Android from Gemini (JoyTAB GEM10312BK) 

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This is the second such device I have seen that comes with a separate keyboard; the other was the excellent offering from Archos whose only real problem was the price. This seems to be more reasonable in the price department.

Gemini JoyTAB 9 7 inch Android Tablet with keyboard
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The Gemini JoyTAB GEM10312BK measures 24.5x18.5x1.5cm with lid/keyboard on, it weights 1026g, without the external keyboard it weights 726.

All the controls and connections are down the right edge, on/off, volume up, volume down, DC input, micro USB, mini HDMI out, headphones, micro SD slot and finally internal microphone. There is a built in camera on the centre top of the screen for Skype etc. The better resolution camera is on the back together with the pair of speakers.

The viewable screen is 19.6x14.7cm giving the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 9.7inches, the display is 1024x768.

The screen is the newer capacitive multi touch variety which I found very responsive and resizing of web pages was a breeze. It runs Android 4.1.1

The ARM cortex processor – even at 1GHz – was always able to process tasks without delay. There is 1GB of internal RAM and it also comes with 16GB of internal storage. This can be doubled to 32GB by the addition of a 16GB micro SD card should you want. A mini USB to USB cable enables connection to a PC to transfer files. Another cable is supplied that allows you to attach USB sticks direct to the device and these are a lot cheaper than micro SD cards. Why other manufactures cannot provide such a lead a do not know as they only cost a few pounds.

The internal cameras are VGA at the front and 2 mega pixel at the rear, the front is fine for Skype which I use quite a lot and surprisingly people found video calls worked well, often when using a PC we often go to voice only as video quality is often poor, the internal microphone bottom right of the side with connections worked perfectly well for this. The 2 mega pixel camera took perfectly good images to send to people via email.

While the battery was stated to work for ‘up to eight hours’ between charges I found I never got more than about six hours. As always no manufacturer states how this is achieved, I assume that wireless uses a good amount of the power. A recharge when off from totally empty took five hours.

As with most of these devices I found the ‘G sensor’ rather too sensitive and unless I required it for games etc I often turned off automatic screen rotation in the settings. Then when you move slightly while viewing a web page the screen does not rotate.

For short amounts of typing such as entering web addresses the touch keyboard built in works well, should you want to type more then the lid of the unit is a keyboard. It has 82 keys and all but the top line are a reasonable size at 1.2cm square. The screen fits in it at around 45 degrees. It has two buttons on the front right edge, on/off and connect. While the keys themselves have a positive movement I disliked the ridge around the edge, you should be able to touch type with it. It can be charged when required by using the same DC adapter as the main unit. It fits in just to the right side of the unit near the bottom. The keyboard could easily be improved by losing the lip which can be uncomfortable when the wrists sit on it for any period of time.

However the main purpose of the keyboard is as a lid for the main unit to protect the screen during travelling and this it does perfectly well meaning no bag or case is required for the main unit to protect the all important screen. A small twenty page Tablet User Guide explains all but how to connect the keyboard and this is covered in a separate document.

The JoyTAB GEM10312BK is available from the link below for £199.99.

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