Arnova 10b G3 £150
14th Jul 2012 | 08:30
An Ice Cream Sandwich tablet that offers the basics, badly
The Arnova 10b G3 boasts Google's Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) OS right out of the box and offers a reasonably snappy performance. It will let you handle basic tasks like browsing the web and watching high-definition video. But, in all honesty, there are better tablets around for a similar price.
The Arnova 10b G3 has a 1GHz processor with 1GB of RAM which keeps it ticking along. It loaded up the browser quickly and we were happy to see apps open up quickly without much trouble. However, there's more than a hint of sluggishness when cruising through the operating system or swiping through homescreens.
The Arnova 10b G3 features a 10.1-inch display, with a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio and a 1,024 x 600 pixel resolution on a capacitive screen. This means you have to jab it firmly to make a connection and the overall usability really suffers as a result.
The larger problem is that decent tablets are now becoming affordable. The 32GB PlayBook can be had for £199, as can the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, and the forthcoming Google Nexus 7 8GB should launch at £160. All of these are much better products than the Arnova and represent a problem for budget tablet manufacturers.
The black plastic build of the Arnova doesn't help matters; neither does the thick, protruding bezel. At 628g, it's not the lightest tablet by a long way, but, to be fair, it's no brick either. And microSD compatibility does claim back some credibility, allowing you to extend the paltry 4GB of storage up to 32GB.
Any other ports are thin on the ground, there's only a MicroUSB option allowing you to connect to a laptop and swap over files. The Android OS keeps this easy and you can simply drag and drop content onto the tablet.
Annoyingly, the Arnova 10b G3 doesn't charge via USB and you must use the attached power cable to charge it up.
Any slight fondness we had for the Arnova was quickly dispelled by the battery life. We streamed HD video on a constant loop and the Arnova gave up after only 162 minutes. By comparison, the Scroll Extreme 9.7 Tablet PC lasted for 635 minutes.
An affordable alternative to premium tablets, the G3 will let you watch media, access a few choice apps and browse the web without much hassle. However, we can't recommend it highly.
There are too many other options now available that easily out-perform the Arnova 10b G3, and certain issues like the poor screen and lack of access to the Google Play app store let it down considerably.