Review Coby Kyros MID7022 Notebook
Saved Money at the Wrong End? Tablets are the craze. Coby tries to take a piece of the cake with its new, relatively low-priced tablet. Does the Kyros 7022 have what it takes to attract buyers?
Coby, the American manufacturer, has entered the low-end tablet market with a variety of new devices (ranging in size: 7, 8 and 10 inches).
We tested the 7 inch Kyros 7022 (less than 140 Euros) to see if the tablet was worth the buy. We can say one thing in advance: Coby has saved money in a lot of areas without considering how the cutbacks may affect the user-friendliness of the tablet.
As the test model costs a mere 140 Euros, we did not hold great expectations of it. However, we were pleasantly surprised when we saw that the case of the test model was very sturdy. There are a few spots here and there between the display and the case edge which squeak when pushed. Also, the display is not set 100% into the case and in two spots it feels as if it is sticking out. In these two spots, pressing down will cause the display to give way.
The border and back of the test model have a titanium look which exudes a certain elegance. Positive side-effect: fingerprints are not visible on this surface.
The Kyros 7022 measures 192 mm (length), 121 mm (width), and 11 mm (depth) - very much like other 7 inch tablets, such as, the Lenovo Ideapad A1 or the Dell Streak 7". The test model is lighter than the other two tablets and weighs a mere 385 grams whereas the Lenovo model weighs 400 grams and the Dell tablet measures 454 grams. Thanks to the low weight, the user can work with the tablet for multiple hours with a single hand without feeling discomfort.
The ports of the Kyros 7022 can be found on the bottom of the device. The tablet can be connected to an external hard drive or a PC/laptop via the mini USB port. However, the device can not be charged via this port. A mini HDMI interface allows the user to connect the device to an external display/TV and display the media of the tablet. A 3.5 mm headphone jack and a card slot (for Micro SD cards) and the power outlet are also placed on the bottom of the test model.
The first sign that Coby has cut back in the production of the Kyros 7022. The test model has a single camera on the front with a picture quality of 0.3 MP. Any photos taken with this camera have poor quality and if the surroundings are not well-lit, then the quality drops even further. Furthermore, the camera is placed in such an inconvenient position (right bottom corner - tablet in portrait mode), that using the device for video chat will be quite inconvenient for the user. The placement seems to suit the motto: "see or be seen".
Coby has saved a lot of money in the communications department. The manufacturer has left out important modules, such as WLAN n-standard, Bluetooth, GPS and UMTS, to drop down the price of the tablet. In fact, the Kyros 7022 only offers WLAN 80.11 b/g and nothing else. In comparison, by paying a few more Euros, the buyer can take home the Lenovo Ideapad A1 which offers the fast WLAN n-standard, Bluetooth and GPS.
Thankfully, Coby has packed various accessories with the model. The tablet comes with a charger, a connection cable for the PC and cleaning equipment as well as a bag. A USB adapter cable is also included. This allows the user to connect an external mouse or keyboard to the device. In our test, both the mouse and the keyboard were immediately recognized. This will surely make the use of the tablet much easier for new users.
Apps and Appstore
The access to hundred thousand apps is one of the main advantages of using Android OS. Sadly, Kyros 7022 does not utilize this advantage, as instead of simply using the Android Market for Apps, the test model employs Coby's Appstore AppsLib. Sadly, AppsLib is not even up-to-date. The user will not find the latest flash player or the popular Angry Birds series on Coby's AppsLib. In fact, the user will have to either install Android Market themselves (inconvenient) or purchase the apps from third-party sellers to get them.
Recently, Coby has allowed users to directly access the GetJar Appstore from AppsLib. This will make users happy, as GetJar offers far more up-to-date apps than Coby's AppsLib. Google's services such as Maps and Mail are not pre-installed on the Kyros 7022. However, they can be easily installed by the user.
The Kyros 7022 and other tablets from Coby all receive a waranty period of 1 year.
The touch display of the Kyros 7022 can be used for the majority of input. However, controls are also placed on the device; the most prominent being the single round button on the front of the tablet. This button will remind users of the "Home" button found on most Apple devices. However, on the Coby tablets, this control is the "Back" key. During our test, we found many such annoyingly placed keys on the test model. The "Home" and "Menu" keys are placed together on the right side of the model and are quite hard to use without looking. So during our test, we had to turn the device each time to use the buttons. Coby has not provided a volume control on the case of the test model. The volume can be changed via two touch interfaces on the home screen. This is very inconvenient as many apps do not offer options for changing the volume.
The touch keyboard allows fast typing - at least in landscape mode. Sadly, the keys are a little small and the actual keyboard fills a mere one-third of the display. The Lenovo Ideapad A1 offers a keyboard with bigger keys and is thus better suited for big fingers. In portrait mode, each key of the Kyros 7022 is about the size of a key on a Smartphone and the user has to type more carefully and accurately.
The touchscreen of the Kyros 7022 is very good and leaves no room for critique. Every touch is translated precisely and immediately into input. Scrolling or zooming with fingers is not a problem - such operations are executed smoothly.
The position sensor is a different story. This sensor is responsible for turning the content on the screen if the tablet is turned. The sensor is too sensitive and ends up turning or flipping the content on the screen as soon as the device is turned slightly. Another curiosity is the tablet's reaction when being used on the table: when an application is closed, the screen content suddenly flips.
The Coby tablet has a reflective 7 inch display with a 16:9 format and a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. However, 7 inch screen can support higher resolutions as shown by the Lenovo Ideapad A1 and the Acer Iconia Tab A100 (both have a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels). The brightness values are truly dismal: this is one of the darkest tablets we have ever tested. The maximum brightness lies at 177 cd/m² in the bottom half of the display, whereas the upper half has slightly more than 140 cd/m². This brightness is sufficient for indoors use. However, outdoors with direct sunlight, the content is illegible. The HTC Flyer and the BlackBerry Playbook have better brightness levels (352 cd/m² and 500 cd/m² respectively) but they are also much more expensive. The Lenovo Ideapad A1 offers 208 cd/m² and costs slightly more than the test model.
The display of the Kyros 7022 has a low black value of 0.22 cd/m² which results in a nice contrast of 782:1.
Light and small tablets are easy to carry around and, thus, often used outdoors at a swimming pool or at a park. However, the Kyros 7022 does not fit the bill, as the maximum brightness of the test model is too low for the content on the screen to be clearly recognizable outdoors. Even if the tablet was used in the shadows, the sun, or any bright objects in the background, would cause a myriad of distracting reflections on the display of the Kyros 7022.
As shown by the gallery of pictures taken in a dark room, the Kyros 7022 has decent viewing angle stability. Horizontally, the content remains stable till 45 degrees. Vertically, a deviation upwards or downwards can cause slight brightening or inverting of display content. The Coby Kyros 7022 display is no match for expensive IPS displays but for such a low price, it is acceptable.
The Kyros 7022 uses an ARM Cortex A8 single-core CPU which runs at 1 GHz. The processor is augmented by 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of Flash memory. The operating system of the tablet is Android OS (version 2.3.3). Buyers expecting to enjoy the tablet-optimized Android OS 3.0 or 4.0 will be disappointed. Coby has declared on their website that the tablets will be delivered only with version 2.3.3 and there will be no further updates.
To express the system performance in numbers, and thus compare it to that of other tablets, we used a few benchmarks:
In the Linpack Pro benchmark the Kyros 7022 delivered 13,373 MFLOS - the worst score of all the tablets we have tested or recorded. A Dell Streak 7" with 1 GHz Tegra 2 can deliver 36,817 MFLOPS - nearly 3 times the score of the Kyros 7022. On the other hand, the Lenovo Ideapad A1 scores 16.912 MFLOPS with its ARM Cortex A8 .
In the Smartbench 2011 test, the Kyros performed at a similar level: 1,309 points (Game Index) and 931 points (Productivity). The Dell Streak scores 2,566 (Game Index) and 2,995 points (Productivity). The Lenovo Ideapad A1 scores 1,686 (Game Index) and 735 points (Productivity), placing it in the same region as our test model.
Finally we ran the Quadrant benchmark on the test model. In this benchmark, the devices scored 1,319 points. The Dell Streak can score 1,940 and the Lenovo Ideapad A1 delivers 1,372 points.
The points scored in these benchmarks is dependent on the hardware of the device and the Android OS version. It is also important how well the manufacturer has customized the OS to suit their device. The aforementioned benchmarks serve as a rough estimate of the performance offered by tablets.
Despite the small RAM amount of 512 MB, the Kyros 7022 can multi-task like a champ. Even while running multiple games, benchmarks and playing music (all simultaneously) in the background, the tablet can scroll through menus and home screens fluidly.
Videos and Games
We pushed the test model with videos and games to test its multimedia performance. The Coby Kyros 7022 has a useful HDMI interface which allows the user to connect the tablet to external monitors or TVs. The tablet was tested with a 720p and 1080p trailer and we subjectively judged the performance. We were pleasantly surprised to see the Full HD trailer of "The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey" running fluidly on the 7 inch test model. In fact, the test model performs better in this area than the similarly-equipped Lenovo Ideapad A1 which can not play more than 720p.
After installing Flash Players 11.1 from third party providers, we could play Youtube videos as well.
Games such as "Angry Birds" and the more demanding "Tiki Kart 3D" were run on the test model. Both apps ran fluidly on the Kyros 7022. As a simple entertainer, the test model is quite good.
The Kyros 7022 remains silent - the memory (Flash) and the cooling (entirely passive without a cooler fan) have no moving parts, allowing the tablet to operate silently.
The temperature of the Kyros 7022 remained in a comfortable region during testing. Even after running for multiple hours under heavy load, the maximum temperature in the right region of the top of the tablet only rose to an acceptable 30 °C. On average, the maximum temperature on the top and bottom sides remained at 27.5 °C.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 30.2 °C / 86 F, compared to the average of 34.8 °C / 95 F, ranging from 22.2 to 51.8 °C for the class Tablet.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 28.5 °C / 83 F, compared to the average of 34.3 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23 °C / 73 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
The sound output of the Kyros 7022 emanates from a mono speaker placed on the back on the tablet. The high maximum volume is worthy of mention, and the tablet can playback music at this level without disturbances. At the maximum volume, the tablet tangibly shakes in the hand. As the speaker is placed on the back, the output is muffled when the tablet is placed on a table.
The power consumption of the Kyros tablet in standby is very low: 0.1 W. Under heavy load, the maximum power consumption is 3.6 watts. This tablet consumes slightly less than similarly equipped tablets.
|Off / Standby||0.1 / 0.1 Watt|
|Idle|| 1.4 / 2.8 / 3 Watt|
/ 3.6 Watt|
Key: min: , med: , max: Voltcraft VC 940
Tablets are often used on-the-go and, as such, long battery life is a big plus. We tested the tablet to see how long it takes to deplete the Lithium-Polymer battery (according to the manufacturer; Systeminfo Apps showed that the tablet uses a Lithium-Ion battery).
The maximum runtime was measured by lowering the brightness to the minimum and running a WLAN script on the tablet which loads various text files randomly. In this test, the battery lasted a good 7 hours and 30 minutes. When the wireless module was switched off, the battery life was extended further. With full load (simulated by the App Stability Test), maximum display brightness, and WLAN switched on, the tablet runs for 3 hours.
The everyday use of the tablet is best represented by the WLAN test, in which alternating websites and Youtube videos are loaded. The brightness is set to 150 cd/m² for this test. After 4 hours and 20 minutes the battery is depleted - not an exceptional value. The Lenovo Ideapad A1 shows that tablets of the same price range can have a longer battery life.
The Coby Kyros 7022 provides buyers the opportunity to enter the world of tablets for a mere 140 Euros - a real deal. But is cheap all that matters? Our test reveals the answer.
Users looking for a tablet which can be used for entertainment now and then will be content with this tablet. The Kyros 7022 can play 1080p videos fluidly, and the tested games ran well.
In the test, we were confronted by the annoying flaws of the tablet. The list is long: display is too dark (preventing easy use outdoors), the tablet lacks Bluetooth and GPS, and the controls are hard to use. As the tablet lacks Bluetooth, the user will have to always connect the device via the USB cable to transfer data.
The poor placement of controls and the erratic position sensor (which flips the display content even with a slight deviation) ruined the experience of the test model for us.
All-in-all, there are various flaws which take the fun out of saving money. In fact, for an additional 20 Euros the buyer can take the Lenovo Ideapad A1. It offers a better display and Bluetooth and GPS are on board.