repaired send us an email at  The most common issues are touch screens.  Which we can get from most manufacturers.  China tablets are our specialty, so if you have anything that needs repaired like usb port, charge port, lcd, etc., just send me an email and I will try to help.

Now to talk about our warranty we offer with our tablets.  Someone wrote a feedback on our E-Bay account about us not honoring our warranty.  Which is complete bull spit.  I would be glad to prove the guy never even contacted us to tell us his tablet wasn’t working.  We have a repair facility in-house, and as long as the tablet is not heavily damaged by the customer, the work is done for free.  If you purchased your tablet from China and you live in the US, plan to pay upwards of $46 to get the tablet back there to fix.  Also be prepared to get them to talk you into buying something from them again just so they can send it back to you and them not have to pay shipping back.  Now that ladies and gentlemen, is the true rip-off.

It’s official, AX1 and Ainol Captain on the way.

September 12, 2013

Not too much else to say.  We will test them both.  I’m not a fan of the ATM7029, but the Captain intrigues me a bit for the non-gamer.  The super-high res screen, massive battery, 2GB memory, GPS, and internal Bluetooth make it a step above the Hero II (Which we never ordered in mass quantity).  But the GPU will suffer a bit for the hardcore gamer (Like me).  I think it’s more marketable than the Hero II was/is.

We try to carry tablets with the best bang for the buck as they say.  I think this one falls into that category.

I also have sent word out to MTK to try and get source code so we can develop for their MT8389 chip.

Pipo M9 / Rockchip RK3188

September 12, 2013

I feel like I dropped the ball on this tablet.  I have been sitting around waiting for an AML8726-M8 tablet to drop and it just hasn’t happened yet.  I will admit that my retail sales are above last year’s average but with the way that we were killing it in the first quarter I figured they would at least be three times what they were last year and they are not.  Now I see some of the sales figures of the Pipo M9 at other stores and I think that could be me.

O well.  You live and you learn.  I still swear by Amlogic, and I know when their chip drops it will completely destroy any 2nd tier China chip (Actions, MTK, Boxchip (Allwinner), Freescale)  currently on the market and be a step ahead of the Rockchip RK3188.

I believe my patience will pay off.  And my advice is to hold off on buying a tablet right now if you are looking at these mid/low priced tablets as something you would want to own.  But again, I probably should have got a few batches of M9’s in the interim because they are in my opinion a decent segue into what will be about a years worth of domination from Amlogic when they release their AML8726-M8 chip.  And as always, since Amlogic works with us with the kernel sources we will be able to offer more software options for any tablets it releases and not just repacks which is mostly what you see for Rockchip devices.

I wish there was more to talk about, but there isn’t.  We might be getting some Pipo M9 tablets in and also Cube UG55T aka Talk 79 in just to hold us over to boost some sales heading into the holiday season.  We feel these are the best tablets out on the market in their price range.  We are also looking at Ainol’s new AX1 which has 3G and CDMA capabilities.  I would really like to know how the CDMA capabilities would work….Do I have to use QTSP?  How would I program the tablet onto a CDMA network like Verizon or Sprint?  Or even Metro PCS?  We will see I guess.

Zenithink C93A & C98 Google Android Jelly Bean 4.1 4.2 Tablets

June 23, 2013

Well…..Just when I thought Zenithink made one of the best budget Google Android 10″ tablets in the world they go and release an updated version of the C93.  The C93A is an upgraded version of the C93 that comes with Bluetooth, Dual Camera, and GPS.  Get this….It’s only $10 more.

So as soon as mass production is in full effect we will be replacing the C93 model with the C93A.  I mean who wouldn’t pay $10 more for 3(4?? FM Tuner??) more features than its predecessor?

Now they say it has built in FM, but I’m not sure I know anything about that yet. We have had the C71A for a few weeks or so now and they say it has FM too, but again I have no clue how to make it work or if there is an FM tuner internally.  I guess I need to ask more questions.

But who needs FM when there is the Internet.  Soon in my predictions, nobody will know what FM/AM/CDs/DVDs/VHS/Floppy Disks even were.  Part of Moore’s law I guess.

We are unsure about what quad-core chip they are going to use in the C98 but we have a feeling it will not be Allwinner or MTK as their website suggests.  My guess it will be the new Amlogic AML8726-M8 which will be out sooner than you think.  I’m sure that Zenithink (via Amlogic) already has a solution for the chip which has put their small company on the tablet map of the world.  If they do this (And I have advised them too) I think it would give them the much needed exposure in the ARMs race that they missed last year when Ainol, Onda & Ramos were putting out dual-core Amlogic tablets 4-5 months before Zenithink was.

I stand by my statement that Zenithink makes the best budget performance tablets.  Ainol makes the best budget performance also, but they use slightly better components and offer more selections of spec levels for their tablet lines.  This is why over the last year we have focused on featuring these two lines of manufacturers.  In the future we hope to add Onda & Pipo (Pipo first more than likely).  But until then we will be your genuine Ainol & Zenithink dealers in the US.