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31721Fwd: The $20 Android tablet

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  • dmccunney
    Apr 25, 2014
      (I mentioned in another post that an Android tablet had joined the family.)

      Well, they got my attention.

      There's a midwest computer retail chain called Micro Center which is
      expanding. In particular, they just opened locations in Brooklyn and
      Queens in NYC. The Brooklyn location is the ground floor of one of the
      Bush Terminal buildings, industrial buildings that have been gradually
      repurposed as industry went elsewhere.

      A direct mail announcement of the NYC locations popped up in my
      mailbox ysterday, including a coupon to get a 7" Android tablet for $20.

      A little Googling reveal that it's an Azpen Innovation A727 Tablet -

      Capacitive Multi-Point Touchscreen LCD 7" 800x480 Display
      Allwinner A23 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU
      512MB RAM & 4GB SSD Storage
      Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
      Expandable up to 32GB via microSD Card

      List price is $80. The specs are mediocre, but for $20, it's an
      impulse purchase.

      It followed me home, and I kept it.

      Right now it's mostly stock, and I haven't done much beyond adding a
      16GB micro-SD card Kat bought for her Nook Tablet but doesn't use,
      and verifying wifi works and I can connect to the Internet.

      Next step is to root it, and can some of the built-in bloatware, like an
      Office package trial version and a game store app. Fortunately,
      standard apk packages install either from Google Play or side-loaded
      from an external SD card. Early installs are Android versions of
      CoolReader and FBReader, open source eBook viewer apps, and
      the Nova launcher John mentioned a while back.

      Mostly, it will be an eBook viewer, since I have thousands, but I'm
      sure other uses will present themselves.

      Longer term, what I'd *like* is a 10" Android model, with higher screen
      resolution, more Honest-to-Ghu RAM and a BT or USB keyboard. (The
      FAQ for the A727 says it can't use an external keyboard, but I suspect
      that may not be the case once rooted.) Meanwhile, the A727 provides
      a test bed to learn on.

      I now get to dive into the deep end of the Android software pool.


      Recommendations are welcomed. Free/open source preferred, but
      payware isn't out of the question if it's the best there is at what it does.

      (Recommendations on rooting are especially welcomed. There are an
      assortment of "one-click" root solutions out there, but none list Azpen
      gear as supported, so I'm proceeding with caution. The idea is to root
      it, not brick it...)
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