Nextbook Next5 Tablet

The Next5 tablet makes a great low priced tablet for reading, using as a simple tablet for email and other online uses like surfing the internet as well as a few quick games.

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

Total: 92/100

Nextbook Next5 Tablet

The Next5 tablet from Nextbook and EFun is a dual core Android based tablet with a Digital Pen setup built in for note taking   and handwriting recognition. The handwriting system works well and recognizes handwriting using the included pen that connects to the tablet and software with the side infrared inputs.

Tablets come in so many varieties it’s getting hard to tell them apart without charts and graphs for help in distinguishing one from the other. Features like Flash support and specific market stores are important when it comes to getting the apps you want from specific companies.

Many features depend on the operating system and even the version so much depends on what is under the hood but you can also do a lot with a lower cost tablet. I found plenty of opportunities with the Next5 even without having things that would have been nice.

The Next5 is a low end tablet with some pretty decent features that works pretty well but is not top of the line or even a contender. The Next5 uses a 7 inch resistive screen with a 600Mhz dual core processor under the hood running Android 2.1 to power your apps.

Whats in the Box

The included apen Digital Pen adds some functionality but the tablet really does have its drawbacks by not including the most popular markets for apps. The tablet comes with the tablet itself, a protective folder with a notepad on one side, the apen Digital Pen, a small plastic and metal stylus, USB cable, AC power adapter and a user’s manual.

The apen Digital Pen has two ink cartridges and you can purchase common ink cartridges for it form office supply stores when the included ones run out. There are also two small batteries for the Digital Pen that works to connect and keep the apen working while handwriting on the notepad right next to the tablet.

Handwriting recognition uses the side infrared sensors and the two ultrasound sensors to keep the pen and tablet connected while writing. This works just as well as the previously reviewed apen setup with the sensor bar that did what is now included on the side of the tablet.

The seven inch scr5een is large enough to make surfing the web more comfortable than a smartphone but it still is small and takes some getting used to. The lower costs for this tablet mean compromises and one of these is the resistive touch screen instead of the more expensive capacitive screen.

Next5 Home Page

The first thing you should know about tablets like the lesser priced ones is that the screen is not as responsive with a resistive touch screen that the lower cost tablets usually have. The screen takes a bit more force to get a response from so I found using a touch pen helps a lot in negotiating screens and menus as well as typing.

Buy a touch pen like the one the in those kits for the Nintendo DS3 or DSi, a good regular pen sized stylus is the main thing that will help you with a tablet of any type. Other useful accessories are actually included with the tablet like the carry case to help protect your tablet and the notepad that makes it handy for work.

Under the hood the 600Mhz dual core processor is decently fast and loads pages well but you do notice a difference from regular laptops or more powerful tablets. The Android 2.1 version is just one less version than I would like but there are still enough apps and mini games to make the tablet at least a useful tool.

The tablet does use the SlideME app store and you can load the Amazon App store as well for plenty of apps that are free or ones you can purchase along with a lot of eBooks. I did try to get the Google App Market installed but had no luck getting it to play nice with the Next5.

Connections & apen Sensors

The eFun Next5 works pretty well and even with a slight hiccup in the Android operating system locking up on me when I first started using it the tablet has worked well. That is one of my numerous complaints about tablets but not especially this one, tablets have very little user settings or programming that amount to much when encountering problems.

Don’t get me wrong in thinking that I did not enjoy or like using the eFun Nextbook Next5 tablet but the problems associated with tablets in general can be very frustrating for someone used to computers. Especially someone who is used to finding solutions to problems on their own and having the last resort ability to just reload the operating system when nothing else works.

You can reset things to the default state but this only works when things have gone wrong only part way instead of totally locking up the tablet. Tablets do not allow you to reload the Android operating system when you do have serious problems but efun quickly got mine fixed and returned quickly.

The Next5 has worked very well and even with a lot of poking around and trying to run various apps from downloaded APK files I have not had it lock up or become unresponsive. The tablet has worked great for eBooks, just finished the classic Three Musketeers and even some of the simpler things like some games have worked very well.

Taking Notes

Not all is roses with the Next5 tablet though, it cannot run the Google Android Market which means you will be missing out on many apps from a wide range of companies. Some of these apps for specific devices such as the Logitech Alert mobile viewer or a remote for the Cyberlink PowerDVD would be nice to have on a tablet.

The Next5 does not have the same functionality as high end more costly tablets but you can get some good apps and regular surfing done on this tablet. The Nextbook Next5 is well worth a look and with a cost of less than $200 it does have a low price going for it.

I highly recommend checking out the Nextbook tablets and the Next5 sure is worth a look for a low end tablet at a reasonable cost.

Next5 @ Nextbook