With the overwhelming response to the launch of the iPad 3 and high consumer expectations from a slew of Android 4.0 ICS tablets set to arrive on the market, the question of whether the tablet is here to stay has been definitively answered. But consumers are not only confused by the wide range of options available, but also about the hefty investment required to become the the owner of such tablets. So, it's always good to see tablet manufacturers release a relatively cheap, but nevertheless impressive alternative to the iPad or the Samsung Galaxy Tabs. Presenting – the Ramos W16 Android 4.0 ICS tablet.
The specifications of the Ramos W16 are nothing to write home about, but the tablet definitely serves its purpose, especially considering the more-than-reasonable price tag.
Ramos W16 specs:
The box in which the device arrived is beautiful in itself, which serves to only increase the expectations for the device contained inside. In the box, you'll find the standard fare, including a power adapter, an USB cable, and an instruction manual, which is oddly, only in Chinese. While the device has an infrared receiver for remote control access, the remote is not included in the package.
Unboxing the device reveals an 8-inch tablet of a surprisingly good build quality, comparable to even the high-end tablets currently available. It's quite light, weighing only 597 grams. It also has a very nice metallic finish on the back, which is refreshing to see on a mid-range tablet. The Ramos W16 feels very well balanced and the design is excellent, making it very comfortable to hold.
The Ramos W16 comes with support for all major ports, with a mini-HDMI port, a On-the-go USB port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and an AC adapter port. The microphone port is at the front of the tablet, just below the screen. Physical buttons include the standard volume rocker and a power button to the side of the tablet. Also included are physical menu, home, and back buttons (aside from the standard capacitive buttons found on all new Android devices), which is a welcomed (and potentially very useful) touch to the tablet.
There have always been complaints that the screens on most low to mid-range tablets are of poor quality and build. The Ramos W16 features a 1024×768 high-resolution screen, which looks and feels very nice, boasting 1080p video playback capability. The screen has a very nice silvery/grey finish to it, and certainly looks and feels like a high-end tablet. The screen is prone to be a fingerprint magnet, which is noticeable when it's powered down, but this is only a minor annoyance. At times,the touch sensitivity also seemed slightly less responsive, making swiping back and forth between home screens a little difficult, and, at times, requiring multiple touches.
The speakers are positioned at the bottom corner of the back of the tablet. This may seem like an inconvenience while watching a video with the tablet placed on a flat surface, but the sound was loud and the quality decent. As in most cases, a pair of headphones will provide the best sound quality the device can offer, but there is no reason not to enjoy a video or music on the default speakers of the tablet.
The Ramos W16 houses a large 4200 mAH battery. The battery lasts about 4-5 hours, with high usage on WiFi, which is slightly disappointing, but you will be able to watch two movies at the least, or play games for 4 hours before a recharge is required. The standby mode capability is very impressive though, with the battery charge level only going down to 94%, after being in standby for 3 days.
The software is possibly the most exciting aspect about the device. While most current Android tablet owners eagerly await an upgrade to ICS, the Ramos W16 comes pre-loaded with Android 4.0, with some modification to the UI. Applications load quickly, and it's easy to lose track of time once you try out the various games available. Web browsing is also very quick, and is, in fact, comparable to the browsing experience on some of the high-spec models that we tried out. The stock keyboard is well spaced out and provides a certain ease with typing. Sometimes, there is an almost unnoticeable lag, but that's only a minor inconvenience.
The Ramos W16 cannot be billed as a “must-have”, and most would probably prefer to wait for the higher-end tablets that will be available on the market soon. But, the device is certainly very likeable, with very impressive build quality and software presentation, especially considering the low price of $219. The specifications could be better, and questions about the tablet's longevity arise. The W16 will work very well for now, but with software and technology changing at a very rapid pace, demanding more power and higher specs with every update, it might not be a viable option to keep after a year or so. But then again, even high-end devices nowadays begin to feel dated after about 12 to 18 months, and I cannot stress enough that the Ramos W16 is relatively a bargain, but looks and feels like a high-end tablet. It would be a very nice device to own if your requirements primarily involve watching movies, listening to music, and the occasional web browsing and emailing, and you are looking for a cheap alternative to the high-end tablets out there.
Below is a video of the unboxing and review of the Ramos W16 Android 4.0 tablet: