I’m not much of a techie. Well. I want to be a techie but I don’t have a reason to be one, so I continue to be the frugal “bohemian” I am and refrain from making purchases that would qualify me as a techie.
My phone barely texts. It doesn’t have a qwerty keyboard. In fact, it’s a FLIP PHONE. Cue the 80’s music.
I have a handheld digital video camera but that’s only because an amazing blogger was nice enough to send me one when she had two.
And up until this month, I didn’t have a tablet style computer.
But now I do.
And I think now I am officially on the cusp of techie-ism.
I have a brand new Next6 Nextbook Android Tablet!!!!!
The Next6 Nextbook Android Tablet from E FUN is a 7″ tablet computer with the Android operating system. It has wi-fi connectivity, a touch screen and easily functions as an ebook reader as well.
If you like reading books, browse Internet, listen to music, view your favorite photo albums or videos, Next6 is your new best friend. Its sleek design, touch screen feature, 7 inches color display, WiFi, is just amazing. Next6 also comes with 25 free preloaded books. With one touch, you can open your favorite book and enjoy it anywhere. When fully charged, you can read up to 10 hours. Your new Next6 come with EBook Store App, so you can download eBooks directly from the web. Its crystal clear capacitive screen is so easy to use. It gives you sharp images especially when playing HD video. If it’s games that you prefer, there are thousands of free 3rd party apps available for you to download. Next6, it is all you need in a tablet!!
• 7” TFT Color Display
• 800×480 High Resolution1
• Built-in Rechargeable Battery
• Built-in 4GB Memory Storage
• Built-in G sensor
• Preloaded with 25 Free eBooks
• Build-in Speaker
• Micro SD/MMC Card Slot for Memory Expansion
• MP3 & Photo Viewer
|Comes with:• Next6 Multimedia tablet|
• Protective case
• AC Power Adapter
• USB Cable
• User’s Manual
As I mentioned, this is my first experience with a tablet. I don’t even have a phone that does any of this stuff so I am a complete newbie to apps and web browsing on a device like this.
When I first got my Nextbook, I charged it up per the instructions and powered it on. The home screen was not overly intuitive because the buttons were symbols basic to the Android operating system that I had no experience with. So of course I just started clicking around and quickly figured out what everything did. In a lot of ways it operates like a normal computer, with shortcut icons leading to programs called applications or apps for short. Most people have heard of apps, I know I had, so I was familiar with what they were (basically small programs) that increase the functionality of your device. There are apps for everything! Games, to-do lists, organizing, banking, shopping, etc.
Apps and the Nextbook Next6
The Next6 comes with a pre-installed app marketplace called SlideME. This is not the mainstream Android Marketplace run by Google and you cannot install the Android Marketplace yourself on this tablet. This caused me a lot of frustration because a lot of the apps I like and want are not in the SlideME marketplace. You can get them, unofficially by searching the web and putting them on an SD card and installing them onto your Nextbook, but this can be dangerous because of malware and illegal if they are not free apps.
SlideME has some fun free game apps, and some other great apps like shopping lists, but the problem with many of the apps I have found on there is that once you are in the app there is no way out of the app because they don’t maintain the menu bar across the top and the apps display full screen. I had to install an app (that I downloaded from the web) called “Button Savior” that adds a pop-out button on all the screens so you can get back out of the of apps. Otherwise, I was having to reboot the tablet.
I also tried installing the Amazon Android marketplace on the Next6 and it did not work. Amazon claims that the Android Marketplace must be installed for theirs to run properly.
eBooks and the Nextbook Next6
Another big use of the Next6 is its ability to act as an eBook reader. It comes installed with an eBookReader app and a Borders/Kobo app that allows you to purchase and download eBooks from Borders (now merged with Kobo). I actually had a Kobo account with some purchased books so I was easily able to link up and download them onto my Next6.
The eBookReader app is easy to use, although it hiccups sometimes when the memory gets full. When that happens, I turn off the tablet, restart it, then make sure no other apps are running while I am reading. I like that I can read in the dark on the Next6. The reader has a bookmark functionality, a “go to” button and allows you to change the font size to read with ease.
Along with the Borders functionality you can actually install the Amazon Kindle Marketplace as well and buy eBooks that way. For me, I like the pre-installed app but I also get Amazon gift certificates frequently and I like that I can use them to buy books to read on my tablet.
Capacitive touch screen and the Nextbook Next6
The screen on the Next6 is “capacitive” meaning you use the pad of your finger to touch the screen and make things happen. You do not need a stylus. The screen is very clear, rotates when you rotate the tablet and seems pretty responsive. I do sometimes have trouble scrolling through things and often “click” rather than scroll, but I’m getting better at it. I think that is more operator error than anything else.
I have found some difficulty cleaning the screen because of fingerprints (a common problem with touch screens) and I wanted to protect the screen from my kids and potential scratches so I purchased some clear screen protectors designed for another tablet and trimmed it to size. These are the ones I bought, they come 3 to a pack: Splash Masque Screen Protector Film Clear (Invisible) for Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″ Tablet (3-Pack). I also purchased a stylus designed for capacitive touch screens because I felt that typing on my Next6 would be easier if I had one. It is. The manufacturer recommends a stylus less than 6 mm in diameter. I bought this stylus: AYL (TM) Newest Generation Slim Capacitive iPad Stylus with 1 YR Warranty (Spring Pink). The tip is less than 1/4″ in diameter, and I’m not sure how that equates to mm, but it works great on the Next6, even through the screen protector.
WI-FI and the Nextbook Next6
Connecting to the internet on the Next6 was fairly easy. Turn on the WI-FI and it finds all available wireless networks. It found ours very quickly and I have had no problems connecting both at home and away. I also was impressed with the range on the Next6. I was able to remain connected and continue to browse the web on MY OWN wireless network while standing across the street from my house next to my neighbor’s front door. It’s not quite as fast as a traditional computer or laptop would be when browsing the web, but it’s certainly not unbearable.
Web Browsing and the Nextbook Next6
A tablet like this cannot really replace a computer, but searching the web is fairly easy (but compact), although it takes some getting used to. You can zoom in and out on web pages so see the full page or just a specific article. Scrolling the page takes some practice too. Make sure you don’t click any links you didn’t mean to!
Multi-Media and the Nextbook Next6
I haven’t done too much with the MP3 player or photo viewer. I did try and use the YouTube app but I can’t seem to get any Youtube videos to play on it.
Battery Life and the Nextbook Next6
They claim you can get 10 hours of battery life from the Next6 if you are reading eBooks on it. Web browsing and apps probably eats up more, but I have easily gone all day using the tablet on and off on a single charge (probably a total of 5-6 hours of apps, eBooks & web use). It definitely lasts longer than the charge on my laptop does, and longer then the charge on a standard netbook. I was quite impressed with the battery life.
Overall I think this is a great entry level tablet. You can play games, browse the web, and have a convenient, very portable way to keep yourself organized, check and send email and stay connected where ever there is a WI-FI connection available. I can even blog from it because there is a WordPress Android app that makes it easy (I had to download the apk file from their forum and install it from the SD Card onto the Next6). This is great for those days when I am sitting outside while the kids play.
The size is great for most purposes, although occasionally I wish it was bigger. I also love that it comes with a protective cover.
While the MSRP is $280, I have seen it being sold on a couple of reputable websites for under $170 so it is quite affordable. Amazon.com is selling it currently for $185.
I do think it would make this tablet even more appealing to add the Android Market pre-installed . For me that is the one thing missing that keeps this tablet from competing with some of the higher end tablets.
If I was giving Next6 Nextbook tablet a rating, I would give it 4 stars, the only reason it wouldn’t get 5 stars from me is because of the lack of the Android Market.
Note: I received the product indicated to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are my own.