7 Inch $50 Tablet Throwdown: Amazon Fire, RCA Voyager, ProScan 7
Good tablets are getting more affordable and very useful. Amazon launched the Fire 7 inch tablet in their line of Fire products. While a great tablet, I had to wonder how this stacked up to other $50 7 inch tablets. Therefore I found two tablets you might see during your holiday shopping. The RCA Voyager tablet from Walmart and the ProScan tablet which you can find in many different stores.
Keep in mind these are not HD resolution tablets and will show slower results than a Fire HD or iPad Air. Nonetheless, these affordable tablets could become second tablets for some and replace laptops for others.
Amazon Fire 7 Inch Tablet
The Fire 7 inch has a screen resolution of 1024×600 (also known as WSVGA). The Fire is a Quad-Core ARM Cortex A7 processor at 1.3 GHz, and a Mali-450 GPU. Two cameras with a front 2 MP camera and VGA selfie mode allow you to take lower-resolution pictures if needed.
The Fire 7 inch connects via WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and via Bluetooth 4.0. Internally, the device contains 1024 MB of RAM and 8 GB of storage, with an expansion MicroSD card slot of 128 GB.
A 10 hour battery life for the Fire tablet allows to get your work done before your battery goes to 0. Of course, that depends on what apps you run on the tablet.
Cons of the Fire
The Fire is a special version of Android 5.1, where it connects directly to Amazon. Therefore, no Google play store is available unless you side-load the app. If you do side-load (no root necessary), the play store acts up and you might not be able to load programs, such as Gmail or Clash of Clans.
The Fire also comes with adware at $50. For an additional $10, ads will be removed. I also got 2-year protection to the tablet. Total price around $68.
RCA Voyager from Walmart
The Voyager has a lot of the same specs as the Fire. Same ARM processor, RAM, WiFi and Bluetooth. The Voyager also has a WSVGA resolution and Mali-450 GPU. The Voyager is a 16 GB storage tablet, as opposed to 8 GB Fire.
The battery life is a little less, with a 6 hour time. There is also only one face-camera at VGA resolution. The display also looks a little more washed, if you tilt the screen more than 30 degrees you have issues seeing the video. Further, the plastic face seems to be prone to scratches.
The side of the tablet has a weird bevel edge. This makes for an odd feeling when holding the Voyager.
Voyager tablet is a full Android device which loads all Google apps, including Amazon Kindle and other software. Creating multiple profiles is straightforward and easier since the device has more storage.
ProScan 7″ Tablet
These tablets may be found in multiple stores, including Walmart, hhgregg, Sears and more. I got mine at Menards (a midwest hardware store chain). This tablet was actually $39.95. However, it does not have the same specs as the other two.
ProScan resolution is 800×480 (WVGA), Quad-Core Cortex A7 at 1.2 GHz and a Mali-400 GPU. The tablet has 8 GB of storage, but only 512 MB of RAM. Many programs took a long time to load and some simply crashed out.
The tablet has WiFi but no Bluetooth. Android 5.1.1 is loaded and no other bloat-ware is included. The battery life is a little better than Voyager, at about 7-8 hours.
Finally, ProScan 7 inch also has only 1 camera (front-face) at VGA. While not great for gaming, the tablet can run simpler programs and surf the internet just fine.
My Choice – Voyager Tablet
Although the Fire has a lot to it, I don’t like the play store side-load and lack of programs I can use if they don’t come from the Fire appstore. Maybe down the line that will change and I expect the Fire to get regular updates while the other two tablets run their same version of Android.
Do you have a better 7 inch $50 tablet? If so, what is it? I’ll check it out in a future review!