It wasn't that long ago that the idea of a low-end 4G tablet was a contradiction in terms; even the least expensive tablet with truly untethered internet access would have run you much more cash than any definition of "low end." But with Wi-Fi only tablets sliding below the $100 mark, it's inevitable that mobile ones will follow the downward slope.
The first of these is the Verizon Ellipsis 7. Designed and built by Quanta and featuring a 7-inch HD screen, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, and 8GB of memory (4.1 GB available), the E7 delivers what would be relatively middling specs if it weren't for the inclusion of 4G LTE -- as well as the relatively affordable price of $250 outright, or $150 with a two-year data contract.
Build and Design
Overall, the Ellipsis 7 is relatively unsurprising on the design front. "Straightforward" would be a fairly good word to use in describing it; "simplistic" would be even better. It's really an extremely basic tablet in terms of design, with dark gray plastic backing, a plastic door covering the microSD and SIM card, and no other frills. The front features a simple bezel with a Verizon logo and stereo speakers on either side of it. The E7 doesn't feel bad in the hand, but then, it doesn't exactly impress with its quality either. It holds up well to moderate use. I wouldn't try dropping it, but for the price, it's not to be sneezed at.
The aforementioned plastic door covering the microSD and SIM card slots sits on the bottom right, easily pried open with a fingernail. Above that are the volume keys and the power button. The left side is completely bare, and the only other features are the 3.5mm headphone jack (top) and the micro-USB port (bottom).
Otherwise, there's not a lot to see about the Ellipsis. The case is ordinary black plastic--a little smudgy, but not very noticeable unless you're looking for it. The build quality seems decent enough, and while it isn't sexy, it's not hard to look at either.
The 7-inch display on the E7 is a 1280 x 800 LCD, coming in around 216 PPI. That makes it comparable to other inexpensive 7" tablets, but nothing special. The screen quality itself though is fairly good--it has the kind of color depth and general sharpness that makes it very comfortable to view, and although the automatic brightness is a bit too weak (as it is on most devices that have an automatic brightness setting) the screen is fairly bright when manually adjusted, so you should only be likely to have trouble in the brightest environments.
Don't stop now. Page 2 covers the performance of the Verizon Ellipsis 7.
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