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Jexaa JexTab Evo review

Barry de la Rosa
27 Dec 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
110
inc VAT

The Evo's clear screen and USB OTG capability can't make up for its laggy performance, erratic app support and poorly thought-out interface

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Specifications

7 in 800x480 display, 310g, .8GHz Telechips 8902, 256MB RAM, 4GB disk, Android 2.3

Jexaa is a new UK company that's launched a range of re-branded Android tablets and smartphones for the UK market. The JexTab Evo is a smart 7in tablet running Android 2.3. It has 4GB of storage and its mini-USB port supports USB OTG (On-The-Go), which means it can accept flash drives and even 3G dongles.

The JexTab feels well built, and its black bezel and white case rear reminded us of Samsung's 7in Galaxy Tab. As well as its USB OTG port, there's a mini-HDMI port for outputting video to an external screen. There's only 4GB of internal storage, but the microSDHC port supports cards up to 32GB in size.

Jexaa JexTab Evo

USB OTG lets you use the USB port as a standard client port - for charging the Evo and browsing its storage - and also as a host port, so you can attach external storage or other peripherals. It will recognise FAT-formatted flash drives but not NTFS, and although our Huawei E367 HSPA+ dongle didn't work, the older E1750 HSPA model worked fine. Our principal concern is that Jexaa hasn't included an adaptor for the mini-USB port, so you'll need to buy one separately (such as StarTech's USBMUSBFM1, £3 from www.ebuyer.com).

Unlike some budget tablets, the JexTab Evo comes with a full version of Android 2.3, including the Market and almost all the standard Google apps. Jexaa's also installed a file manager, but otherwise left it up to you to choose apps.

Despite the fact that the Evo has physical Back, Home and Menu buttons and a volume rocker, Jexaa has duplicated these controls on the Android status bar. We've seen these before on tablets without physical buttons, but they make no sense on the Evo. In fact, they get in the way more than anything - they take up so much room that in portrait mode, there's little room left on the status bar for your finger when you drag it down to see notifications.

Jexaa JexTab Evo

Manufacturers often have to customise Android versions below 3 on tablets because it wasn't designed for large screens, but the Evo's 800x480 resolution is fairly standard for smartphones. Despite being stretched across a larger screen, we didn't notice any pixellation, and the image was bright and colourful. Viewing angles were especially good for a tablet, and the capacitive touch interface was smooth. The interface was pretty laggy, though - the Evo's 800MHz processor is definitely off the tablet pace.

Despite the standard resolution, however, we found many apps wouldn't install on the Evo. Some apps were available in the Evo's Market, but were greyed out when we visited the Android Market on our PC's browser. These included common apps such as iPlayer, Facebook, Evernote, Firefox, Google Books, Google Maps, Google+ and Amazon's Kindle app. It's also worth noting that Adobe's Flash player won't install, but the Flash websites we visited worked fine.

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