I had promised a comparison review of my Zenithink C91, the Zenithink C94 and the Ampe A10. I had the chance to have hands on with the C94 the other day, and had a chance to put the C94 through it's paces.
Now, I have to tell you, up front, that I have a Zenithink C91 that I really enjoy. It is a very well constructed, and capable tablet. I will come back to this in a few minutes. Just let me say that my experiences with the C91 have mostly been extremely good and have made me very pre-disposed to like Zenithink's products.
Saying the above though, my first impression of the Zenithink C94 was not very good.
1. There were no instructions in the box.
2. There were no micro to regular usb cables that came with it.
3. My friend, who had bought the tablet, had turned it on, there was a ui error notice, and due to the fact that the default screen shut off was only 1 minute, effectively, at his skill level left him with a bricked tablet.
Well, the first thing I did was to shut off the tablet and reboot it. This is where I discovered that there was, indeed, a Ui error. At that point, I reset the tablet. This did not correct the error. Then I set the screen to never shut itself off, and while in the settings, did a hard reset that wiped the tablet. This took care of the problem. We now had a fully functioning Zenithink C94, or so I thought! What would my friend have done without someone who knew what he was doing? This first experience with the C94 had dampened my enthusiasm for Zenithink. Putting this in perspective then, let's move on.
Now, having what appeared to be a fully functioning C94, let's look at appearances. No one has, till now, answered the question as to whether the C94 has a glass screen or not-Yes, it has a glass screen. The overall heft and feel of the C94 is quite good, and screams quality. Everything fits extremely well and has the little touches that give an overall comfortableness and solidity to the tablet. In fact, I found the C94 to be very attractive. The white plastic back was no problem, as my C91 also has one.
The ports on the Zenithink are good as it has two USB ports, HDMI, headphone, and mic ports as well. It also has a reset. These all fit well. I wish they had kept a full sized USB port but Zenithink chose to drop it.
I really don't like the positioning of the ports on the C94 along the top of the machine. I wish they had placed these along the right hand side.
Another problem is the positioning of the On/Off and Volume switches along the upper back right hand side. They are smaller than I'd have liked , but were beautiful there. If you try to buy a case that will fit it, you're out of luck unless you get a very expensive case that allows some serious customization. Seriously, the appearance of the tablet is quite pretty. It is only about half the thickness of my C91 as it is, it is about a ½ inch shorter and a ½ inch wider than the C91, though the screen size is the same as the C91. It lacks the icons that are along the right side of the C91, instead only has standard ICS icons along the left bottom of the screen. That's right, in spite of what you might have seen and heard, the C94 is still running under ICS 4.0.3. In spite of the advertising, Zenithink shipped the tablet before they had Jelly Bean fixed for it. It also has an 8 gig nand ram drive. When you boot the machine up it operates smoothly. There was very little time between pressing the on button and boot up. I was impressed. I found very little in the way of apps pre-installed, and had to load everything my friend wanted in the way of software. All of this came from the Play Store, and had no problem downloading, installing or operating. However, on that particular day the Store would not download Antutu or Quadrant to do speed tests. I think it was because the Zt/I. MX6Q was not registered with them yet.
By the time I got through doing my work that night, his tablet seemed to work very well indeed. It's very fast and capable. The inability to find a case for it, and the placement of the ports would put me off. I'll have more to say later, but my C91 compared very favourably against the C94, though it didn't appear to be anywhere near as fast. The battery life seems to be very good. Since this time I have found out that the firmware is very poor. There is no Bluetooth recognition, nor do either of the USB ports work.
I have sadly recommended that my friend return the tablet for the following reasons.
1. The tablet came without cables or instructions.
2. The UI (User Interface) was corrupted before he ever touched it.
3. The advertising clearly stated that the tablet had Android 4.1. It did not! It came with Android 4.0.3.
4. It was advertised as having two working USB ports. Neither of these work.
5. I discovered that there is no provision for Bluetooth on this tablet even though this was one of the selling points in the advertisements.
Even downloading the latest firmware did not help these problems. These issues carried on to the new firmware which was flawed in the same way, in fact, the firmware upgrade clearly states that it is a beta version of Android 4.0.3..
The hardware appears to be good, but the firmware is shoddy, and only partially functional.
Since I had owned an Upgraded Zenithink C91 I really thought that Zenithink would market a good tablet here. I am severely disappointed because of the firmware they marketed it with. Because of this they have been selling nothing but an expensive toy and I can't recommend it.
On the other hand, A couple of days later, I got my Ampe A10 Quad Core.
I opened the box, and saw the tablet. After removing this, I went through the rest of the contents. There were an inexpensive set of earbuds, a male USB to male micro USB cable, and a female USB to micro male USB cable, and two pieces of paperwork. One of these was an operation manual, and the warranty info. Both of these were in Chinese, and didn't help at all.
The tablet itself is very nice, and extremely beautiful. It booted right up, and I have just loved using it ever since. Yes, there are battery problems, but my dealer is writing a new rom right now that addresses this. In the meantime, Juice Protector has extended the length of the charge to more than four hours. The tablet is extremely well constructed and has a 16 gig internal nand drive. Everything on it works to perfection, and the Play Store is working wonderfully as well. There were programs that either were not completely compatible or were not listed on the Party Store at first, but like Rom Toolbox, which was not there one day, but was the next, compatible versions appear overnight. After running the tablet with more than 180 different apps now, I am really impressed. This is a lightning fast tablet that looks beautiful, and operates wonderfully. The ports are all positioned nicely, fit nicely, show real quality engineering. The screen is a 1280x800 wonder, this is not a higher definition, but larger format screen that really looks good, and makes the tablet about an inch wider than my Zenithink C91. The one drawback is that the screen is made of plastic rather than glass. A good screen protector goes a long way though. Also, the cameras on the tablet could be higher resolution(They're both 2gig cameras), but they have made it easier to get photos when I want them.
The tablet is incredibly fast, runs just about everything you throw at it, and is able to run circles around my Zenithink C91.
For my money, this is the tablet that should have been. It's the best. By the way, Freescale, the manufacturer of the chip set, has promised a soon delivery of a working version of Android 4.1.
The Ampe A10 Quad Core is inexpensive, but a quality tablet that I can heartily recommend-The Ampe A10 Quad Core.
Hi The Kingsman,
Thank you for posting your informative review, it's a real eye opener.... First let me say that I am biased towards Zenithink, since they are the only Android devices that I've ever used, and Zenithink does send me a free tablet now and then so I can help all the Zenithink tablet users in all the Forums I am apart of (they never sent me a ZT-282 though, but I tried to help out as much as I could in that forum).... I just have a few comments about the 5 reasons you wouldn't advise someone getting the tablet... Actually, other than the ZT-283's on ICS, I probably wouldn't recommend any of their other products (that I have) either...
1. Usually when Zenithink sends me a tablet, I don't get any cables either, I think some vendors add them before shipping (was it stated on the box that cables were included?).... There is the Help PDF on the media partition or in the ROM download in the media folder (for those who are looking for it)....
2. That really sucks, I'm glad you were able to get it to work for your friend. Do you know which ROM was on it when that happened? Is it possible the data partition got corrupted during transit? Was the battery very low when your friend first turned it on, or did he do the recommended charge for a few hours before turning the tablet on?
3. Yes, many people are upset about that, but the JB ROMs for the ZT-283's (from Zenithink) aren't that stable yet (Christian Troy's ROMs are pretty stable though, especially if you change the default Launcher (Trebuchet) to some other JB compatible Launcher). I think it's better they iron out all the wrinkles on ICS before they even attempt to release a JB ROM for the ZT-285's, or there may not be any stable ROM for the C94 for a long time....
4. I believe the host port is for using the ethernet adapter (I could be wrong though).... And if the other port is like the ZT-283's, you need an OTG adapter for it to work for using USB things, a regular adapter wil not work, and then a regular usb cable for mass storage/connecting to your computer... (If I am wrong, and someone knows the correct answer, please post it.)
5. Does your friend have H8 or H8_1a tablet? All of those don't have internal BT, and only recent (not all) H8_2a tablets have them....
Some things I don't like about the C94's (I don't have one, just from what I've read) are that the current ROMs aren't pre-rooted, and also the files have changed from previous Zenithink tablet ROMs, they are the img files now, not the *.tar.bz files that are easy to edit and share with other people....