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Augen Gentouch78 (2nd version) 7" Android 2.1 Tablet Review

The over all look of the Gentouch78 Tablet

With a quick look at the black case of the Augen Gentouch78, you can tell it’s a sturdy tablet. The back casing is made up of a very strong plastic, which is a direct result of the tablet feeling a bit heavy. Although this is a 500gram tablet, if you are use to a regular cell phone, this tablet will feel a bit heavy to you. After a few minutes of holding the device straight up, there is a slight feeling of tiredness in your hand. It’s better suggested to turn the Gentouch on it’s side, as it’s a bit easier to hold.

The buttons and speaker is on the back

It’s unfortunate that the designers over at Augen decided to place the mono speaker on the back of the device. It’s even more disconcerting that the physical buttons are also on the back of the tablet. At first, it is hard to maneuver through the buttons on this tablet, as they are on the back of the tablet located on the top right. This will most likely take you a few days to fully operate the buttons and have a good memory of what button does what action. It is a nice feature to have the stylus built into the case, as the resistive screen on the Gentouch78 is not the best.

The inputs are on the right side

There right side of this tablet is where all the inputs are located. There is a SD mini card slot, a 3.5mm headphone input jacks, a usb-mini, white power on/off button, and Augens proprietary power input. There is actually a “filled in spot” that at one time Augen was fiddling around with HDMI. Although on this Gentouch78 version, that option is not available. Augen Gentouch78 2nd version

If you are an unfortunate person who purchased the Gentouch78 after December 1st, you have in your hands the 2nd version of this tablet. It’s unfortunate because as of December 15th, 2010 there is no rootable firmware on the market. Which means you will not have access to Google’s Marketplace; along wither other popular standard Google Apps. The bonus of this second version is the tablet comes with an accelerometer, and a 3.5mm headphone jack instead of a 2.5mm that the first version came with.

If you bought the Gentouch after December 1st, it will come with the 2nd version or 2nd patch of the Gentouch already installed. There are a few ways you can tell if you have the 2nd patch version or the original. Another way to tell that you have the 2nd version of the Gentouch89 is to look at the manual. The original version of the Augen Gentouch78’s manual had the word “tablet” mis-spelled. Augen spelled it as “TABLE”. With the second version, this spelling has been fixed.

The Gentouch 7″ Android 2.1 tablet screen is basic

For starters, if you are use to a capacitive screen like the Droid2, Droid X or even the iPhone, you will be slightly disappointed with the Gentouch. Unfortunately this is a single-touch resistive screen. Although, as said above, the tablet does come with a stylus, it defeats the purpose to why most people purchase a tablet. A big reason to purchase a tablet is to be able to use a touch screen device, without any other intangibles. It is possible to use your fingers to tap the screen, but it’s recommended that you use your nails, especially when typing. Most of the features on the tablet, you are able to use your thumbs.

With the first version of the Gentouch there were some people complaining of calibration issues, although in this 2nd version it appears all calibration issues have been fixed. I have not seen any calibration issues with this tablet.

The home screen of the tablet

The home screen of the tablet is very basic and comes with a few installed stock apps. You have space for 12 icons on the home screen, although more if you turn the tablet straight up. The default home screen apps include a Brower, iRead, Music, Email, Gallery, ES File Expix, Skype (BETA), and an App Store. The App Store is very generic, and not spectacular like the official Google Marketplace. Most of the apps are low grade, and do not expect to download any good games. You are able to download Angry Birds, which does not run very well on this tablet. The chip version of this tablet, does not display the full game very well. At some points, it does tend to “SQUARE” the graphics, which is quite annoying.

The default Browser

There is a basic android browser that is installed. The unfortunate part of an Android 2.1 tablet is that there is no flash. This can be slightly fixed by installing the ever so popular SkyFire browser app. Although Skyfire does not play true flash, it does allow you the ability to view flash videos which is a nice feature. After you have installed the Skyfire app, even if you are using the stock android browser and a flash video is on a website, Skyfire will automatically load and plash the flash video. The android browser is not bad, plus with having Skyfire load on the side, it’s a perfect team.

The iReader is not Kindle

The iReader on the Genouch is a very bad eBook reader program. It’s very much suggested that you install Amazon’s free Kindle app if you are serious about reading eBooks on this tablet.

Despite the speaker, Music isn’t that bad

The Gentouch78 actually has a nice default music player. It’s still unfortunate that the speaker is on the back of this tablet, rather than a front facing speaker. The volume from the speaker is actually fairly loud. If you are able to install the Napster App, this tablet is able to play music quite well. Installing Napster on this 2nd version Gentouch78 was a breeze, and plays amazingly.

Your standard Email app

The default Email app is very simple and very basic. The Email app works with nearly all web-based email services such as Gmail, HotMail, Yahoo etc… It also has the ability to sync up with IMAP accounts, and you can setup POP accounts. Once you have an Email account setup, your Gentouch will notify you of any new incoming emails with a very obnoxious standard sound. A new email notification icon will pop up on the top of the tablet on the left hand side.

The gallery is lacking due to the single touch screen

The Gallery is another very simple and basic photo gallery app. Since this is a single resistive touch screen, you aren’t able to do any fancy maneuvers with this tablet. You aren’t able to zoom in/out, or turn the picture with your fingers. Quite frankly… you really can’t do much than just display some photos.

The File Manager is basic; you will need to install a new one

ES File Expic is the standard file manager with the Gentouch. This tablet also comes with an app called AndExplorer that tends to be a little bit better than the standard version. It’s highly recommended that you download a better file manager app.

Skype (Beta)… does this actually work?

During my testing of this device I either did something wrong, or the Skype app just does not work on this tablet. After many tests I was able to load the app, and although it acts like it’s making a call, it never did. I am not sure why Skype was installed as a default app, if it is unable to work. Possibly with a firmware update, it will one day work.