If you’re looking for a 7-inch Android tablet with basic Wi-Fi connectivity, you have a wide range of different models to choose from. However, if your aim is to find something with not only Wi-Fi but also 3G cellular connectivity, then the number of choices drops significantly. One of the few true 3G-enabled Android tablets available on the market today is the ZTE Optik. Also going by the name v55, it comes with Android 3.2 Honeycomb pre-installed. And yes, it supports 3G data through CDMA networks.
The 7-inch 1280x800 touchscreen display on the Optik is one of its best features. It is framed quite nicely by a rounded black casing which conveniently weighs only 400 grams and measures 13mm thick. As far as hardware goes, it’s pretty well-equipped. It has wireless features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS with A-GPS, plus it has 16GB of internal storage which can be expanded even further with a microSD card. A 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU keeps things running smoothly along with 1GB of RAM. If you care a lot about camera performance, you’ll be pleased to find a 5 megapixel snapper on the Optik’s back. If there’s one thing that isn’t so pleasing about it, however, it’s the 4.4 hour battery life when surfing with Wi-Fi.
The Optik was made to answer the market’s need for a low-cost Android tablet with built-in 3G wireless connectivity. And indeed, it can be acquired rather inexpensively. If you plan on getting it for yourself however, remember that a monthly service contract is necessary in order to fully enjoy that 3G data convenience. Those data costs, as some of us know all too well, can really add up in the long run.
Need to Know: ZTE Optik
1. Comes in portable 7-inch form factor with HD touchscreen display. (The Good)
2. Default software can be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. (The Good)
3. The battery won’t last a full day with heavy use. (The Bad)
4. The monthly service fee for 3G data may end up costing much more than the tablet itself. (The Bad)