Metalbox MP10 Android tablet

An inexpensive Android tablet that's useful for Web browsing and streaming videos

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  • Specs
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  • User Reviews (1)
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Metalbox MP10 Android tablet
  • Metalbox MP10 Android tablet
  • Metalbox MP10 Android tablet
  • Metalbox MP10 Android tablet
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5
  • User Rating

    3.00 / 5 (of 1 Review)

Pros

  • Low price
  • Good features for the price
  • Good for basic Web and streaming tasks

Cons

  • Battery isn't great
  • A little sluggish

Bottom Line

For $199, the Metalbox MP10 Android tablet is a good value proposition. It's not blazing fast, and its battery isn't great, but it's a 10.1in tablet that's fine for Web browsing, streaming video and basic gaming. Well worth considering if your budget only stretches so far.

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The Metalbox MP10 is a run-of-the-mill, 10.1in tablet that has a relatively low price point. You can buy this thing for $199, and while it isn't blazing fast, it's a very good unit for browsing the Web, watching videos and communicating online. It's also quite well built, and it felt a lot more solid than we expected considering its low price point.

It's a tablet that ships with Android 4.0.3 (we were able to upgrade to 4.0.4), and it has an AML8726-MX system on chip device, which includes a 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor and an ARM Mali-400 MP graphics processor. It also comes with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of built-in storage. During our tests, the Metalbox MP10 was fine for general usage, but it did feel a little sluggish. In particular, accessing the tablet's settings often took a few seconds, and taps on menu entries were met with a slight delay. Scrolling in Web pages wasn't silky smooth and, again, touch inputs were sometimes a little delayed.

Despite that sluggish feel, the tablet performed well. We got used to the way it worked and we accepted its performance considering where it's positioned in the market. It's meant to be an entry-level device for those of you who want a basic 10-inch Android tablet, rather than a premium model with high-end components under the hood. We found that it handled most Web sites quite well, and it was good for browsing news sites, social media sites, and even photography sites. Streaming YouTube videos was not a problem at all, and we even had lots of fun streaming 1600Kbps (kilobits per second) video through the NBA.TV Android app.

The home screen.
The home screen.

The Settings screen.
The Settings screen.

It's a tablet that feels solid and it only weighs 622g.
It's a tablet that feels solid and it only weighs 622g.

The screen has a relatively low resolution of 1280x800 pixels, which is adequate for a cheap tablet, and it's a screen that's mostly easy on the eyes and adequate to view from the sides. Its contrast isn't great, though, which means that some fine detail will be lost when viewing photos. For example, if you're viewing photos with lots of shades and greyscale, those shaded and grey areas might just appear to be black. For casual viewing it's fine, but it shouldn't be relied upon as a viewing tool.

Reflections can be a problem with this tablet, just as they can be with other tablets that have a glossy finish, and it's not a very bright panel, which means that viewing outdoors won't always be comfortable. The tablet lacks an ambient light sensor, so you'll have to adjust the brightness manually if you want to manage the battery life.

It's a 6000 milliamp-hour, lithium ion battery that lasted us through two and a half YouTube movies (for a total of 3hr 45min) during our rundown test, and we used medium screen brightness. It took a long while to charge, though, especially as our test unit showed up without its wall adapter. Charging via a PC USB connection was a task that we left to complete overnight.

The tablet has two cameras: a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. Don't expect too much out of these cameras — they supply very basic quality. You also get built-in Wi-Fi (single-band), Bluetooth, and there is support for 3G dongles should you ever need to use this thing in an area without Wi-Fi and without using your phone as a hotspot. There are a couple of speakers built-in, which aren't great; you'll need headphones while watching movies and listening to music.

A test shot taken with the rear-facing camera, which has a 2-megapixel sensor.
A test shot taken with the rear-facing camera, which has a 2-megapixel sensor.

A test shot taken with the front-facing camera. This is only a VGA (640x480) camera, and that's the native size of the image that you're seeing above.
A test shot taken with the front-facing camera. This is only a VGA (640x480) camera, and that's the native size of the image that you're seeing above.

Along the right side you get a microUSB port (for connecting to a PC, or for attaching a 3G dongle), and there is also a mini HDMI port, a headphone port, and a microSD card slot for adding more storage.

On the right side you get a headphone port, a built-in mirophone, a micro USB port, a mini HDMI port, the power connector, and a microSD card slot.
On the right side you get a headphone port, a built-in mirophone, a micro USB port, a mini HDMI port, the power connector, and a microSD card slot.

The rear of the unit has a 2-megapixel camera, while the top-right corner has power and volume buttons.
The rear of the unit has a 2-megapixel camera, while the top-right corner has power and volume buttons.

All up, a decent Android tablet to consider if you're on a budget and want something sturdy. It's definitely useful as a low-end consumption device, although its battery life isn't great. We should also point out that the review unit we tested had done the rounds. It came to us with a cracked screen and a substantial dent on the corner after presumably being dropped. We're impressed it still worked for us despite the damage.

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Read more on these topics: Android, tablets

SteveSmith1

1

Another Android tablet maker making strides to offer quality Android tablets at competitive prices is Ainol Electronics - which won runner-up for "Best Tablet of the Year" at CES 2012 and recently introduced the Novo Quad Core Series -- including the Novo Hero II - a full size, 10 inch Android tablet that features a quad core processor and 1280x800 IPS HD screen; and innovative features, including 4K HDMI Digital Output - Plus 16GB memory, MicroSD storage, Android 4.2, Google Play store preinstalled and a strong 8,000 mAh battery -- and all for about $220, with one of the first sites it's available through is called TabletSprint-- certainly worth checking out...

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Tom

3.0

1

Pros
clean 16 x 10 display with no bad pixels, battery life seems to be as good as advertised, good bang for buck
Cons
poor support at the moment, the os update will not work, face cam low light responce is poor
• • •

Just giving the earliest update I can with the experience, have not put it thru its paces properly yet. So far I m realy impressed with how good the display on this unit actually is. Its. Not perfect iluminant d but its as close as most I have seen. The front cam is pretty clear with no defects visable. The face cam .3 mp is a bit poor in terms of low light response.

I require an update to install software for my work, so I am dissapointed by the poor support, but i guess its early days yet.

The touchscreen seems to loose track of where I am pointing at times. I suspect this is a SW issue and the update to the latter android os will likely fix the issue. It must be remembred this unit does have a 1280 x 800 pixel 16 x 10 , just what I wanted, I hate 16 x 9 it has always been a bad aspect ratio for work use, only good for movies. It is a sad fact there are not more 16:10 devices available.

I will update this review and my rating as soon as I am able to install jellybean and confirm software is working the way it should be.

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