Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ramos W30HD Review

The Ramos W30HD. The evolution of their popular W30 but with a 1920 x 1200 HD IPS Display. Ever heard of Ramos or their W30/HD?? Yeah me neither but a co-worker got me hooked on the idea of cheap Chinese tablets so I decided to take the plunge and did a lot of research and settled on this, the Ramos W30HD, as the best tablet that would suit my needs but more importantly not break the bank. I'm not going to explain in detail the specs of the Tablet you can get them from the English store here or if you can read Chinese here. Headline specs is Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad Core CPU, Quad Core Mali 400 GPU, 2GB RAM, 32GB Built In Storage and a beautiful 1920 x 1200 IPS Display.

I was a bit skeptical at first handing over my credit card information to a site I had no idea was legit or not, so I bought a pre-paid card from my bank that works the exact same way as a debit card and used that to purchase the Tablet. The store on Ramos is fairly straight forward and they do give you some options while purchasing like the option to add an extended warranty from the standard year long one which is nice but I didn't bother, the only option I chose is express shipping to the US because I wanted the thing in my hands ASAP. I ordered the tablet on 12/30/12 and because of the Holidays in my mind I wasn't really expecting it to arrive by the 2nd week of January at the soonest but to my surprise I was totally wrong. DHL isn't exactly my favorite shipping company in the world that honor goes to UPS although YMMV so to actually receive my tablet on 1/4/13 just blew me away especially because they shipped it on 1/2/13 from China.

The packaging was actually really really good they did a great job protecting their product during shipping. The box and accessories the tablet came with leave a bit to be desired. You get a micro USB cable, 2 little, I think manuals, all in Chinese and your DC adapter to charge the tablet because it doesn't charge over USB and the tablet, at least mine, came dead. After charging it for a good 30 minutes I turned it on and well it wasn't even at 3% battery so 1st impression right off the bat is this thing takes forever to charge but the screen right away is amazing. The 1920 x 1200 screen is really crisp and bright. At full brightness it actually hurts my eyes to look at it so I turned it down to about 50%. The viewing angles are great I don't know the exacts but from some extreme angles the screen didn't completely wash out. Also on the screen I'd like to make a correction to the Ramos website that states it just supports 5 Point touch, but no the Antutu Multi Touch Test showed me 10 points.

The tablet itself though is wonderful. It's really snappy with the Exynos 4412 Quad Core CPU coupled with a Quad Core Mali 400 and 2GB of RAM. It has 32GB of Storage built in and get this a MicroSD slot, which a lot of the big boys in the Tablet space keep forgetting, which accepted my 32GB Sandisk Class 10 but would not read my 64GB MicroSD. It comes with Android 4.0.4 which is alright with a promise to Jelly Bean update "Coming" and I hope really soon because here is the biggest draw back of the tablet so far the video decoding just doesn't work. Youtube greets you with a black screen whenever you try to play a video and same with Netflix and my Plex app. I tried switching on Force GPU Rendering in the developers settings but nothing works. I emailed the real Chinese Tablet site to ask if I possibly got a faulty unit or something to which they replied to me that no and they are aware of the problem and it will be resolved with a firmware update. I wrote back trying to get confirmation if it was the 4.1 update or will it be a minor update but as of this writing they haven't gotten back to me which stinks because I really wanted to like this tablet but I bought it for movies and videos and the things fails to do that. It can play 3D Games just wonderfully the CPU/GPU really shines on the Ramos. I have tried Shadowgun, Dead Trigger and Asphalt which all look and play smoothly just as long as it is rendering 3D. If any of the games, like Dead Trigger, have a video in it you will be seeing a black screen until it is over. Antutu Benchmark gave it a score of 14269 which is just shy of the international version of the Galaxy S3 which shares basically the same internals and Quadrant gave it a score of 5109 which is once again just a little bit behind the Galaxy S3 according to their apps. The battery is really the only hardware thing holding the tablet back. According to Ramos it's a 5400mAh battery which in my eyes is just too small or the battery meter is pointless in the device because just unplugging it and leaving it in standby for an hour it dropped to 92%. I'm in the process of running battery tests to see if it's a case of it's too small, because a lot of other cheap Chinese 10" tablets have 10,000mAh batteries, or the battery meter and will report back in a few days with an answer because I like to run Benchmarks and tests at least 5 times to get a proper average and Battery Tests take a while.

Battery tests complete and here is the rundown. With the tablet set at roughly 50% and with 95% CPU Usage across all cores the tablet finally turned off at consistently around 5 hours +/- 10 minutes. With a more subjective usage like browsing the internet and streaming music from Pandora and watching a few videos in Chrome, which somehow works yet the Youtube App itself won't, it will last 7 and a half hours +/- 20 minutes for me. Now the real kicker is the 0% to 100% charge. With the tablet totally turned off and only turning it on every half hour to check the percentage it took around 9 hours +/- 30 minutes, and with the tablet left on but in standby and checking every 15 minutes it took around 10 hours and 15 minutes +/- 15 minutes. And lastly if you try to play a taxing game while charging the charger Ramos ships with the tablet does not have enough juice to keep it charging so it will lose about 1% battery every 5 to 10 minutes. Something to note about the stock battery meter is just like I feared it can be a bit pointless. A couple times the battery meter would read like 47% even charging all night yet when I restarted the tablet it shot back to 100%. Not sure if it's because the system is still learning the capacity and discharge rate but it is something to keep in mind while using it. I ran the 95% hard usage battery test 10 times to get my average and the more real life battery test I ran 7 times with letting the tablet recharge fully to 100% showing after I restarted it.

Build quality is decent. It's nice and sleek and I love the longer screen compared to my old iPad 3. The back is I think aluminum or some kind of metal or if not it's really nice plastic that does a good job tricking me it's metal but where build quality falls apart lies at the top of the tablet where there is a plastic cover covering the MicroSD and Micro USB ports. It feels flimsy and awkward and doesn't line up perfectly which drives my OCD mad looking at it. And also under the cover you can see basically all the way into the tablet which leaves me to believe dirt, dust, and anything else can easily get inside and cover the Exynos 4412 SoC. But with that being said maybe it was a design choice because during testing the back of the tablet got warm but no where near boil a pot of water hot my iPad 3 got sometimes so maybe they are there for added cooling? There are 3 physical buttons on the tablet in the upper right starting at the top with Power/Lock and then a volume rocker. They lack any real feed back so you don't quite know if you pressed hard enough or not. And on the top edge of the tablet you have 2 pin holes for Mics and your power port for your DC Charger and a headphone jack. It has a 2MP camera in the back and a .3MP camera in the front which both leave a lot more to be desired for the people that would use them but I normally use my DSLR to take pictures instead of holding up a 10" Slate but hey some people care about these kind of things and I'm not a huge Skyper or video caller so both cameras in the tablet will go un-used on mine. It has 1 speaker that is, I guess, loud enough but even when I switch to speakerphone on my S3 it's louder. It's in a weird position on the backside so all the sound is directed away from you especially when you are trying to watch something on the screen so headphones will definitely be your best bet there.

Like I said before it comes with Android 4.0.4 which isn't the latest and greatest but it works just fine minus anything to do with 2D Videos. Ramos pre-loads the tablets with a couple games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja and a bunch of Apps with Chinese or Japanese (sorry I don't know the difference) names that can all be deleted. If you press the volume up and down button and power button when the tablet is off it will boot into CWM 5.5.0.4 Recovery which lets you easily root the device which I did by putting a Super User Zip onto a MicroSD and installing it threw CWM.

All in all it's a great, cheap but flawed tablet that has a couple cosmetic issues and one big software issue that is holding it all back. At least the software issue can easily be fixed it's just a matter of if/when they release a firmware update or someone picks up the gauntlet to make a custom Rom based off the Note 2/10.1 as they share the same internals. Trust me I know how much it stinks waiting for a company to get their head out of the sand and give you an update that they promised when they released the device (Yeah I'm looking at you HTC with the Evo 3D). So because of the software fault I'm gonna have to sadly give this tablet a 6/10 for me, but whenever Ramos releases a fix for the video encoding and/or Jelly Bean the score will most definitely go up.

-Rawberrie

24 comments:

  1. Great review Rawberrie!

    Please keep us informed as you keep on using the device, also just a couple of questions if you don't mind:

    1 - Has Ramos emailed you back?
    2 - Have any other problems came up since you wrote this review?
    3 - And how long does the battery last on usage and on standby?

    Cheers mate

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    Replies
    1. You can contact a sales manager from Ramos on skype. Skype ID: Clara Huang

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  2. 1: Unfortunately Ramos hasn't gotten back to me at least with concrete details. All they told me is I should be expecting a Firmware update "soon."

    2: A couple little problems have shown up like the Gmail app force closed and some people were claiming it was the root but I don't know because I only tried Gmail after rooting the tablet. Another odd thing while doing battery tests is the screen turned off at 25% and would not turn back on until I plugged it in. It only happened once so far so I don't know what to think of that.

    3: The battery life is a little surprising to me in a good way. I want to run a few more tests to get an average but to give you an idea under heavy usage at 50% screen brightness I've been getting close to 5 hours but under more moderate usage like streaming music and browsing the website and writing this Blog with 50% screen brightness I've been getting 6.5-7.5 hours. But it's the recharge that is brutal. Anywhere from 6 to 8 hours with the included charger.

    -Rawberrie

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  3. Thanks for your reply Calen,

    I've been doing a bit of research on the W300HD and I remember some where you can download a modified version of gmail that works on the w30 & w30HD so I hope that helps you if you need gmail working.

    Wow the battery life seems pretty good since its only a tiny battery which is defiantly a plus.

    Geez, that is a really long time to charge up a battery. Have you try using it while charging, does that battery percentage go up or down or remain the same?

    Hmm, I think I might wait until the update is released and then see if it fixes all the little problems. Or I might get the novo 9 firewire :)

    Thanks mate!

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  4. Yeah not a problem someone had to be one of the first early adopters so it might as well been me so I can provide some feedback on it.

    I found a different Gmail Apk you just gotta download and flash I put all the links in my Guide to Rooting it but I won't email for the tablet anyway so Gmail wasn't a huge concern I was just looking into it for people who had the same issue.

    Yep the battery blew me away I wasn't expecting it out of a supposed 5400mAh unit to last as long as it does. Either Ramos did some good work on the Firmware or more likely the Exynos 4412 in it is just highly efficient.

    Using the W30HD while it's charging makes it charage at an ever slower pace like 1% every 10 minutes or stays still if you are lucky as long as the screen is on and if you are doing any benchmarking or 3D gaming forget about it. It'll drain the tablet about 1% every 5 minutes if you are really taxing the SoC.

    Yeah I was searching up the Novo 9 Firewire but I'm wanting to stay away personally from the Allwinner A31's because they use 4 ARM Cortex-A7 CPU's instead of ARM Cortex-A9 like in the Exynos which may not seem like a big deal but the A7 CPU wasn't designed with performance in mind. It's actually more like Tegra's "Companion Core" in that it is really efficient with the power but lacks the grunt of an A9 CPU. If you really want something to rival the Exynos you may want to wait for some Rockchip RK3188 powered devices to hit the market as it's basically a poor man's Exynos 4412 based on quad core Cortex-A9's.

    Anyway those are just my personal opinions it took me like 2-3 weeks of searching to settle on something I wanted to plant my money down on and if only the Video Acceleration worked on the Ramos it would be hands down perfect for me. Hopes this somewhat helps.

    -Rawberrie

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  5. Wow that's getting a bit to techy for me. But it sounds like you know what you are talking about and ill keep that in mind. But then again I'm not really going to play much games on it any way so I might not even notice a difference between the two when surfing the net.

    Either way if I cant make up my mind soon, I think ill just go for the Ainol Novo Hero 1, it will do the basics easily with a bigger battery and for allot cheaper. But they reckon the Novo 9 will come out no later than January the 20th. So hopefully my sauces are correct and there wont be to much waiting around so there can be a review/comparison between the two && hopefully the update that the W30HD desperately needs will be out too.

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  6. Yeah if you don't care about gaming or benchmarking the Allwinner A31 is an amazing piece of kit. I wouldn't be surprised if you can get 10-12 hours of hard usage from a 10,000 mAh battery when using it so it's perfect for watching movies especially because they have a strong GPU paired with it.. If you need a fast high res tablet like RIGHT NOW I believe the Onda V972 is shipping if I'm not mistaken which is basically the same thing as the Novo 9. My friend has a 7" Onda and it's basically the same build quality of my Ramos but I can't comment on their V972 because it's still really new. The Onda was my 2nd choice if Ramos delayed the W30HD again because they delayed it like 3 times after showing it off.

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  7. Hmm, I've just had a look at a couple of the reviews and it looks like its got more problems than the W30! I found one post that basicly sums up all the problem with it so far from other users:
    "Android OS navigation isn't as smooth as other older generation tablets or phones. Some people were disappointed at the level of performance on the quad core CPU
    - Some users have reported higher frequency of random applications crashes and OS resets.
    - Some complained about the high number of applications being unsupported.
    - Broken earphone plug. Basically it's either not working at all or you need to fiddle around with the plug to get the sound working. It is a known problem at the moment, but some units seem to be working.
    - Poor battery. 4-5 hours of normal use but takes up to 8 hours to charge. Poor quality power adapter as well. No indication of whether the tablet is being charged or not.
    - Some users commented on the low level of volume on the external speakers.
    - Some users also commented on the poor wifi signal with occasional disconnections."

    Yeah I think I'll just wait for the novo 9 spark/firewire plus Ainol are pretty good with releasing patches if there is a problem.

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  8. Sheesh I didn't think they were that bad but then again you can't judge a tablet by just pictures and specs alone. Let me know how your Ainol goes I'm in the market for a 7" Tablet to round out my arsenal and was eyeing their Venus 7 but have no had a chance to check out Ainol's quality. Also completely done with my comprehensive battery tests and will update the review but it's just like what I quoted above. Hard usage about 5hrs and more normal usage around 7 and a half.

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  9. any updates yet? or is the chinese are chilling? the retina display sounds cool but the laggy issues can they be wiped on upgrading to JB. any one used it yet?

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  10. I just ordered one. I'll let you know if I have any issues. thanks for the review and the root post.

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  11. I haven't heard a word out of them since I politely asked for the source code to be released and all I ever got about their official update is a run around of it'll be out when it's out. There is a slight interface lag with the stock launcher I'll admit which I know JellyBean will wipe up because my S3 did the same thing until the update but if you use another launcher from the Playstore it's not that bad at all. If you search W30HD in the Antutu Benchmark Rankings there is a W30HD Running Android 4.1.2 so you can draw your own conclusions from that I don't know if it's someone running a custom Rom or Ramos testing the new Firmware.

    -Rawberrie

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    Replies
    1. Try contacting the factory on skype directly. Skype ID: Clara Huang

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  12. If you want to watch videos or programmes go on to 1channel.ch cause the videoes there play in full screen practicaly.

    Iv had my ramos for around a month now and I think its awesome considering I only paid £185 for it. Looking forward to jb :-)

    One issue I had that's not mentioned here is that I left the tab on charge over night and went to turn. It on in the morning and it wouldnt , I thought maybe the charger was bust or fuse or something but all was fine after faffing and a little panic :-) I pushed a thin needle through to the reset button and presto it was back, I thought it'd wipe my data or customistion id done but it didnt. Iv had that problems once after that...

    :-)

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  13. Hi,

    Ramous has release new firmware to fix video decoding issue.
    Please install it and share output for the same.

    http://www.microsofttranslator.com/bv.aspx?from=&to=en&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ramos.com.cn%2Fproduct.php%3Faction%3Dsupport%26id%3D88

    Thanks,
    [Parth Patel]

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  14. Hi Parth,

    Already ahead of you I checked about every other day for the firmware update I just didn't feel like editing this entry so I made another one for the new firmware and my feelings about it.

    http://rawberries.blogspot.com/2013/02/ramos-w30hd-2162013-firmware-update.html

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  15. Don't buy this tablet. The firmware is junk (even after the "update") and the customer support has ran me through loops for weeks now with no sign of results. Even after I've sent them pictures of the tablet failing...they just refused to respond to me now. I've even installed custom independent firmware to the tablet to fix the problem to no avail. BUYER BEWARE!

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  16. Hallo every one just one question because i read all above.Can with this tablet play facebook games like war commander and if yes how it responds /performs?its a question that matters to me if i order one.Plz reply

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  17. Had mine a few days, no netflix access in australia but the youtube app works fine in partial and full screen mode. no lag so far, real racing 3 is buttery smooth and everything else I have tried has not been a problem. I don't much like having to open the access panel to get to the usb port, though that's my only bitch so far.

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  18. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

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  19. Got mine January this year... Do not buy it!!! to good to be true. Seems thrown together poor firmware. Great packaging but thats it. My battery died like dead after 4 months. Got a replacement now and looking for help to put it in. This is not a serious device. I'll give it to my kids to knock about. Got me a proper Nexus 7 2nd gen

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  20. I have had this tablet for 15 months and when it is working it is great. However there is one horrendous drawback. It randomly freezes and the only way to get it restarted is to leave it until the battery is completely depleted and then charges. This involves resetting time/date etc. and of course it makes it an unreliable piece of equipment when travelling

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  21. From RJ at 1/4/14 6:46 PM
    Patiently been waiting almost a year now for 4.1 fimware update. Can't watch full screen videos! What is the story on update? If not available soon I would like to request a refund or exchange. Pls respond I don't want short answer saying factory will release soon. They havn't nor do I believe they will or fix this problem. Spent good money here with 2 yr service contract.pls advise i think we all waited long eough!

    Ramos sale :
    Thank you for your mail .
    We will submit the latest firmware on our website when it be released by factory . Don't buy! You get the runaround until warranty runs out! Over a year now no adequate response.same answer everytime.I e-mailed Sally, Clara sent video they keep running you thru hoops!

    ReplyDelete
  22. From RJ at 1/4/14 6:46 PM
    Patiently been waiting almost a year now for 4.1 fimware update. Can't watch full screen videos! What is the story on update? If not available soon I would like to request a refund or exchange. Pls respond I don't want short answer saying factory will release soon. They havn't nor do I believe they will or fix this problem. Spent good money here with 2 yr service contract.pls advise i think we all waited long eough!

    Ramos sale :
    Thank you for your mail .
    We will submit the latest firmware on our website when it be released by factory . Don't buy! You get the runaround until warranty runs out! Over a year now no adequate response.same answer everytime.I e-mailed Sally, Clara sent video they keep running you thru hoops!

    ReplyDelete