- Low price
- Decent performance
- Good build quality
- Poor quality screen
- Bad camera
Quick TakeIf you can live with a marginal screen, the E FUN Nextbook 8 is a cheap way to browse the Web, play a few games, and read the news.
Boasting a quad-core processor and 1 GB of RAM for a retail price of $99, the Nextbook 8 from E FUN is the latest in a long string of Android tablets trying to attract buyers through extreme cheapness. Is it worth it even at that price? We take a look.
Before digging in too far with this review though, it has to be said that E FUN had previously produced a very similar 8-inch tablet, and the company unhelpfully failed to name the two models differently. The 2014 version of the Nextbook 8 we reviewed here features a quad-core processor, and a suggested retail price of $99 in partnership with Walmart. Older Nextbook tablets can also be found online, but if it’s not a quad-core and doesn’t have 1 GB of RAM, it’s not what we reviewed here. To be really sure, we’re talking about model #NX785QC8G.
Build and Design
Overall, I would summarize the N8’s design as “I’m trying to find more and more creative ways to describe a grey plastic rectangle.” It’s very generic, but it seems to be built reasonably well. The casing is all plastic, but with no play in it, and it won’t smudge.
If you’re looking at the Nextbook 8 and feel something about the screen looks a little “off,” it’s because the display is squarer than most. While most Android tablets use a 16:9 widescreen-style ratio, the Nextbook has a 4:3 ratio – the same as the Apple iPad. Put simply, it’s shaped more like a sheet of paper than an HDTV.
Also despite the name, the Nextbook’s screen is a little under 8 inches: 7.85, to be more accurate. However, because it’s wider, that still leaves it with more screen area than 8-inch tablets with widescreen displays.
When it comes to the actual quality of the screen, though, I’m afraid there’s no two ways about it: It’s just not very good. The 1024 x 768 resolution is acceptable for the cost and size, but the viewing angles are terrible. Even looking at the display head on, you can see a lot of contrasting effects from one edge of the screen to the other. It’s less pronounced on a bright background, so web browsing and reading aren’t really affected, but watching any kind of video, especially anything dark, is probably a waste of time.
On top of that, the N8’s display is incredibly reflective. I’ve seen a lot of very glossy displays, but the N8’s is so mirror-perfect I feel like I could shave with it, if only I didn’t wear a beard. Normally I don’t feel the need to get screen protectors for devices anymore, but for this one I would definitely want an anti-glare film on it, because the reflection gets pretty annoying.
Other Buttons and Ports
Almost everything on the N8 is top-mounted: microSD card slot, headphone jack, micro-USB port, microphone, power button, and even a micro-HDMI port, which is always nice to see. With as much edge space as tablets have, I wish more of them would bother with the little things like this. It’s not a big deal, but it’s convenient, especially when you want to set something up at the spur of the moment.
Moving along, the only thing not found on the top of the device are the volume keys, which are just around the right hand corner on the side.
The one-and-only speaker is on the back corner, where I’m afraid it’ll be easily covered by a hand, but that’s a problem many tablets have.
We’re just getting started — Page 2 covers the performance of the Nextbook 8.