A heavy tablet with a disappointingly poor build quality
The Linx Commtiva N700 is yet another tablet computer with a 7in screen and running the Google Android 2.2 operating system.
That's also used by devices such as Samsung's Galaxy Tab, but while that device costs nearly £500, the Commtiva N700 is just over £300.
For a device of its size, the N700 is surprisingly heavy, with a disappointingly poor build quality. Holding it in our hands was uncomfortable: the edges are sharp and rough and the plastic sections started to come apart when we accidentally pressed the joins on the device. The touchscreen too was a let-down: it worked most of the time but it kept becoming unresponsive, requiring several taps before responding again.
The buttons to the side of the N700's screen were confusing – the manufacturer has used an odd choice of symbols, with the pictures representing Settings and Home particularly baffling. We found the vibration function a bit unpleasant – given the size of the N700 the vibration it produced was more like a slight but aggressive buzzing.
At £300 the N700 seems like pretty good value at first glance, but there are flaws. For instance the 600MHz processor, about half the speed of the Galaxy Tab's, simply isn't up to the task. Navigating around the N700's desktop was annoying as it tried to keep up with opening and closing windows, running apps and browsing the web. It is also because of this slow processor that the N700 can't play Flash video – it isn't fast enough to meet the requirements for playing Flash on the Android operating system.
Like the Galaxy Tab, it can connect to wireless networks and if a mobile phone Sim card is inserted it can also connect to mobile phone networks for browsing wherever there's a phone signal. This is certainly a major point in the N700's favour. With a Sim card inside it can even be used to make phone calls, but it's silly-looking when held up to the user's ear so a Bluetooth headset would be a good addition if you're using it as a phone.
The N700 uses version 2.2 of the Android operating system, which isn't really designed for tablets, a failure the Galaxy Tab suffered too. Applications available on the Android Marketplace often have to be magnified for the large screen and look bad, and the supplied apps for email, ebooks and playing video aren't polished. We found the email especially poor.
Given its flaws, the Commtiva N700 just doesn't represent good value.
It is certainly cheaper than both Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Apple's iPad, the two best tablet computers we've seen recently, but then it is inferior to both, with a slow processor and unfortunate design choices.
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The £300 price-tag might look tempting, but otherwise this tablet is utterly underwhelming
Can connect to 3G internet
Poor design; slow processor; no Flash video support
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