Inside the tablet is a 1 GHz Allwinner Boxchip A10 processor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage. On the outside is a microSD slot for increasing the storage up to 32 GB, a mini-USB port for data transfers, a mini-HDMI port, a 3.5 mm audio jack and a port for the charger. Running the show, Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Memup SlidePad NG 9708 sells for as low as £155.
DESIGN & HANDLING
In more ways than one the SlidePad NG 9708 reminds us of the Archos 97 Carbon, another 9.7-inch, 4:3 slate with run-of-the-mill plastic on the back. The 9708 feels flimsy at times and you can hear little creaks in the plastic when you hold it in your hands or press down on it. The speaker is intelligently placed in the upper section of the body, as opposed to most tablets, where your hands just end up covering the speaker when you hold the slate.
The ports are tidy and well integrated, though not mind-blowingly so. The right side heats up a bit, but not enough to get on your nerves. The only real hassle posed by the design is the fact that you have to use the charger instead of just the USB port.
The frame surrounding the display is unfortunately wide, adding a black border that's more than 20 mm thick. But the weight is just about right and well distributed, making the SlidePad convenient to hold in either portrait or landscape mode.
The display is without a doubt the SlidePad's biggest selling point (of the few it has). In theory, an IPS panel should provide good contrast and extra-wide viewing angles. And in practice, that's what you get. Plus a bit more...
The SlidePad NG 9708 has an average contrast of 1,222:1, which is one of the very best contrast ratios on the market. That's more than the current iPad (less than 860:1), and just about on par with the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 and Acer Iconia Tab A510. Unfortunately, the maximum brightness is 270 cd/m², which is lower than most tablets and makes the display hard to read outdoors.
Colours render well here. Primary colours can look a little out of tune, but the rest of the spectrum stays on course and the 5,850-kelvin colour temperature stays consistent across the spectrum, deftly avoiding blue and red overtones.
The response time is 24 ms, which is average for an entry-level IPS-screen tablet. The 1024 x 768 resolution is a little outdated for a display this size, making text less legible and icons less detailed. Our eyes have "unfortunately" grown accustomed to higher pixel density on other slates...
INTERFACE & NAVIGATION
For the operating system, Memup installed Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. And... that's about it. Without official Google certification, the company can't give you access to the Google Play Store. Instead it has GetJar, a wannabe Play Store found on many an entry-level tablet that has very few worthwhile apps.
GetJar doesn't have any of the Google apps (Gmail, Gtalk, Google+, etc.) and simply doesn't offer as much meat as so many similarly (or even lower-) priced tablets you can find from small-name Asian brands.
The user experience on the SlidePad NG 9708 is riddled with lags and hiccups, whether it's when scrolling through the Android homescreens, opening and closing apps, or even simply running apps. And the processor doesn't leave much room for hope, as in terms of raw power it falls behind the great majority of tablets we've reviewed over the past 18 months. In sum, the SlidePad leaves you wanting more and there's no news of any future updates to the system.
There's just one web browser, one of the slowest on the market, and GetJar doesn't have any others. It launches, opens tabs and loads pages slowly. You can find a lot faster out there than this.
Web pages are only as legible as the screen's resolution will permit. In today's world, 1024 x 768 pixels is a problem.
Video playback on the SlidePad NG 9708 is limited to the basic Android 4.0 selection of MP4, Mpeg4, H.264, AVI and MKV, and you can forget about Full HD—1080p movies will launch, but the player freezes almost every time, no matter how good the compression is.
This is not a tablet for gaming. The only games you can get are what's available on GetJar, which is little indeed. You can use a file extractor to get around the issue, but the processor's low capabilities make most games difficult to enjoy anyway.
Do we even need to mention the 5-Megapixel camera? It's hardly better than a mid-range webcam. Latency is king and detailed shots are rare. In fact, the front-facing webcam might even give better results!
The SlidePad NG 9708 has a 5,500 mAh battery... with low voltage (3.7 V). With a CPU that does little to save energy and is poorly optimised, what you're left with is 5 hours and 20 minutes of battery life with varied usage (web browsing, e-mails, video playback, games). The battery takes just under 4 hours to recharge.