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Is Your RK3188 Tablet What You Expected?


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#1 will567

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:42 PM

Let me start by saying I was very eager to see Rockchip's quad-core 3188 chip show up in tablets. Owning a couple RK3066 tablets, and feeling they were better performers than other dual-core tablets I had, and even better than a Tegra-3 tablet I used to have, I had high hopes for the 3188. Killer performance along with long battery life were the 2 things I expected to see, at least.
However, the more I read reviews, see videos, and look at benchmarks, the 3188 is underwhelming. The only place it looks way better is posting high Antutu scores. Many users complain of UI lag. Several video reviews appear to show poor browser, wifi, and gaming performance also.
This seems to be happening across many different brands, screen sizes, and screen resolutions. So is it possible every manufacturer can't make a really smooth, quick firmware? Or is the hardware just not as good as expected?
I invite owners of RK3188 tablets to comment on their device, whether it is as good as they anticipated or not. It has been a couple months since they are out now, I would expect firmware to be getting better, if that is the problem. What do you think?

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#2 BamaPanda

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:54 PM

As one who is looking to possibly buy a Pipo M8, this thread has merit.
So a bump to hopefully get more replies. ;)

#3 WAI

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 10:33 PM

hello, i have the Vido M1 (MiniOne) and will be doing a Full Review on it soon. i have a Unbox Video here

Edited by WAI, 10 June 2013 - 10:33 PM.


#4 cm0803o2

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:27 AM

I am on the fence, so any current owner can provide some info would be appreciated.

#5 BamaPanda

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:32 AM

I am on the fence, so any current owner can provide some info would be appreciated.


I too would love to see something more definite. I read some who just love the 3188 ...then I read a post by a respected hacker/modder who says the 3188 lags ...PERIOD!
What gives? Has the software just not caught up, or does the chip actually have an inherent flaw?



#6 Nickos-V

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:10 AM

I too would love to see something more definite. I read some who just love the 3188 ...then I read a post by a respected hacker/modder who says the 3188 lags ...PERIOD!

Could be chip flaw. Keep in mind that 3188 is 28nm which is more complex to design. Or could be the brand of tablet that modder bought. Some tablets are built better than others and have better firmware too. Or maybe unable to handle higher resolution well???

Check out this thread for gaming performance with Chuwi V88.
http://www.slatedroi...e-on-chuwi-v88/

Seems mostly good but very few games do not play well with high settings.

Best if someone had RK3188 & RK3066 tablets to compare against to see if any problems exist. Even better would be having the same tablet brand for both to avoid any issues with using a different brand.

Edited by Nickos-V, 11 June 2013 - 11:12 AM.


*MINIX NEO X5 (RK3066) - OK. Not fun because uses mouse cursor.
*YUANDAO N80 DUAL (RK3066) - Very good
*CUBE U30GT (RK3066)- Defective; buttons broke in 2-3 weeks; Bad quality control!!! I will never buy a Cube again!!! - Very good while working
*WOPAD I7 (RK2918)- About OK. Sluggish because has weaker ARM chip (RK2918) & less RAM (512 MB).

#7 BamaPanda

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 02:50 PM

"Best if someone had RK3188 & RK3066 tablets to compare against to see if any problems exist. Even better would be having the same tablet brand for both to avoid any issues with using a different brand"

Actually when hey first came out the comment was made by Roman that he saw little advantage of the 3188 over the 3066, ceptin' in benchmarks.
Still I am sure you are right. Surely the best examples will rise to the top in time.

Edited by BamaPanda, 11 June 2013 - 02:52 PM.


#8 smithmal

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 03:46 PM

Owner of a v88 here...

My expectations have been pretty well met with the v88. Full disclaimer that expectations with ChinaPads in the first place are rather low and I expect a certain level of patience and "know-how" is necessary when diving into the murky waters of Chinapad products. I do feel that if you do your research and have enough community support, you can eventually get a tablet as good if not better than the large market brands when you're looking for the "best bang out of the buck."

Firmware Performance (Grade: B)
Firmware wise, there are some bugs with initial release however Chuwi has already released five updates and already moved their product to OS 4.2.2. The firmware does have some bugs, but they aren't deal breakers. With the most current release, all ports seem to work (HDMI out, USB host, headphone, etc.) and the tablet's UI response is snappy. There are some bugs in the settings menu (doesn't report battery usage) and the mic volume seems to be low.

Form Factor (Grade: B)
Form factor wise, the v88's 8" form factor and the thinness are great attributes. Not loving the volume rocker and power button on the back of the bezel as it makes it impossible to access these buttons when using any kind of case. Also not loving the white "IPAD" style, but theoretically the v88 should be released in black in a couple weeks (don't hold your breath).

Hardware Performance (Grade: B)
Hardware wise, the v88 has pretty much everything you'd want and it all works relatively well. Nice screen, nice speaker, good battery size and performance (5000mAH), 2GB RAM and BT and good resolution front and back cameras. Having a nice bright screen with moderate resolution works fine for me with this tablet. HD screen resolution would only suck more battery juice out of it and quite frankly, I don't see a need for it using the 8" form factor. Users have even reported the v88 compatible with 64GB microSD cards.

The SoC performance is decent for a new product release and hopefully has a ceiling for improvement. The fact that the RK3188 comprises of 4x A9 (28nm) cores which are currently under utilized (clocked at 1.6Ghz instead of 1.8Ghz) is the biggest reason I decided on the RK3188 vs. the Exynos dual core. Out of the box, it gets good benchmark scores, and with an increase in clock speed with future firmware releases, it's performance will probably take another +3,000 jump with Antutu. The GPU is a bit lacking (Mali 400 @ supposedly overclocked to 533Mhz) and as Roman reported in his review, the benchmarks of the RK3188 vs. RK3066 show there is little advantage to the RK3188. There is some question as to whether or not the Mali-400 is actually presently clocked at 533Mhz with the current firmware releases so perhaps there's ceiling room there as well. The tablet is snappy and browsing speed is good.

If I had a knock on the hardware it would be with the Wifi. It is lower than other tabs I have tested, but not so much that it's unusable. The initial firmware release showed spotty Wifi performance with numerous disconnects. Disconnection behavior was fixed with later firmware releases however, the antenna's ability to pick up Wifi signals is still average at best. To me though, I can be a floor away from my router and still pick up signal and get decent DL/UL speeds.

Consumer Reviews (Grade: B)
Out of the box, the v88 works relatively well. Consumers seem to be relatively happy with their unit although there are some production quality issues from batch to batch, so having a reputable vendor that isn't just a turnstile with unit throughput is necessary. There have been reports of assembly issues (subpar screen to bezel adhesion, incorrect screen controller to motherboard connection), bad chargers and spotty WiFi performance, etc. For these reasons I would strongly suggest interested buyers purchase their units from reputable sellers which don't view their service as a "turnstile middleman" rather they actual perform some QC before sending there products on to their buyers.

There has also been some users that have soft-bricked their units when trying to upgrade their firmware or flash custom ROMs. It would seem that Rockchip decided not to allow customers access to the default Recovery menu which is a lifesaver when one has a bad flash. Presently all flashing is done using the RKBatchUtility tool which necessitates a functional tablet OS to use. I'm not sure if bad flashes are due to user error, bad driver/utility program, or corrupt firmware downloads. One of the users may have found a way to correct a soft brick, but it is early and I'm not sure if it's a 100% fix.


All in all, the v88, for the money, seems to be a solid ChinaPad with room to grow. Community support is going well so far and the v88 forum is one of the more popular forums within the Slatedroid RK3188 community. ClockworkMod has already been proven to work with the v88 and the latest XBMC release (12.2) works well with the tablet. Netflix operation is still being tested with the latest firmware release. Gaming is adequate and I'm not sure if issues with certain games are specifically due to the v88, the RK3188, or the 4.2.2 OS (my bet though is on the RK3188 chipset in general).


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#9 max1001

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 03:53 PM

I have own both and rk3188 is a mile better. Gaming is a big plus. 3066 can't handle Nova 3 or MC 4 at 720p. 3188 can handle those game at full 1200p. You can look at videos in my review and you can see how well it run.
As for UI lag, that's an emmc storage issue. Doesn't matter if you have a A13 or rk3188, if the emmc storage is slow, you gonna run into lag issue every now and then. Even with 2 gb of ram, you gonna have to start swapping pages in and out eventually and then boom, laggggg.
Browsing is most significantly affected by this bottleneck. Rendering web pages eats up ram no matter which operating system you use. So if you have a tablet with slow emmc storage, you gonna have a poor browsing experience.

There's an app call LagFix that is suppose to help alleviate this issue on Android. The app run fstrim on /data /system and /cache. Unfortunately, rk3188 doesn't support the fstrim command.
AndroBench is a good benchmarking app for Android. If you want to know if a tablet will have lag issue or not, tell a reviewer to run this benchmark a few time and post the result.

#10 will567

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:16 PM

Owner of a v88 here...

My expectations have been pretty well met with the v88. Full disclaimer that expectations with ChinaPads in the first place are rather low and I expect a certain level of patience and "know-how" is necessary when diving into the murky waters of Chinapad products. I do feel that if you do your research and have enough community support, you can eventually get a tablet as good if not better than the large market brands when you're looking for the "best bang out of the buck."

Firmware Performance (Grade: B)
Firmware wise, there are some bugs with initial release however Chuwi has already released five updates and already moved their product to OS 4.2.2. The firmware does have some bugs, but they aren't deal breakers. With the most current release, all ports seem to work (HDMI out, USB host, headphone, etc.) and the tablet's UI response is snappy. There are some bugs in the settings menu (doesn't report battery usage) and the mic volume seems to be low.

Form Factor (Grade: B)
Form factor wise, the v88's 8" form factor and the thinness are great attributes. Not loving the volume rocker and power button on the back of the bezel as it makes it impossible to access these buttons when using any kind of case. Also not loving the white "IPAD" style, but theoretically the v88 should be released in black in a couple weeks (don't hold your breath).

Hardware Performance (Grade: B)
Hardware wise, the v88 has pretty much everything you'd want and it all works relatively well. Nice screen, nice speaker, good battery size and performance (5000mAH), 2GB RAM and BT and good resolution front and back cameras. Having a nice bright screen with moderate resolution works fine for me with this tablet. HD screen resolution would only suck more battery juice out of it and quite frankly, I don't see a need for it using the 8" form factor. Users have even reported the v88 compatible with 64GB microSD cards.

The SoC performance is decent for a new product release and hopefully has a ceiling for improvement. The fact that the RK3188 comprises of 4x A9 (28nm) cores which are currently under utilized (clocked at 1.6Ghz instead of 1.8Ghz) is the biggest reason I decided on the RK3188 vs. the Exynos dual core. Out of the box, it gets good benchmark scores, and with an increase in clock speed with future firmware releases, it's performance will probably take another +3,000 jump with Antutu. The GPU is a bit lacking (Mali 400 @ supposedly overclocked to 533Mhz) and as Roman reported in his review, the benchmarks of the RK3188 vs. RK3066 show there is little advantage to the RK3188. There is some question as to whether or not the Mali-400 is actually presently clocked at 533Mhz with the current firmware releases so perhaps there's ceiling room there as well. The tablet is snappy and browsing speed is good.

If I had a knock on the hardware it would be with the Wifi. It is lower than other tabs I have tested, but not so much that it's unusable. The initial firmware release showed spotty Wifi performance with numerous disconnects. Disconnection behavior was fixed with later firmware releases however, the antenna's ability to pick up Wifi signals is still average at best. To me though, I can be a floor away from my router and still pick up signal and get decent DL/UL speeds.

Consumer Reviews (Grade: B)
Out of the box, the v88 works relatively well. Consumers seem to be relatively happy with their unit although there are some production quality issues from batch to batch, so having a reputable vendor that isn't just a turnstile with unit throughput is necessary. There have been reports of assembly issues (subpar screen to bezel adhesion, incorrect screen controller to motherboard connection), bad chargers and spotty WiFi performance, etc. For these reasons I would strongly suggest interested buyers purchase their units from reputable sellers which don't view their service as a "turnstile middleman" rather they actual perform some QC before sending there products on to their buyers.

There has also been some users that have soft-bricked their units when trying to upgrade their firmware or flash custom ROMs. It would seem that Rockchip decided not to allow customers access to the default Recovery menu which is a lifesaver when one has a bad flash. Presently all flashing is done using the RKBatchUtility tool which necessitates a functional tablet OS to use. I'm not sure if bad flashes are due to user error, bad driver/utility program, or corrupt firmware downloads. One of the users may have found a way to correct a soft brick, but it is early and I'm not sure if it's a 100% fix.


All in all, the v88, for the money, seems to be a solid ChinaPad with room to grow. Community support is going well so far and the v88 forum is one of the more popular forums within the Slatedroid RK3188 community. ClockworkMod has already been proven to work with the v88 and the latest XBMC release (12.2) works well with the tablet. Netflix operation is still being tested with the latest firmware release. Gaming is adequate and I'm not sure if issues with certain games are specifically due to the v88, the RK3188, or the 4.2.2 OS (my bet though is on the RK3188 chipset in general).


smithmal


So it seems that firmware updates are correcting some issues, that's good to hear. Wifi can be very frustrating; I had to get rid of an Onda 971 that always was disconnecting. Don't think I would get a white tablet, but I do like the 8" size. Excellent feedback:D

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#11 will567

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:23 PM

I have own both and rk3188 is a mile better. Gaming is a big plus. 3066 can't handle Nova 3 or MC 4 at 720p. 3188 can handle those game at full 1200p. You can look at videos in my review and you can see how well it run.
As for UI lag, that's an emmc storage issue. Doesn't matter if you have a A13 or rk3188, if the emmc storage is slow, you gonna run into lag issue every now and then. Even with 2 gb of ram, you gonna have to start swapping pages in and out eventually and then boom, laggggg.
Browsing is most significantly affected by this bottleneck. Rendering web pages eats up ram no matter which operating system you use. So if you have a tablet with slow emmc storage, you gonna have a poor browsing experience.

There's an app call LagFix that is suppose to help alleviate this issue on Android. The app run fstrim on /data /system and /cache. Unfortunately, rk3188 doesn't support the fstrim command.
AndroBench is a good benchmarking app for Android. If you want to know if a tablet will have lag issue or not, tell a reviewer to run this benchmark a few time and post the result.

This is one issue that often annoys me with the Chinese tablets, using cheap parts that really save very little in production costs but result in crappy performance. They end up ruining what could be a very good tablet by saving pennies. This is one reason I hesitate to get another china tab, batch to batch the same tablet can be very different in performance due to poor quality control or using substandard components.

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#12 rrileypm

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:04 PM

I have a Cube U30GT2 and a Pipo M8 Pro. In comparison to the two 3066 tablets I own...Yuandao N101 and Pipo M5, out of the box the 3188's in my opinion blew the 3066's away.

That being said, keep in mind that these 3188's all came on the scene with Android 4.1.1 installed...at least the early release models. By then the Chinese factories had the 4.1.1 figured out. Within a few weeks of release, the manufacturers started turning out 4.2.2 updates. Pipo and Cube have both been putting out 4.2.2 updates, trying to perfect the new package.

As far as I can tell, these last releases have fixed some of the things that were broken...but I think they still have a way to go on getting performance back up to 4.1.1 levels. They are still trying to get things like Bluetooth and wifi running smoothly.

Since only one or two 3066's even have 4.2.2 ROMs...at this point we are comparing apples to oranges, until 4.2.2 is tweaked some more.

So I'm not sure about a really fair comparison...yet, because the RK3188's aren't showing their full potential. Unless, you put them side by side running 4.1.1.

The Chinese factories are really quick to push out the latest hardware, but they lag in getting the firmware right.

Maybe they will have 4.2 working right in time for 4.3 to start rolling out...a few weeks after the next Rockchip devices hit the streets...and here we go again.



Randy

#13 Nickos-V

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:58 AM

So I'm not sure about a really fair comparison...yet, because the RK3188's aren't showing their full potential. Unless, you put them side by side running 4.1.1.

The Chinese factories are really quick to push out the latest hardware, but they lag in getting the firmware right.

You have a very good point and I agree. It could very well be moving from 4.1 to 4.2 causing lag and other issues too. Notice how Yuandao still has not released any 4.2 firmware? Not supposed to happen until July. Very likely optimizing and bug fixing 4.2 before providing it for their tablets. Chinese always take time, 4-6 months later, to move from one version of Android to another one. ie. 2.3 to 4.0, 4.0 to 4.1, 4.1 to 4.2, etc.

As for UI lag, that's an emmc storage issue. Doesn't matter if you have a A13 or rk3188, if the emmc storage is slow, you gonna run into lag issue every now and then. Even with 2 gb of ram, you gonna have to start swapping pages in and out eventually and then boom, laggggg.

It certainly is possible that UI is getting swapped out but this was not an issue with RK3066. So, kinda weird to get it right with RK3066 and not with RK3188.

I believe the problems are actually related to:
-firmware - 4.1 has been optimized by Chinese tablet makers but 4.2 has not and requires more work.
-resolution (will affect some of the tablets) - too high and it can cause problems since Mali400 GPU is not strong enough to handle it. Even Nexus 10 comes with 5250 which provides much more powerful GPU (quad Mali-T604).
-chip flaw or GPU overheating. 28nm is harder and more complex to design than 40nm. Could be some type of problem with the chip design causing lag. Also, running quad GPU @ 533 MHz can get very hot and cause issues too but only visible while fully utilized. ie. gaming
-tablet brand - each brand will have different quality hardware and firmware

Also, it does not make any sense why RK3188 would be lagging compared to RK3066. RK3188 is newer and should run better and smoother than previous chip version. RK3066 had no apparent lag issue so why would that happen for RK3188 using the same or better ROM chips?

I believe best to test this out with Yuandao Mini One. It uses 1024x768 running 4.1. Yuandao is a very good China brand and should work very well. Chuwi is a brand I heard about only recently. No idea how good they really are. Pipo, Cube (I avoid them because bad experience), Onda & Teclast are very good at making tablets and other good choices for testing with.

Gaming is adequate and I'm not sure if issues with certain games are specifically due to the v88, the RK3188, or the 4.2.2 OS (my bet though is on the RK3188 chipset in general).

Need more specifics to know what the issues are exactly. I have not followed any of the V88 threads. I agree the problem could very likely be one of those. That's why best to test with 4.1 and with a better known brand to at least rule those two out.

*MINIX NEO X5 (RK3066) - OK. Not fun because uses mouse cursor.
*YUANDAO N80 DUAL (RK3066) - Very good
*CUBE U30GT (RK3066)- Defective; buttons broke in 2-3 weeks; Bad quality control!!! I will never buy a Cube again!!! - Very good while working
*WOPAD I7 (RK2918)- About OK. Sluggish because has weaker ARM chip (RK2918) & less RAM (512 MB).

#14 beardedwonder

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:15 AM

I have the Pipo M8 Pro with the latest Riley ROM. I'm really impressed with it, I've had no lags or crashes while browsing or using apps. I had medium expectations for this given it's a China tab, it has surpassed all my expectations. The build quality is excellent, the screen looks great, the speakers are really good and the wifi is great as well.

I've remapped the top buttons to volume buttons. The only negatives I have found is the labels on all the ports. It makes the tablet look a bit tacky. And the length of the charging cable and the fact it doesn't charge via usb. Not sure what I can do about that, was hoping someone would post some suggestions on here.

The M9 is now available for £200 from ebuyer, and with the extra peace of mind that buying from a UK supplier gives, I would say that this is probably the best deal for a China tab in the UK. With the caveat that it may or may not struggle to drive the 'retina' display.

#15 BamaPanda

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 01:15 PM

1371050139[/url]' post='888841']
I have the Pipo M8 Pro with the latest Riley ROM. I'm really impressed with it, I've had no lags or crashes while browsing or using apps. I had medium expectations for this given it's a China tab, it has surpassed all my expectations. The build quality is excellent, the screen looks great, the speakers are really good and the wifi is great as well.

I've remapped the top buttons to volume buttons. The only negatives I have found is the labels on all the ports. It makes the tablet look a bit tacky. And the length of the charging cable and the fact it doesn't charge via usb. Not sure what I can do about that, was hoping someone would post some suggestions on here.

The M9 is now available for £200 from ebuyer, and with the extra peace of mind that buying from a UK supplier gives, I would say that this is probably the best deal for a China tab in the UK. With the caveat that it may or may not struggle to drive the 'retina' display.


I am torn between the M8 Pro and the new M6. The Pro has shown that Pipo can actually have some good QC. The M6, if done with he same efficiency .. has to be one of the sweetest new tabs on the horizon.
Pipo looks to be a real player for the time being, with excellent ROMs being made, along with good and timely updates from Pipo.
;)

Edited by BamaPanda, 12 June 2013 - 01:16 PM.


#16 kingbrowne

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:23 PM

I have both the 3066 and 3188 Aoson tablet. The Aoson M33 with retina screen easily beats the older M11 (3066) in each and every category.

There is a small delay at the user interface with the latest os release that is actually more noticeable than the release immediately before that which lead me to suspect that the problem lies in a programming issue and will eventually be fixed.

I have tried opening a bunch of apps (about 30) to test the emmc storage theory but i could not see any discernible difference in lag time.

Currently, I do have a higher regards for this devise more than the previous one and I am also optimistic that it will get even better with new os releases.

#17 AC Slater

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:48 PM

[..]

I've remapped the top buttons to volume buttons. The only negatives I have found is the labels on all the ports. It makes the tablet look a bit tacky. And the length of the charging cable and the fact it doesn't charge via usb. Not sure what I can do about that, was hoping someone would post some suggestions on here.

I think I might have told this once before, but you can actually get a USB to 2.5mm jack cable like the one I got from ebai to do just that.
Though there's the notorious problem of 'ghost touches' when connected.
But hey, it does actually charge.

Edited by AC Slater, 12 June 2013 - 02:49 PM.

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#18 pseudox

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:49 PM

I have a vido n80rk. I was going to hold off buying a rk3188 based tablet for an soc with a better gpu. It ended up I got the tablet for $135, which was a great price. I am happy with this tablet. Browsing websites like cnn load fast. Wifi is also good but then again I live in a 1 bedroom apartment. The low resolution is a little annoying since you can plainly see individual pixels. It is much better in multitasking then my cube mini u30gt or n101(both 3066).

#19 beardedwonder

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:56 PM

I think I might have told this once before, but you can actually get a USB to 2.5mm jack cable like the one I got from ebai to do just that.
Though there's the notorious problem of 'ghost touches' when connected.
But hey, it does actually charge.

I would be a bit worried about ghost touches as that suggests something quite bad is happening inside the tablet. I wonder if in the long term that could cause some damage to the tab. So used to having it now I wouldn't want to damage it.

#20 Nickos-V

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 05:59 PM

I have the Pipo M8 Pro with the latest Riley ROM. I'm really impressed with it, I've had no lags or crashes while browsing or using apps.

I have both the 3066 and 3188 Aoson tablet. The Aoson M33 with retina screen easily beats the older M11 (3066) in each and every category.

I have a vido n80rk. I was going to hold off buying a rk3188 based tablet for an soc with a better gpu. I am happy with this tablet. Browsing websites like cnn load fast. It is much better in multitasking then my cube mini u30gt or n101(both 3066).

OK. We can probably conclude the problem is not related to RK3188 chip according to the above user experiences. Looks more like firmware and/or brand or resolution. That could explain why some people have lag issues with their RK3188. I believe way more people would be complaining about RK3188 if it was a chip flaw. ie. that would affect all RK3188 tablets



PS,
RK3188 should multi-task better over RK3066 because it has quad core CPU. =) RK3066 will sometimes stall even though it is dual core Cortex A9.

*MINIX NEO X5 (RK3066) - OK. Not fun because uses mouse cursor.
*YUANDAO N80 DUAL (RK3066) - Very good
*CUBE U30GT (RK3066)- Defective; buttons broke in 2-3 weeks; Bad quality control!!! I will never buy a Cube again!!! - Very good while working
*WOPAD I7 (RK2918)- About OK. Sluggish because has weaker ARM chip (RK2918) & less RAM (512 MB).