- Sleek, attractive design
- Good external speakers
- Decent battery life
- Unresponsive resistive touchscreen
- Incredibly heavy for its size
- eBook software not compatible with Borders/Kobo downloads
The Next5 is a budget Android tablet that performs like a budget device. Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed.
The EFUN Nextbook Next5 spec sheet reads like the answer to every frugal, would-be tablet owner’s dreams. The fact that with a $200 launch price, it costs less than most tablets, and sports dimensions conveniently smaller than other devices, make it appear to be the perfect hybrid between tablet and smartphone. As far as looks go, the Next5 is a slick device. But as everyone knows, sometimes looks can be deceiving.
BUILD & DESIGN
I really do mean it, no sarcasm intended – the Nextbook Next5 tablet is great looking. With a glossy black finish and three simple, straightforward navigation buttons that mirror those you’ll find on the face of most standard Android devices – a Home button, a Menu button, and a Back button – it’s as effective a statement about the beauty of economy and minimalism as any other tablet twice its price. And then you go to pick it up, and your opinion of the Next5 takes an immediate nosedive.
Not that it looks like it would be particularly lightweight to begin with, but you don’t expect to get physical exercise out of it either. The tablet is a disproportionate half-inch thick, but even then its weight takes you by surprise. This sucker’s a whopping 2.5 pounds, which is almost double the weight of the iPad, ASUS Transformer, and Motorola Xoom, all of which cost more than twice the price of the Next5. I get it: sometimes you make concessions in order to save money, but tell that to your hands and wrists after about an hour of trying to hold the Next5 like a paperback.
The Next5’s 7-inch TFT LCD touchscreen looks great, projecting a full color 800 x 600 pixel resolution that makes watching HD videos from YouTube or directly from the tablet’s 2GB of onboard storage a nifty experience. For the record, the 7-inch measurement is only accurate if you bust out your measuring tape and measure diagonally from corner to corner – the tablet’s actual screen size is 3.5 x 6 inches which isn’t too shabby.
With an overall tablet width of almost five full inches, the tablet’s designers could’ve gotten away with stretching the dimensions of the display by about another half inch in each direction without ticking too many people off. There’s plenty of unused space between the outer edges of the display and the tip of the device itself to have allowed for this, but maybe the folks in the design department were feeling considerate for those of us who like to grasp our tablets by the edges rather than cradling them in our laps. Maybe this wasn’t a shortcoming after all, but a conscious decision to allow optimum grip given the device’s weight. Either way, the Next5’s display size isn’t that big of a problem when compared with some of the other issues it’s got going on.