Nextbook Next3 Tablet

Running on the Android 2.1 operating system with built in Wi-Fi and 8.4 inch touch screen the Next3 tablet gives you the world of mobile computing at a reasonable cost.

Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 22/25
Features 22/25
How much I enjoy 25/25

Total: 92/100

Nextbook Next3 Tablet

With the iPad 2 just arriving the tablet craze is renewed but I personally do not understand all the hype, the tablet is a convenient device and for many it makes sense to buy one. A handy touch screen device that allows email, web surfing and media playback while your connected to a handy network access wirelessly is a dream come true for many.

The Next3 is a rather low end device as tablets go and for an inexpensive eReader that has plenty of other uses this may fit your needs quite well. The Next3 is available at a growing number of sites and stores such as HSN or Wal- Mart for only $168, a pretty good price considering an eReader alone costs about $150 or more.

The Next3 comes with the tablet, a power adapter, USB cable, small touch pen, protective case, user’s manual and quick start guide. The touch pen is a bit too small for everyday use and was the first thing I replaced but the protective case is a nice imitation leather case that fits and protects the tablet and especially the screen.

The Next3 uses an 8.4 inch resistive touch screen with the 600 MHz processor that runs Android 2.1, it has 256 MB of ram and 2 GB of internal storage. The Next 3 also has the 802.11 b/g  Wi-Fi with an SD card slot for additional storage, a USB connection for computer syncing and an audio output for connecting to external speakers or headphones.

Whats in the Box

The Next3 has some low specifications when compared to other tablets but the lower cost more than makes up for the horsepower you may be missing. This is not the fast tablet like the iPad, it works great as an eReader or for simple web surfing around the home and has plenty of applications or apps available.

I found that using the Next3 tablet for email, web browsing and use in the home was great for a wide variety of things along with simple media use. One use I found in  particular that is excellent and one fantastic reason for a purchase is for a device in the kitchen for both entertainment and viewing recipes while you’re cooking.

Just prop the Tablet on a handy picture stand and listen to your favorite music with an external speaker system and cook from that recipe you have found on the internet. You can search the internet for recipes right on the tablet and even avoid nasty food covered fingerprints by using a simple plastic tipped pen like those ones for the Nintendo DS or drawing tablets.

Watching videos from YouTube or other streaming sites is fine but it has to be non Flash videos you’re trying to watch as the Next3, along with other Android 2.1 and lower tablets, does not play flash based videos or content. The processor and memory are also not really up to the power needed to play videos smoothly but you can watch videos and other multimedia like YouTube.

Settings Page

This starts the objective part of the review, videos work but are not what I would consider entertainment quality, you can watch them and understand what is going on but they are a little choppy and stutter. You can hear what is going on for sound but a few times the voice may not match the movement like when someone is speaking.

With a better processor and more memory you will get smoother video and a more enjoyable entertainment experience but we are talking about cost as much as anything with the Next3. The Next3 does hit the market at the low end of the Tablet spectrum and along with low specs comes a lot of other lower end things like no Bluetooth or cell phone ability.

You can use the Next3 for listening to music and while the built in speakers are not that great you can use headphones or external speakers for a great media experience. I have used both headphones and earbuds as well as external speakers to listen to music in my office and on road trips and they all sounded great for music and audio in general.

Web surfing is either great or okay depending mostly on the website and not the Next3, web pages that are optimized for mobile devices work well but if they aren’t things are a bit annoying. You may have to scroll or move the page sideways for regular surfing on pages not optimized for tablets and their smaller screens but this is depending on how the site is setup.

Connections & Controls

This can be slightly annoying when searching sites and slow down your searching some but not all that much, it really depends on the sites. Google for instance is pretty easy to search and the page displays with words wrapping for the screen size whether you turn the tablet in portrait or landscape mode.

Going to my own website, JeffsReviews.com, which currently is not optimized for tablets you do have to move the page sideways to read the full lines of text and see the sidebars of images and ads. You can center my text in the Next3 screen in portrait mode and read the text with only scrolling the page up and down because I have created the text pages of my reviews using a 450 pixel wide box.

My menu navigation is on the side bar and on my main home page I have the center bar with the main reviews and images at 350 wide while the tool bars are smaller than this. I will be working on optimizing my site for tablets and cell phones but this is more about the Next3 and surfing.

You can surf the internet and moving the screen back and forth is pretty easy, this is the first tablet I have reviewed and getting around the pages does take a little getting used to. The Next3 does surf the internet well even when you have the tablet oriented in portrait mode with the screen only at 600 pixels wide.

Non-Optimized & Optimized SItes on Next3

The screen size is the key to knowing about surfing and even viewing pages like eBooks and videos, the screen is 800 x 600 pixels in size so any formats like webpages that are designed in 1024 wide aspect is going to be cut by 224 pixels. This is not much and like I said many websites are optimizing their sites for viewing on tablets like the iPad and Next3.

Other features like games, email, and a host of other apps work great for the most part, we have here a Tablet with minimum specs but it does do apps and programs like the iPad, maybe just not as fast. I have been doing a lot of playing as well as testing and have been very impressed with the little machine and what it can do for such a low price tag.

I have installed several gaming and productivity apps and all have worked well, they are designed for this size screen and like all apps are made for the lower power of the Tablet. Apps like the email, ebook reader and YouTube video player all work just fine and I have had no problems with any of them.

Mostly you have to get used to the little quirks of the tablet and the smaller things like holding the pen or finger to the tablets screen to move the page up or to the side. It’s more the little things that become annoying than any large things, one major point I want to share is that you need to unplug the connection between your computer and the tablet to view files in the Explorer.

The small stuff and little quirks are the only problems I have had with the Next3 and not a real problem at all, some things can be a little annoying but the tablet does work very well.

With any device that is complicated and has a lot of different features and functions you will always have more and more that can go wrong or be a problem. While I did find a few things that were slightly annoying the Next3 has benefits and features that far outweigh any little problems you may encounter.

I can very highly recommend the Next3 as the entry level tablet and a very welcome addition as an inexpensive and very versatile mobile computer.

Nextbook Website