ZTE Tablets Show Why Everyone Is Buying iPads [MWC 2012]


Zzzzz. ZTE's PF100 starts with a dull name and then goes downhill from there
Zzzzz. ZTE's PF100 starts with a dull name and then goes downhill from there

BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — One of the big stories at this year’s Mobile World Congress is Android tablets. If last year saw the things popping out like maggots from a rotting wound, this year they are skittering across the floor like a carpet of startled cockroaches. And like cockroaches, they all look pretty much the same. So let’s take a look at a couple of them: ZTE’s PF100 and T98.

The PF100 and T98 are ten and seven-inch tablets respectively, and are almost identical in terms of specs. Both use NVIDIA quad-core processors, both have 5MP cameras and both have 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. The smaller T98 runs Honeycomb, the other Ice Cream Sandwich.

And in use, they’re the same as every other Android tablet. The build quality is that of a Pez dispenser, and the reaction to touch — especially in games — is jittery. This, I am told, is a problem inherent to Android, to do with the fact that it wasn’t conceived as a touch-based OS. Touch, then, is given equal priority as any other process, and therefore can lag on even the fastest hardware.

The T98 was also running rather hot. This might be the Fruit Ninja demo racing its CPU, or it may just be the prototype hardware, but it put me in mind of those x86 tablets of old.

Price and available are as yet undecided. But who cares? If you want an Android tablet, just head to the store, close your eyes and point, content in the knowledge that it’s no better or worse than any other.

  • robert00

    this is very amazing awesome…

  • glenn45

    What a great blog post! Thanks for sharing it on your site.

  • techgeek01

    The Volkswagen effect.  This is what I call this phenomenon.

    Volkswagen had a high-end sedan that was on par with BMW’s 7 series, Mercedes S series and Audi’s A8 series.  It failed horribly here in the states.  Why?  “I don’t want to be seen driving a Volkswagen.”  People were NOT willing to spend that much for a Volkswagen.  Why get a volkswagen when you can get a Mercedes, BMW or Audi?  It all had to do with the logo that was slapped on the grill and NOTHING on how good (or bad) the car was itself. “I don’t want to be seen driving a Volkswagen.” That what it all dealt with.

    And the exact same thing is happening here.  Why get X or Y or Z tablet when for the same price (or $100 or $200 more) you can pick up a Mercedes?  It has nothing to deal with the tablet itself.  I know for a fact, that most of the people I know who own an iPad have not even USED (let alone touch) a non iPad tablet.  They haven’t touched a Motorola Xoom, Galaxy Tab, Transformer, Blackberry playbook, etc..  So, it’s nothing having to deal with how good (or bad) X or Y tablet was.

    I have personally used Touchpads, Playbooks, Xooms, Galaxy Tabs, Transformers and more.  And of course, iPads as well.  I have found that the overall experience is about the same with all of those tablets (including the iPad) and they work as well as each other (including the iPad).

    I have personally seen iPads that were completely unresponsive, laggy as hell, and so on. (mind you, not every iPad. basically no tablet is “perfect”)

    The reason why non-iPads are not selling as well as iPads is because of the “Volkswagen effect”.  Nobody (well the average joe or sally) want to pick up a Volkswagen when for the same price (if not slightly more) they can pick up a Mercedes!  They want that mercedes logo to show off to their friends.  If they actually sat down and used both, they would find that they both are on the same level, but one dosen’t have a flashy Mercedes logo.  That what it all has to deal with.  Why spend $200 on a pair of Levi Jeans if I could spend $200 to get Calvin Kleins?  Literally, that is the real reason on what is going on here. 

  • Jose

    I would say you got straight to the point. Apple is the fashion of the day. Someone will come alone sometime and will challenge that and would take all the hype away from them. Personally I am fed up of all this cult of Apple… not much around Mac

  • morgan3nelson

    The “Volkswagen Effect” may be at play – but there is a reason that the BMW. Mercedes and Audio brands were stronger than Volkswagen’s – its called product history.  The Jetta and Passat are notorious for high maintenance costs and frequency – the others have rock solid maintenance records.  It is the QUALITY that drives the BRAND valuation. 

    The iPad is NOT the same user experience as an Android tablet – in the same way that an iPhone is NOT the same experience as a Droid.

    The Hardware is not that dissimilar across devices – it is the OS that separates the high value product from the pretenders.  iOS is much more polished, functional and useable than the Android OS – including the latest Lactose laden Ice Cream Sandwich.

    To see where Androids problems are at all you need to do is look at Google.  Quality Control is NOT a Google focus.  All of their web offerings are “perpetual Beta projects” with the exception of their Search Engine.  They NEVER deliver a polished product – EVER.

    Apple on the other hand is all about Quality Control.  Their products are well polished, tested and as close to perfection as humanly possible when they ship.  Are they perfect – absolutely not.  But they are much closer to perfection than the half assed Android products trying to make a buck on Apples iPad momentum.

    To put it in better perspective – iPad’s are Neimen Marcus and Androids are K-Marts.  Both server a purpose and both make money – but you never see someone shopping a Neimen Marcus WISHING they could afford something at K-Mart – iPad users are the same way – you never hear anyone say “the iPad is almost like a Motorola Xoom.”

  • Evan Benford

    Gwaaaahhhh :O

  • eri sidharta

    Ipad would erode my pocket too deep. The fact that I couldn’t afford ipad makes android tablet a very very tempting opt.