Our friends over at Karuma have sent us the PlayBase Go for us to review. It is their first tablet and it has been getting a lot of attention. It is Android tablet designed especially for kids. However, does it have enough feature to make it kid friendly? We will find out in the full review. Now, let;s get started with the full review of the PlayBase.
Design And Hardware
The PlayBase Go has some pretty good hardware inside of it. the design of the unit is quite interesting. Right out of the box it has the PlayCover pre-installed on it. When you hold the tablet horizontally, you can get a better grip on the tablet. It is also how the stand works, just push the little fold-out silicone piece out and your good to go. On the top you have the volume rocker. On the bottom you have your power/sleep button. On the bottom you have the micro USB port, microSD card slot and the headphone jack. Under the screen you have 3 touch buttons the menu, home, and back buttons. Above the screen you will find the 0.3 mega-pixel front facing camera. On the back you have the speaker and some logos. It has an aluminum back with a white piece of plastic towards the top. The back does not come off, as the device has ports to access everything you need. Now, the PlayBase Go is very light at only 325 grams, making it super portable. It is not the heaviest thing in the world, but it is also not the lightest thing in the world either. It’s thickness is not very thick at all, it is only 9.7 millimeters thick. It does have a good build, which is always a good thing to have on a tablet. Now, let’s get onto the hardware of the tablet. Let’s start off with the display. It has a 7-inch LCD capacitive touch display, it has a resolution of 800 x 600. The touch recognition is great on the display, however the graphics themselves could be better. Now for speed it has a 1.2 GHz single-core processor A8 cortex with 3D GPU with 1GB of RAM. This makes for some good speed but, at time the PlayBase Go can get slow. I suggest you give it some time after it boots up, before bringing to use it. Now, let’s move on to space to hold your data. It has 8GB of NAND flash built-in and a microSD card slot. This way you can expand your data, when ever you need more space. It can hold up to a 32GB micro SD card. There is no cellular network on the PlayBase Go, however it does have built-in Wi-Fi 802.11. Hopefully, in future versions of the PlayBase they will include a network, that way you can have internet anywhere. If you do want internet anywhere, you can look in to getting a mobile hotspot or a MiFi. It also has a built-in accelerometer. There is no back camera on the PlayBase Go. On the front of the device you have a 0.3 mega-pixel front facing camera. The quality is sub par but, this is what you would expect from a 0.3 mega-pixel front facing camera. In terms of a battery you can get at most around 4 hours. In our testing’s we got around 3 hours or a little bit over that. Overall, the design and hardware of the PlayBase Go is pretty good.
The PlayBase Go is not running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It is not even running Android 3.2 Honeycomb yet. It has an Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a custom PlayBase User Interface running on top of it. Now, the device will be eventually upgraded to Android 3.2 Honeycomb and then finally up to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. One thing I was very disappointed was that the device does not come with the Android Market on it. Or for that matter any of the official Google apps. Instead they have you using 3rd part app stores. Now, i think that since this tablet is geared for kids, that it should have access to the official Google Android Market. It is much easier to download and there are categories that you can choose. That way you can find apps that are more geared towards kids. You also don’t have access to the Google Music Store and the Google Book Store. Hopefully, they will add support for the Android Market and all of the Google Apps eventually. Now, in terms of pre-loaded apps you have a couple. They are like ApkInstaller, Astrid, Barcode Scanner, Bran Genius Deluxe, Browser, Calculator, Calendar, Camera, Downloads, Dropbox, Explorer, Facebook, K-9 Mail, Messenger, Music, Open Sudoku, Pac-Man by Namco, Pedometer, Photo, PlayCoins, Search, Secrets, Settings, Shelves, Soc.io Mall, Solitaire, Sound Recorder, Speech Trainer, Twitter, Video, Weather Notification, and more. There are no official Google Apps on this device, but the others are pretty good. The matter of the fact is that at times the PlayBase Go can get very slow and hung up. The only way that i found was to get wait until it catches it self up again. The 1.2 GHz single-core processor A8 cortex with 3D GPU with 1GB of RAM does not get the job done. Hopefully, in future models it will have at least a dual-core processor. This also leaves me to believe that if this gets upgraded to Android 3.2 Honeycomb and then to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, that the OS(operating system) will not run good at all. I reached out to PlayBase and confined that Zoodles will coming to it in January of 2012. They are also currently in the process of getting the Android Market available on the PlayBase Go. Hopefully, these improvements will come soon
The PlayBase Go is an okay tablet. When we first say that tablet, it grabbed our attention begin that it was the first of its kind. And as with many other first of a kind products, there are issues. And the PlayBase Go does have quite a few. It is meant to be a simple kids Android tablet, and while it gets the job done most of the time. It does not get it done 100% of the time. Not having Android Market on it yet, is definitely a big let down. You want to be able to have your kids download the apps from a trusted source that is says to use. Zoodles is coming soon, so we will have to wait for that. The one thing that you will have to live with is the slow processor. If you can get by that and don’t mind paying the $269.99 asking price, then the PlayBase Go may be for you. If you don’t mind a slow processor, than the PlayBase Go should get the job done for you. If you need a fast processor you can wait for future PlayBase devices or look at some other tablets that are on the market. You Can Get More Info On The PlayBase Go, By Clicking Here. We would like to thank Karuma for providing us with a copy of the “PlayBase Go”.