- Good build quality
- Decent battery
- Great task manager app
- Wi-Fi connection unstable at times
- No Honeycomb
- No access to Android Market
The Impression 10 is far and away the best off-brand tablet, though is lacking compared with the brand-name Honeycomb tablets.
It’s easy to write off tablets when they’re not from big name brands like Samsung, HTC, Asus, or Apple. After all, the popularity of tablets have caused budget versions of the devices to come out of the woodwork from numerous third party and low-profile brands, most of which are of dubious quality at best. But this isn’t the case with one of the most recent budget tablets I came across, the Impression 10 tablet from Leader.
Leader may be an unknown brand, but their product is a remarkably solid device despite their apparent lack of experience in the market. Sporting some surprising features like full-sized USB ports, the Impression 10 is a nicely built, relatively quality piece of technology that easily reigns supreme over the rest of the budget tablets that are currently on the market.
But therein lies the rub: its price tag is not exactly as “budget” as it should be. When choosing devices such as the Impression 10 over bigger names like the Galaxy Tab or the iPad, one of the primary reasons to do so is because of the price tag. After all, it makes sense; with bigger names comes a bigger price tag. But this isn’t the case with the Impression 10, and the appeal of the device is somewhat diminished by the fact that it goes for $349.99 MSRP. Is the Impression 10 worth the extra cash? Does it have the same quality as a tablet from a big name brand?
BUILD & DESIGN
The first thing you need to know about the Impression 10 is that it is a very, very heavy device. Weighing in at 1 pound, 12 ounces and built like a brick house, the Impression 10 is generally uncomfortable to hold up with one hand for extended periods of time. It’s also quite thick, measuring almost half an inch in thickness, but at least it has generous amounts of real estate in terms of the screen. Though its build is far bulkier, the Impression 10 sports the same screen size as the iPad at 9.7 inches.
However, its heftiness exists because of quality construction. Its build feels solid and reliable, and the tablet even has a nice brushed aluminum back (although it is prone to smudges and is adorned with a gigantic Android logo).
The power/standby button is located on the top edge of the device, as are the two speakers. The only other buttons are on the right side, which include the volume up/down buttons, as well as a dedicated camera button.
The bottom of the Impression 10 tablet is crammed full of ports, ranging from the standard to slightly more out of the ordinary. For instance, there is a mini USB port, as well as DC in and headphone jacks. But more surprising are the two full-sized USB ports, allowing you to plug in USB keys for added storage and even peripherals, which I thought was incredibly impressive for an off-brand tablet (though, admittedly, mice and keyboards don’t blend very well with the touch-based interface of Android). The bottom edge also features a mini HDMI out and a microSD slot, but it’s exposed and somewhat prone to jams; I find this design to be a little odd, since the common practice is usually to put it behind a door of some kind. The Impression 10’s built-in microphone is found down here, as well.
Leader Impression 10 Tablet Specs
- Android Froyo (2.2)
- 9.7-inch widescreen (1024 x 768) capacitive touchscreen
- Samsung A8 S5PC110, 1 GHz
- 512MB RAM
- Included 4 GB microSD card, slot expandable up to 32GB
- Front-facing 2-megapixel camera
- Built-in 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi antenna
- 3.5 mm audio jack
- USB mini, USB 2.0 x 2, and mini HDMI ports
- 7,000 mAh battery
- 9.64 x 7.55 x 0.47 inches
- Price at launch: $349.99
Screen and Speakers
As mentioned, the Impression 10 has a comfortably large, 9.7-inch screen, but in terms of sharpness, it’s very much average. The display is not particularly crisp and with a mediocre resolution of 1024 x 768, it really shows; it’s not terrible, but it’s not great either.
The Impression 10 has a capacitive touchscreen, which gives it far more responsiveness than much of its similar, budget-priced competition (the Next series of tablets from E FUN keeps sticking with resistive for some reason unbeknownst to me), so that was a bit of a relief to discover. Still, it isn’t always as responsive as I would like it to be, as I occasionally found myself having to tap or swipe multiple times to get some of my commands to register.
The speakers are of good quality and, yes, the fact that there are two of them makes for a more powerful maximum volume. But the fact that those two speakers are directly next to each other on the top edge (or left edge, depending on which way you’re holding the tablet) kind of negates any sort of stereo effect that otherwise would have been achieved.