|Cloudfone Cloudpad Epic 7.1 Review: Crossover for Work and Play|
The demand generated by the tablet market isn't as strong as it once was, and the need for a device with bigger screen real estates were filled in by the likes of unwieldy phablets that served as an 'in-betweener' to deliver more portability. However, it goes without saying that there are still those who prefer a standalone device with larger screens, and it's even evident if you factor in how you're going to use it. This is where the Cloudfone's Cloudpad Epic 7.1 comes in – a 7-inch tablet that features both Windows and Android in its core. Best of both worlds, if you will.
Cloudfone usually ships its products in flashy ways, and the Epic 7.1 is no different. It comes in a very engaging package, with Halo's Master Chief at its sleeve. Once you slide out the box, however, you'll be greeted with its former skin that still showcases Windows 8.1 upfront. That's really not an issue, since the company took it upon itself to upgrade it to Windows 10, so that's really less of your worries now. Once you take it out, now come the usual inclusions: there's the device itself, a wall charger, USB cable and paperwork. The company also bundles it with a Halo: Spartans license key if you want to use it for gaming.
Common to other budget tablets, the Epic 7.1 still features the standard large bezels around the screen. It's not something to complain about, though. But Cloudfone could have gone the extra mile and went with something that's a bit thinner.
At the front end, the tablet is quite minimalist – there are no embellishments here, and all you have are the screen and the front facing camera. It wouldn't actually need a proximity sensor since you won't be taking calls the conventional way here with VoIP apps.
It's also nice to see that the tablet comes with an HD display, which is quite a surprise to see in the budget offerings as most offer WSVGA resolutions. Viewing angles are superb and color accuracy is on point. Sunlight visibility is also great as well with glare kept to a minimum.
At the back is where it's really at. The majority of it is made out of light aluminum, which gives the device quite a premium feel. Its camera lens also comes with an aluminum ring, adding up to its design beauty. The branding is done in good taste, and below it is Intel's logo for good measure, while further below are the loudspeakers. The back panel is also home to the ports and labels running around the device's sides. It's not really necessary, but it has its uses.
The volume rocker, power button, microphone and micro SD card slot are situated on the left side of the device, while the 3.5mm audio jack and the micro USB port are located at the bottom.
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On boot-up, you'll be met with two options: you can either choose to go with Android or Windows as your operating system. Depending on your preference, you can easily switch between the two OSs with just a simple boot up.
|Windows 10 UI|
On the Windows 10 front, it's the ever familiar setup if you've been using a laptop as your workhorse. It also comes with the very same third-party apps that will download automatically once you set it up, but you can easily cancel them or remove them should complete. But if there's one thing to write about, it's the inclusion of a 1-year subscription to Office 365. There are other alternatives available in the market, but Microsoft's office offering fits the tablet trope, and it's also secured.
Also, if you have a Microsoft account that you've been using with your Windows 10 PC or laptop, you can sync it to the Epic 7.1 to get the same settings as well as access to your OneDrive files.
On the Android side, it's still running the dated 4.4.4 Kitkat, hopefully it will get the taste of marshmallows like its other siblings. It's the vanilla experience, which is good for those who prefer the stock UI.Third-party apps are kept to a minimum, with the company only including a shortcut for its official Facebook page, another app store, and an Intel Wi-Di app.
Here's the thing here: since we're talking about two operating systems, experience will greatly vary depending on how you use the Epic 7.1. It runs on an Intel Z3735g chipset paired with Intel HD graphics and 1GB of RAM. It's a capable enough setup for tablets, and it's a nice entry in the tablet range where MediaTek and Spreadtrum chipsets that have been coming out of the market.
|Mortal Kombat X|
Graphic intensive apps such as Overkill 3 and Mortal Kombat X are playable, but both have some areas that have FPS drops, and the former having some difficult controls still on the touch interface. Still, you can run those kinds of games, just don't expect them to run to your liking.
On the Windows front, that kind of setup will simply restrict you with light gaming. But that really isn't the key to this kind of device. It's a productivity and entertainment device through and through. It's best for Office apps and watching videos or web browsing, but load it up further and it will inevitably crash.
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You can't really expect a tablet to move past the baseline in terms of camera specifications, even more so when we're talking about a budget device. It comes with a 5MP primary camera and a 2MP selfie camera. You can use the former for simple snapshots or whiteboard note taking, and the latter for video calls and whatnot. There's no HDR, though, and there's no LED flash to help you with low light shots. Here are some samples:
As far as the connectivity features go, it's the standard setup for tablets for the Epic 7.1. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are your options for wireless connectivity, but you can also attach peripherals such as a keyboard and a mouse through the USB OTG capable micro USB port. For audio, there's the 3.5mm audio jack that you can also use.
3,000mAh on a tablet may seem a bit paltry for a tablet, especially if you're planning to use it as an entertainment/productivity device. However, we had a pretty good run with it and managed to achieve over a day on our mixed to regular usage. That's also on Windows, though. Most of the work done were strictly typing and web browsing for a couple of hours in parts. On Android's battery test, Geekbench scored it past 4 hours, but your mileage will always vary depending on your usage.
If you're looking for a portable workhorse that can easily fit your budget, the Cloudpad Epic 7.1 would be it. It comes packed with the productivity tools you need with Windows and the plethora of apps from Google, and it doesn't cost as much as other portable machines. While you're not really going to switch back and forth between Windows and Android, the option is there for you to use it. This is easily one of the best options available in the market today.
Cloudpad Epic 7.1 Specifications:
- 7-inch IPS capacitive HD (1280 x 720) touchscreen display
- Android 4.4 Kitkat/Windows 10 Home
- 1.8GHz quad core CPU, Intel HD graphics, Intel Atom Z3735G chipset
- 1GB of RAM
- 32GB internal storage, expandable via a micro SD card
- 5MP auto focus main camera
- 2MP secondary camera
- Multimedia player
- 3.5mm audio jack
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Micro USB 2.0 with OTG
- Sensors: accelerometer
- Battery: 3000mAh, non-removable
- Price: Php4,999