Hands on: Budget Android tablet, Huawei S7 Slim

Huawei's S7 Slim, an Android 2.2 OS 7-inch tablet just may be the first solid "budget" tablet worth taking seriously.

There are great budget PCs and laptops, but where are the decent budget tablets? The answer could be Huawei's S7 Slim, an Android 2.2 OS 7-inch tablet shown here at CTIA. Tablet maker Huawei offers a bright spot among a sea of mediocre "value priced" tablets that I've seen with its S7 Slim offering.

I played around with the Huawei S7 Slim and am impressed. Huawei won't reveal availability or the exact pricing on what it calls a "value priced" tablet, so we'll have to trust that it's more affordable than leading tablets Xoom and iPad 2 priced above $500. Nevertheless, I spent some time with this tablet and here are my impressions.

Hands On, First Impression

The tablet has a white plastic body, but unlike the Apple iPad 2, the white is limited to the back and edges, only. You still get a black bezel around the display.

And that display is worth noting: It looked surprisingly good under the show floor's unforgiving lights; this even though it carries an unimpressive 800 by 480 pixel resolution. What caught my attention about the display was its bright, vivid colors and its wide viewing angle; other value tablets, I've seen (and even some that aren't considered "value" and have beefier screen specs) haven't looked this good. Even text looked better rendered and sharper than I'd have expected given the display's spec. Another noteworthy point: the 7-inch display has a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, which is well-suited to gaming.

Related Slideshow: Tablets of CTIA 2011

The S7 tablet runs Android 2.2, but you won't guess that solely from looking at it. That's because Huawei has designed a custom skin it dubs the Emotion interface. While the moniker and concept emulates what HTC has done with its Sense interface, Huawei's ambitions seem a bit less complex. The S7's interface tweaks are designed to add useful widgets and make the home screen easier to navigate by clumping like apps into a tabbed organization. For example, the home screen has a pretty display of the weather, integrated into the clock area. Along the bottom of the screen are a row of tabs, one each for content like Entertainment (which contains widgets for music and videos) and communications (which includes an e-mail widget, and app shortcuts for contacts, a dialer (which may not be on the U.S. version), and a call log).

Some other miscellaneous notes about the S7 Slim: It has a rear-facing 2-megapixel camera, and a front-facing 1.03 megapixel camera. This model has a slimmer, lighter design than the company's first tablet, available since last November at Best Buy Mobile; it also has a bigger battery with a longer-life battery.

Huawei says it will have a 10-inch Honeycomb tablet later this year.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Huawei Technologiestablet PCconsumer electronicsPhonesctiaAndroidtablets

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Melissa J. Perenson

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?