AndyPad Pro Tablet Preview

AndyPad Pro is billed as offering the iPad 2 experience at a fraction - fanciful thinking, maybe, but this 7in tablet running Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' comes pretty damn close - and all for just £179.

From the outset, it's clear that compromises have been made. The Andy Pad Pro's body is all-plastic, for instance - but what sets it apart from many budget Android devices is its 1024x600-pixel touchscreen. It's capacitive, which means you get the same multitouch gesture functions as the iPad. Image quality isn't on a par, though, with slightly washed out colours in bright sunlight, but overall it's serviceable.

Using Android 2.3 means the Andy Pad Pro feels a little like a giant smartphone, but we're glad to see full access to Google's Android Market - something of a rarity among Android tablets at this price.

Specs-wise, the Andy Pad Pro comes with 512MB of RAM and a 1.2GHz single-core processor. There's 16GB of built-in storage built in, and unlike Apple's device, that can be supplemented with MicroSD cards of up to 32GB.

One juicy inclusion is the mini-HDMI connector, enabling you to connect the device up to a large display. This is handy, because the Andy Pad Pro supports 1080p Full HD video playback. Wireless connection comes in the form of WiFi and Bluetooth, but no 3G.

The Andy Pad Pro's creators reckon the tablet will manage six hours of everyday use between charges, and in our tests, it fell not far short of that.

It's clear the Andy Pad Pro has had to undergo some compromises to meet its £179 price tag, but in our view they're the right ones. It won't please those who are after the slick experience of a high-end Android tablet, but for those eager to see what the tablet world is all about - or as a starter pad for youngsters, the Andy Pad Pro is on to a winner.

You'll find a full review of the Andy Pad Pro at our sister site, ITReviews.com.