Ceros Revolution review – Quad core, 2048 x 1536, 9.7 inch tablet

August 29, 2013

Ceros_Revolution_promoI am constantly amazed at the range of Android tablets that are coming out of China. As the song goes there are short ones, tall ones, fine ones, kind ones – okay maybe not kind ones, but there are tablets for almost every need. However the 9.7 inch category still remains popular due to the success of the iPad. Many Android tablet makers including Google (with its Nexus 10) have tried to push the 10.0 to 10.1 inch size and it seems to be working. Personally I find the 10.1 inch form factor just a little too big and I have often found myself preferring 9.7 inch or even 7 inch tablets over larger devices.

The Ceros Revolution is clearly aimed at those who want an Android device that looks physically similar to an iPad (meaning an iPad 3 or iPad 4) and with some of the same specs as the iPad, but without the hefty price! The tablet sports a 9.7 inch, 2048 x 1536 IPS display with a pixel density of 264ppi – very similar to the iPad, plus the device is the same height, width and thickness to the iPad (give or take fractions of a millimeter here or there).

Design

Looking directly at the front of the Ceros Revolution it physically looks very similar to an iPad however once you start to turn it around in your hands you will see some interesting design differences that clearly show that this is an Android tablet. One is the lack of volume buttons. The volume is controlled using the soft keys that appear on the system bar on either side of the traditional set of back, home and recent buttons. This makes the device seem more streamlined and in fact to further aide streamlining the HDMI port, the micro SD card slot and the micro USB port are all hidden under a little cover. The only buttons that protrude from the device are the on/off button and just below it a back button.

ceros rev ports

The device is well constructed mainly out of plastic, including the screen, but for the price that is to be expected. In your hands it feels sturdy and doesn’t suffer from any plastic creaks or groans when you are using it. It is also available in black. A couple of minor negative points are that the device is charged using the supplied charger and can’t be charged via USB, plus there is only one speaker, no stereo here!

Display

ceros rev kindle

With a resolution of  2048 x 1536 the display is very clear and crisp. The viewing angles are excellent and the colors vibrant but yet not over saturated. Using the web at this resolution is enjoyable and high-res photos from sites like Flickr are stunning. When reading an ebook with an app like Kindle the text is sharp and easy on the eyes. The QXGA display has a 4:3 aspect ratio and packs in some 3.1 million pixels. Remembering that 1080p is 1920 x 1080, the display on this device will easily display any HD videos.

Hardware

Besides the high resolution display the Ceros Revolution also features a quad-core CPU, 16GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, a 5 megapixel rear camera and an 8000mAh battery!

The full specs are as follows:

  • Android 4.2
  • 9.7 Inch IPS display with a resolution of 2048×1536
  • 1.6GHz RK3188 Quad Core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with a Mali-400 MP Quad Core GPU.
  • 2GB RAM
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n
  • 5 Megapixel Rear Camera + 0.3 Megapixel Front-Facing Camera
  • Google Play support
  • 8000mAh battery
  • Micro SD Card up to 32GB
  • HDMI
  • Gravity Sensor
  • Accelerometer Sensor
  • Dimensions: 240x187x9.8mm (L x W x D).
  • Weight: 596g
Software

The tablet uses a fairly vanilla version of Android 4.2.2 but with some minor changes. There is a section in the settings for controlling the HDMI port. Here the port can be activated and deactivated and the TV screen resolution can be set. There is also a section in the settings for controlling a screenshot button which, when activated, is placed on the system bar along with the volume, back, home and recent buttons. Even though this is Android 4.2, one missing feature is the ability to create separate user accounts. Other than that everything looks standard.

ceros rev settings

If you are into rooting and custom firmware upgrades or long term Android upgrades then this tablet probably isn’t for you. However Android 4.2.2 is the current shipping version of Android for most manufacturers.

I installed various different apps from the Play Store and found hardly any compatibility issues (something that used to plague Chinese OEM tablets). Games like Riptide and Asphalt 7: Heat installed without any problems and ran nicely on the high-res display. Unfortunately Asphalt 8 reported that it wasn’t compatible with this device, but that was the only problem title that I found in my quick tour through Google Play.

ceros rev ashpalt 7

Battery

The 8000mAh battery is impressive and battery life shouldn’t be an issue with this device. During my testing I found that an hour of intense 3D gaming used around 23 percent of battery. This means that any gaming fanatics should get 4 to 5 hours life from this device just playing games. For other activities like watching movies the battery will give over 11 hours of usage. Streaming YouTube videos will probably work for around 7 hours. Leaving it on standby overnight only used 1% of the battery. That means on average you should get about 8 or 9 hours usage out of this device before it needs to be recharged. Maybe more if you are careful.

Connectivity

As well as Wi-Fi  b/g/n the tablet also supports Bluetooth and the use of a 3G USB dongle. Although I don’t have a definitive list, the tablet should support any USB 3G dongle listed as Android compatible. In general this means modems from Huawei and ZTE. Because of the support for 3G the build of Android installed on the device includes mobile network related settings about data roaming etc.

A problem that has affected cheaper Chinese tablets in the past is poor Wi-Fi reception. However the Wi-Fi on the Ceros Revolution is solid and works well. During my testing I was able to use Wi-fi normally within and around my house.

Performance

ceros rev antutu

At the heart of the tablet is the RockChip RK3188. RockChip processors, like MediaTek ones, are a popular choice for cheaper tablets, especially those coming out of Asia. the RK3188 is a quad-core based on ARM’s Cortex A9 design. The chip is manufactured using a 28 nm process and runs at 1.6GHz.

Looking at performance benchmarks the tablet managed an average score of 14621 on AnTuTu making the device faster than a Nexus 10 but slower than a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. For Epic Citadel the results were good but not stunning, this is because the GPU is now having to render the image for the large 2048 x 1536 display. In High Performance mode the tablet managed a respectable 34.1 frame per second and in high Quality mode 32.9 FPS. In both cases this is more than sufficient for smooth 3D gaming plus you get the advantage of the high resolution display.

ceros rev epic citadel

During normal use the tablet is smooth and doesn’t seem to suffer from any lags or annoying delays.

Camera

The tablet has a 5MP rear camera and a very basic 0.3 MP front-facing camera. With tablets the most useful is probably the front facing camera for video chats and although something better than VGA would have been nice, VGA is sufficient for most video conversions. You are unlikely to be using a tablet as your main camera but when something unexpected happens the best camera is the one you have with you. In general the pictures are OK, it suffers from a loss of detail in white areas, but other than that it functions well enough for a tablet. The camera app itself is basic and only allows the white balance to be set. The auto-focus does take a little longer than expected to lock so there can be a delay from when you tap to take the picture and when it is taken, however for a tablet camera it is sufficient.

Here are a few test shots!

ceros rev camera1

ceros rev camera2

Conclusion

The Ceros Revolution is available directly from Chinavasion, who ship worldwide, for $239.99 or 180 Euros. For half the price of an iPad and $150 less than a Nexus 10 you get a quad-core tablet with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage featuring a display with the same resolution as Apple’s Retina display. It is faster than the Nexus 10 and includes a micro SD card slot, something missing on both the iPad and Nexus 10!

Comments

  • Cl3V3rNaMe

    that is until it explodes in ur face xD

    looks really good!!!

  • Jason Bailey

    Pretty much same internals as the note 2 and Note 8.

    Same cpu, gpu and ram anyway.

    Unless the screen is rubbish is looks like a decent budget tablet. Of course it can all be ruined by software lol

    • MasterMuffin

      Same CPU? And also I don’t know about the RAM, can be a cheap one. And software optimization is also important indeed

      • Jason Bailey

        Sorry I read it quick and thought it was the exynos as I was the Mali 400gpu pared with it. Note to self to stop skim reading things :-)

  • Bjajjull

    It’s not faster than Nexus 10, not even close. Nexus 10 fails totally on AnTuTu. Try 3DMark and GeekBench instead.

  • Jacob

    I love it when no-name Chinese manufactures push the envelope and make industry giants work harder. And they do it quietly and don’t get cocky.

  • Stephen Dix

    You had me until “A couple of minor negative points are that the device is charged using the supplied charger and can’t be charged via USB”. Charging via a ubiquitous connector (USB) is critical.

    • MasterMuffin

      Copying Apple to the end :)

    • jaysenreed

      One other Android tablet to launch this month worth considering is the 8.9-inch Pipo M7 Pro($255) — which overall, packs in a solid device for about the same price as the new Nexus 7, but with a larger 8.9″ 1900X1200 PLS display(Samsung brand), Quad Core performance, plus offers built-in GPS navigation; along with premium speakers, a 6300 mAh battery, Dual WiFi (2.4/5.0 GHz) and the option to use standard Android 4.2.2 O/S or a user-friendly Windows style Interface; and a 3G HSPA+ edition is also available for $30 more.

      More details at –T ab l e t S p r i n t–

      • http://www.garysims.co.uk garysims

        Why is it that all your comments (and I have checked) are just adverts for other tablets???? Does that make you a spammer??? I guess so! If you are so keen on pushing these tablets please contact me and I will review one for you.

        • TeresaWaters1

          Riddle Me Spat, Riddle Me Spam, the Pipo M7 sounds like a Winner, thank you M’am !

    • El_Goog

      Ha, my cheap tablet also couldn’t be charged through USB, so now, the charger is broken, no replacement in the store, and I can’t even use it now. It’s lying in the drawer about 2 months already, and, I’m still searching for a charger lol.
      That’s really critical.

    • Guest

      Have you considered that the battery is 8000 mAh? With standard limited USB charge current the charging would take ages.

  • MasterMuffin

    “The is also a section in the settings” and “There auto-focus does take a little longer”. I don’t know if the latter is written correctly or not, but I guess it’s not (?) :)

    • Guest

      This is IMHO a moot point as the cameras, back and front, are mostly jokes. I have no real knowledge of phone/tablet cameras but with this thing the amount of light is never enough, at least not indoors.

      • MasterMuffin

        Well that was not the point of my comment, but whatever. Tablet cameras are always jokes :)

  • Andrew T Roach

    Been using an android mini PC using the RK3188 Quadcore for several months as a home media platform. Clocked to 1.8ghz it can hit 19500 in Antutu and is completely lag free.

  • APai

    “I am constantly amazed at the range of Android tablets that are coming out of China.”
    …and we wonder, why companies like HP want to play safe with releasing just “okay” products.

  • Guest

    Thank you for the review, I bought one based on it as I felt that I had been reasonbly forewarned, and I have not been dissapointed. After some use I can report that the display is amazing, and although the hardaware is not current it does everything I expect of it. Streaming 1080p mkv over wlan is no problem, all the usual apps work smoothly enough and the 4:3 aspect ratio is OK although not what I was used to. The vendor mentioned in this article did a stellar work with delivery; five working days from Hong Kong to Finland was not bad. With delivery and customs this 180 euro tablet became a 240 euro tablet, but that was expected. The cons are the poor cameras, a rather plastic and brittle feel (this can be remedied with a case, ipad cases are close enough, the sacrifice of the camera is no biggie) and the for some reason really oversized and bulky power switch.

  • ceros-is-junk

    This tablet is absolute JUNK! There are no US chargers for it. Can’t charge it via USB. Press the screen and wait 1 second for it to respond. The WIFI keeps disconnecting and disappearing. I have maybe 8 or 9 apps on it. Fyi, you can use a NOKIA 2MM tip to charge it with a external USB power pack. Worst $240 I have spent in my life. :(

    • HarryF

      I agree, slow slow slow so far Chinavision is 0-2 with me and that’s that! They are done in my eyes. What a piece of crap. this guy who wrote this review must have been paid off by Chinavision!

      • http://www.garysims.co.uk garysims

        I resent your implication of impropriety. The model I tested performs exactly
        as written. You can see the benchmark results. The model I used did not suffer
        from any lags or delays. I suggest you take the issue up with your supplier
        as it sounds like your device is defective.

    • http://www.garysims.co.uk garysims

      The review says very clearly that you can’t charge it via the USB. As for there not being a US charger you need to contact your supplier about that, they should supply you with the correct charger unless otherwise specified.

      The model I tested had no issues with the Wi-Fi and the device is in use today without any problems.

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  • harry f

    This tablet is JUNK! Slow slow slow so far Chinavision is 0-2 with me and that’s that! They are done in my eyes. What a piece of crap. this guy who wrote this review must have been paid off by Chinavision!

    • http://www.garysims.co.uk garysims

      I resent your implication of impropriety. The model I tested performs exactly
      as written.

  • Iggy

    two years with this one now, and all good. Battery still lasting 4 to 6 hours depending how much media you watch. Only issue detected is with Bluetooth, which gets disconnected, although I believe this is a failure of Android instead the tablet.

    • http://www.garysims.co.uk garysims

      Thanks for the feedback Iggy, very valuable. Thanks.