Skytex SkyPad Alpha 2 Review
By Terri Chapman
I recently won the Skypad in a raffle on the High Tech Society. Despite this, this review is completely unbiased and was neither asked for, nor paid for. I’ve had time to play with and use the SkyPad Alpha 2 tablet, and so have my sons and grandchildren. I decided it was time to review this tablet, although I do have to say that I have never used a tablet before so it was all new to me. I was thrilled when I won the Skypad and excited when it arrived in the mail. I though it would be nice to have the Skypad for reading and playing games, but I wasn’t really thinking of it being a small computer. I had not thought about being able to actually work on it, and in all honesty, I’m sure I have not used the Skytex SkyPad Alpha 2 for everything it is capable of, but I will get there in due time.
Out of the Box
I was so excited when I received the SkyPad in the mail, and of course my son was also excited. He decided to show me how it worked and helped me get the wireless internet connected. He also showed me how to find the settings and gave me a few lessons on how to use the Sky Pad’s 7 inch screen. There were a few simple instructions included but they did not cover much so my son was very helpful during initial setup. If you are used to working with tablets, you shouldn’t have any trouble setting it up. The SkyPad features an Android operating system with Gingerbread 2.3 and some apps already installed. Here are some of the things that came with the SkyPad out of the box:
1. Gingerbread operating system, Android 2.3
2. Wall charger
3. Google search browser
4. Mobile Market
5. Kindle e- reader app
6. Music library
Easy to Use Features
One of the first things that I’m going to cover in my Skypad review is that the tablet is very easy to use. I was able to easily navigate the tablet using the settings and icons. I can find whatever it is I’m looking for without too much trouble. I will admit that the touch screen took me a little while to get used to, as did the built in keyboard. I do tend to hit the wring letters because I don’t always hit them on the right spot but I am slowly adjusting. Now that I’ve adjusted to the screen I don’t really have any problems. The Skypad’s features, including the camera, are generally very easy to use.
1. 7-inch touchscreen
2. Front facing 1.3 MP camera/web cam
3. Up to 6 hours of battery life
4. 512 MB RAM with expandable Micro SD card slot
5. 4 GB Hard Disk space
6. Bluetooth, WiFi
7. Adobe Flash support
8. Freescale ARM Cortex- A8 processor
9. Mini USB port
10. Ear phone jack
11. HDMI output
12. Built in mic and sound recorder
One of the first things I did was to use the 1Mobile Marketplace to download some games. I did run into
some issues that caused the Mobile Market to work incorectly . I called support and they were able to help me with it. I
needed to reinstall the market but once I did that, it worked fine. Games download quickly and the market has
over 200,000 free and popular apps to choose from including Facebook, Kindle, and Angry Birds. The
market is user friendly and easy to navigate so I haven’t had any further problems with it.
The e-reader is a feature that I use often. The app links to the Amazon store for e-books and finding books is
simple. Once purchased, they are sent right to the app on my Skypad so I don’t have to search for the boosk either. I have my own library and love it despite the fact that I originally thought I might not like reading on a tablet because of it not being an actual book. I was pleasantly surprised to find it didn’t bother me at all. The app keeps my place for me in the book and I can adjust the print size and brightness of the page to match the light or glare outside. I also have books on the tablet for my grandchildren and they enjoy reading them as well.
Browsing the Web
Browsing the internet with the SkyPad is actually pretty easy. The SkyPad Alpha 2 comes equipped with Google’s mobile browser and you can easily use that to quickly search and load pages. You can also download an alternate browser from the mobile market. YouTube videos play easily on the tablet and Facebook is just a click away if you install the app, which is the same one created for other Android devices.
The Tablet is Portable
Because the SkyPad 2 is small and portable, I can literally take it anywhere. I have found that I can use it in hospitals, and someone spending the night with hospitalized family can stay connected with loved ones. I originally did not think of using the tablet for work, but once I tried, it worked great. I work online and can now take my work with me so long as I have internet, and my tablet.
There are some things I have not tried,f or example, watching a movie on the SkyTex SkyPad Alpha 2, but I’m sure it would work fine just like everything else on the tablet. The SkyPad I won came with a leather keyboard case and USB connector, although you would have to purchase that separately if you buy the SkyPad new. With the keyboard, typing on the tablet is just like using a small laptop, so it’s virtually very easy.
The SkyPad 2 is available on Amazon and is a great tablet for the price. For a beginner like me, it is perfect becaues it does everything I want, is fast,and user friendly. It has been a hit with my grandchildren and sons and I would recommend the SkyPad if you want an economical choice in a tablet with plenty of features and a great OS.
One final note, the SkyPad now comes with the updated Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system and there is an update available to update the version I have. The update became available earlier this year so anyone looking for a newer version of Android can still use the SkyPad Alpha 2.
Buy it here from Amazon.