On the plus side, the new Impression has Android 4.0. Unfortunately, that’s all it has. You have the desktop skin with a few widgets on it, but pretty much every time I used it, I was tapping the desktop icon to get the full list of icons. In what could be considered a downgrade, the live wallpaper from the i10 is gone.
Our standard benchmark for tablets is Quadrant, and while the Impression i10a’s marks are much better than the i10, it’s still fairly low compared to the competition. I ran Quadrant four times, and the average rating was 1834 marks. That compares to approximately 2,600 for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 4,600 for the Asus Transformer Prime.
Nothing has changed here, Impression gives you the same touchscreen keyboard that you’ll find on any other Android 4.0 tablet. There is still no haptic feedback, just an audible click when typing, and I noticed that the keyboard couldn’t keep up with my fast typing.
The battery remains unchanged from the previous model, which is good news as that battery was quite good, lasting me about 6 to 7 hours with light to medium usage. It barely drained when it sat idle, which is nice. I’ve had tablets that sat unpowered for days and still lost half their charge. The one caveat is that recharging tends to be slow.
Connectivity was better than with the i10A. While it still is Wi-Fi-only, it has added Bluetooth support and the Wi-Fi connection proved pretty solid. I add the caveat that despite the Flash support, I couldn’t run SpeedTest.net tests. It didn’t suffer from the previous problem of jumping networks. I have multiple networks within range in my home, but it always stayed with the one I had assigned.
The Impression i10A adds a forward-facing 2Mpl camera, which is worefully dated in this day and age. Obviously they are trying to keep the price down, but the result is sub-standard photos, even when compared with the low standards set by other tablets and smartphones.
The photos pretty much speak for themselves. The red flowers on the tree lack resolution and texture, while the shots of the neighborhood show a pretty nasty lack of proper contrast. This is an area that should have been done better.
This is a budget Android tablet. You get what you pay for. It comes with Android 4 and that’s it. No access to the Google Play either, although at least they have added the Amazon Appstore. You can also side-load apps through the microSD card or the USB slots. The Impression i10A also comes equipped with an APK Installer app. You also get a YouTube player and Kobo eBook reader.
One thing that was really problematic was the repeated crashing of apps. Most of the benchmark apps I attempted to run failed to complete, and even Quadrant crashed once. AnTuTu Benchmark and Battery Saver both failed, as did PassMark Performance Test and Linpack for Android. A non-benchmark app, called FactBook+, also crashed on launch. That’s not a good track record.
And it’s all standard fare, really; besides the usual trifecta of browser/media player/email apps, there are also file manager, MSN Messenger, Kobo Reader, and YouTube apps.