|Camangi WebStation WS-171 Android Tablet PC|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Phones | Handheld|
|Written by Olin Coles and Emily Ladouceur|
|Monday, 26 April 2010|
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Camangi WebStation Conclusion
Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating for the sample received which may differ from retail versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
Unlike many of the products we test here at Benchmark Reviews, the Camangi WebStation's performance cannot be quantified by numbers or measured by charts. Performance is relative to the user experience, and that experience is entirely dependant on the task at hand. From our time with the WebStation, there were many pleasant discoveries and only a few shortcomings to note. Some of the highpoints to using the WebStation include Android app support and tablet PC functionality. The WebStation also borrowed some favorites from the Apple iPad/iPhone, and features such as landscape or portrait orientation based on WebStation positioning are also nice.
Alas, there are a few disappointments. Generally speaking, the bulk of our issues with the WebStation revolve around hit-and-miss Google Android integration, and may possibly be out of Camangi's control. But the lack of Adobe Flash video support, or any real video support for that matter, is a problem we can't ignore. Reading electronic books and light web browsing is nice, but the 7-inch LCD screen is the perfect size for personal video viewing. This presents a major opportunity for Camangi to redeem it's WebStation product line with a graphics processor to the tune of NVIDIA's Tegra.
In terms of appearance, the WebStation charms users with a familiar look that combines soft white contours with small chrome accents. The simple layout and minimal use of buttons helps to instill confidence for non-technical users who want to enjoy WebStation. For an ultra-compact tablet PC, the Camangi WebStation was extremely rugged and well-built. While not impervious to shock or liquid damage, the construction was better than you might find on Android SmartPhones. The stylus secures into the bottom base of the unit, which makes me wonder if gravity will ever cause it to fall out and be lost, but it seems safe and secure. The plastic LCD screen is durable and resists scratches, and the Micro SD slot locks firmly shut.
The Camangi WebStation offers functionality in a myriad of ways since this device doubles as a personal computer. As one of the first Google Android tablet PCs on the market, Camangi has taken time to get it right the first time. This article explored only a few of the more common/popular ways people might enjoy the WebStation, but in truth there are more features waiting to be used than we can discuss in one review. The WebStation is light enough to comfortably hold for extended use, and small enough to set on a nightstand.
So where can you purchase the Camangi WebStation? That's a good question, and I wondered that myself since several friends showed an interest buying one for themselves. As it turns out, Camangi has not been able to keep-up with demand. Heading into May 2010, the 'New Upgrade Version' WebStation WS-171 we've tested is available from Amazon for $275. This price directly competes with with the Amazon Kindle-II, Barnes & Noble nook, and Sony Reader, so consumers will want to compare the features that are most important to them before buying.
Overall, the Camangi WebStation left me with mixed feelings about the product. If you're after a powerful personal video viewer, this isn't going to win over any hearts and minds. But what the WebStation lacks in movie playback, it makes up for in other areas. The WebStation is certainly worth its weight as a versatile eBook reader, lightweight web browsing device, and 2D gaming system. Of course, my efforts to produce a comprehensive review might all be for naught, since supply and demand appear inconsistant. Priced at $275, the Camangi WebStation could be a worthwhile Google Android tablet PC depending on your tasks... but this is a crowded market with plenty of options.
+ Comfortable size and weight
- Very limited video playback
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