Medion LifeTab P9514 Android tablet
Medion LifeTab P9514 review: A run-of-the mill Android tablet that's competitively priced
- Competitive price
- 3G connectivity
- Decent display
- Hefty weight
- Average performance
- Below average battery life
There is nothing remarkable about the Medion LifeTab P9514 Android tablet aside from its price, but that's something most of its competitors can't match. For $499, this is a 32GB Android tablet with 3G connectivity, and that's its main selling point. All in all, an average tablet at a competitive asking price.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
Medion LifeTab P9514: Software and performance
The Medion LifeTab P9514 offers all the features and functions of most other Honeycomb Android tablets. It runs the latest available version of Google's Android 'Honeycomb' software 3.2. Medion hasn't confirmed if the LifeTab will be upgraded to Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' when it becomes available, but we wouldn't hold our breath.
The Honeycomb version of Android isn't as slick or stable as the iOS platform that powers Apple's iPad 2, but it remains a decent package overall and it's a far more flexible platform than iOS. For $499, the Medion LifeTab will buy you features that you won't find on an iPad, including Flash Web browsing and the ability to manage files using a file explorer. Google's Honeycomb software doesn't include a file manager as standard, but Medion ships the LifeTab with the popular ES File Explorer app.
Speaking of included apps, Medion is very generous with its software. Out of the box the LifeTab comes with no less than eleven third-party apps, the most notable of which is the Documents to Go suite that allows you to edit and create Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. There's also two games — Galaxy on Fire 2 and Dungeon Defenders HD — along with an Medion app to handle media and a Drawing Pad app that will keep the kids happy.
The Medion LifeTab offers decent, but far from outstanding performance, but most of its issues are to do with Google's Android software rather than this particular tablet. The home screens remain sluggish to scroll through if there are a few widgets in use, there is notable lag and slowdown in the Web browser and scrolling in general across the board is no where near as smooth or effective as the iPad. That being said, the LifeTab handled most media with ease, and if the included media player didn't play a file type, there are plenty of apps in the Android Market that will.
The Medion LifeTab P9514 has two digital cameras on board, though neither takes notable photos. There's a front-facing 2-megapixel camera that acts as a webcam for video calling, and a 5-megapixel camera on the rear that takes still photos and records video. The LifeTab's camera is certainly better than the poor quality alternative on the iPad 2, but we found colours in most photos were washed out, and there was also plenty of image noise in most of our shots.
Medion claims the LifeTab's battery will last up to eight hours, but we managed just over five hours in most cases before the battery ran out. This isn't a great result when compared to some of the competition, so you'll more than likely need to carry the charger along with the tablet. Keep in mind the LifeTab charges through a dock connector, though this means it charges much faster than a standard micro-USB connection.
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