Update June 2014:
I cannot believe some marketplace sellers are taking advantage of my review and upping the price to over $300 for this device. DO NOT BUY IT!! Unless you see it on sale for around $50, this is an outdated device, with NO support (from the manufacturer OR the community anymore), and it is NOT worth it.
Mine is still working well after all this time, but it cannot cope with most daily apps such as Facebook after the updates.
IF you want to buy something cheap, go for a used Galaxy Tab 10.1. Fantastic device, still fast enough to run most things.
DO NOT BUY THIS!
It was good while it lasted, but it hasn't been for some time, and it certainly isn't now!
UPDATE 27-08-2013: Please take into consideration this is a 2 year old review of a 2 year old device. If you still have it, great. If you don't, look for something else.
It struggles to keep up with updated apps, as it's bound to do with the obsolence all devices have built-in. If you find one cheap (under $100), and you want a large display, consider it, but keep in mind that it won't be able to run a lot of newer apps.
It's been a great device for me, and it's been passed down to other members of the family. But really, it struggles to keep up with the times. Wi-Fi has begun to drop off fairly often, support from LePan is less than satisfactory (for various of their devices, from what I gathered as an avid member of the LePan user community).
It is time to move on.
Fairly long review ahead. With lots of technical gibberish.
The Le Pan TC970 hasn't got many reviews here on Amazon.ca, and the only reason for that I think, is the fact that people are too busy enjoying it to come over and write a review. So I will, and I will provide a bit of background as well.
I've been working in computers (personal and industrial), for over 20 years. I jumped on the Android bandwagon only last year, when I got my HTC Desire, and I fell in love with it at first sight: Highly customizable in appearance, a lot of potential hardware-wise. The only difference is that back then, I paid over US$500 for my phone.
And I bought the Le Pan TC970 for less than CA$300 with shipping included. Go figure.
First, I'll address some of the issues that you will encounter on other reviews (and that didn't really help me much in deciding whether to buy this or not, to be honest).
*) Finger Smudges: Yes, they are annoying, and the screen gets pretty full of them rather easily. However, they don't affect visibility as they do on other (and smaller) devices. Thanks to the brilliance and clarity of the display, the fingerprints on the screen are only really bothersome when you turn the tablet off. If you don't care about that, cleaning it once a day with the provided pad should be enough.
*) Awesome display: Absolutely. Clarity and definition. For a tablet within its pricepoint (and many far beyond it), there is nothing that beats the display on the Le Pan. It's simply fantastic.
*) Dead pixels/ghost spots: I can only speak about mine, but I have 2 dead pixels, and to be quite honest, I don't really care. You might, but I don't. I don't use it for video editing or something of the sort, so maybe that's why I don't care. I don't have any ghost spots on mine, though.
Now, the nerdy stuff:
*) The processor is a Cortex A8 with a clock speed of 1GHz. It's really, really responsive. I've used it so far for video calling (I'll get to that later), and Netflix (also will get to that later), which are the most excruciating tasks that I'll be putting the tablet through, and it didn't even flinch, even with other stuff (like the Market and MercuryMSN), running in the background. Another good thing about the Cortex Processor is that it is not only powerful, but compatible with a LOT of important software.
*) Something (else) that's not said on the description, which I think is awesome, is that besides the 2GB MicroSD card included, the internal storage of the tablet is also 2GB (or thereabouts), so you have 4GB ready to use out of the box. Big plus for me, as with my HTC Desire, I'm constantly running out of space because the on-board storage is not even 1GB.
*) The tablet runs a pretty basic version of Android 2.2 (FroYo). This means you'll run into some annoyances if you want to do stuff like videocalls, because this device has a front facing camera, and supposedly, FroYo doesn't support it. Well, I'm able to use it, no problem. However, it's only after 2 full days of tinkering, looking for a CUSTOM version of Skype that would make it work.
Also, and following this same line, Netflix for Froyo here in Canada, with streaming, is not officially supported (as are many other applications, most of which have very good substitutes available in the market anyway). However, if you are a bit nerdy and have the patience for it, you can find the APK for Netflix that will allow you to watch movies on this (and many others) device.
I've had to contact Le Pan Customer Service already, because I wanted to do a Hard Reset on it after figuring out everything, so that I could only have the working versions installed. (you might not need to do this, it's up to you).
They replied in less than 12 hours, and not only did they provide full instructions on how to do a hard reset, but they also provided me with a link to download an updated build of the Operating System to upgrade my firmware.
As it stands right now, I'm running build 4431, still in FroYo, with Videocall capabilities (with front-facing camera) in Skype, and Netflix streaming like a dream.
It has been said that Le Pan will wait until the next major release of Android (set to drop sometime in the last quarter of this year), by the name of Ice Cream Sandwich, for a complete upgrade on the Le Pan TC970. We'll have to wait and see.
*) For a medium user, this tablet is MORE than powerful, it's well built, looks beautiful, it has plenty of storage, and it's affordable. However, you might need to be a bit nerdy to get stuff like videocalling and Netflix streaming to work, with lots of patience and (very careful) tinkering.
*) For nerdy users, this is even better. If you know your way around APKs, and don't mind spending a couple of days setting it up, you'll have a tremendously powerful device that looks, feels and works better than many of its rivals in higher price ranges, at less than CA$300.
I love mine, and I'm really, really glad I bought it. I'll continue to use my desktop computer for major computing, but for surfing, emailing, and general entertainment, my Le Pan is my Go-To device, even with my HTC Desire still in my pocket.
Sorry the review is long, but it needed to be done, I think!
Still loving this tablet. Battery life is eternal, ADW makes it look fantastic. Still super responsive. The most major change since I first wrote the review is that Netflix is now natively supported, which is good, because I was a bit tired of looking for updated APKs. If you read about compatibility issues with the official Netflix app, as I did, don't pay much attention to them. The Le Pan runs Netflix like a dream on the app you get from the market.
The Skype situation is the one that most people will be worried about, and sadly, there still isn't (and I don't really know if there ever will be), an Android-market provided app that supports the camera on this tablet. However, my modded APK works fine still, so I can't complain.
I've also spoken to Le Pan technical support again, and they've told me that even though they thinking about a more solid Froyo build, they will not be upgrading to Gingerbread, Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich.
Actually, Le Pan is already hinting (very heavily), that they are working on a new tablet that will run Honeycomb on a Tegra platform.
So, about a year after I first bought my tablet, and I wanted to update it to include more information. So here it goes: It's really great to live with. Battery is still going strong, and even after I fell asleep and let it fall, cracking the screen, it still works (don't try it, though, I'm not responsible if yours breaks and no longer turns on!).
For my own personal device, not much has changed, except added compatibility with market devices, including a version of Skype which natively supports the front-facing camera.
There has been no official OS upgrade (I did mention before there wouldn't be). However, new firmware has been released, upgrading functionality (such as Wi-Fi stability).
There is also a very great user-based community surrounding this little device. You can find them in a website/forum called "Le Pan Life", where you'll be able to ask questions and read up on how other users are making their devices better.
This includes the development of a CyanogenMod 7 port (developed in conjunction with XDA forum members), which is almost 100% functional. Only video recording doesn't work (which doesn't allow Skype videocalls, sadly), but users report CM7 runs beautifully on the LePan.
Installation of this ROM is straight forward enough for a medium user to try their hands on it, considering a Le Pan Life forum administrator was kind enough to create a very detailed installation guide (cheers, Yann!).
So, while the TC970 is a bit old now, it still receives much support from the user community. A community that is really tightly-knit and helpful towards its members.
As for my device: Yes, sometimes I wish it had a newer OS. And yes, sometimes I wish it was quad-core and had a 21" screen. But to be honest, most of the time... it just is one of my best investments in electronics of the past few years.
on November 21, 2011
Overall, I am satisfied with this purchase. I only gave it three stars because after researching it for some time, I was under the distinct impression that the operating system would be upgraded. LePan support staff say: " This OS is not upgradable to anything beyond 2.2. Le Pan plans to release a new tablet with a new OS that will come out early next year." Also, do not waste your time downloading the Skype App from the Market. That version will not work. The tablet has been working well for the five weeks that I have been using it and I would highly recommend it if you are on a budget. I see that it is now selling for about $165. That is a real bargain. You won't be disappointed unless you want to use your tablet as a camera and a phone. It is excellent for browsing and e-mail.
on September 25, 2011
Being a geek, I checked a lot of tech reviews for this pad. They raved cautiously, and it seemed too good to be true for under $250.
I bought it. It works as written, which means splendidly. If you don't insist on paying twice the price to get an iPad, I have one word: BUY.
If you are the least bit paranoid, you're asking yourself, how come I can't find a link to the product site on Google? W-e-l-l, Le Pan IS a little coy about their URL, but it DOES exist:
The goodies there includes:
The user manual (also on your pad if you know where to find it)
3 short training videos: key info done visually without redundant voiceover. Fast paced, but actually hits all the high spots for an android novice.
There's a useful faq, and a short list of accessories, too.
Most important: there IS a warranty service number: 1-855-LePanPC.
- yes, the screen matches the iPad. Superb.
- android apps abound at Android Market and most run on this tablet
- good battery life ... 6-7 hours used flat out
- wifi works flawlessly
- there's a USB connector which makes back-and-forth with your desktop easy
- gps not only works, it talks. Makes this competitive with a lot of dedicated GPS units ...)
The negatives (all can be dealt with):
- The system runs Froyo (Android 2.2). Android 3 would have been better. Since there are lots of apps for 2.2, this is not a deal breaker.
- there's no back facing camera. Which I wouldn't care about, except
- Skype (which chokes on Android 2.2 apparently on purpose), won't work as written. As you read above, there is a hacked version of skype that solves this.
- the speakers are a bit tinny when held in the hand. Play on a flat surface, use portable speakers or headphones
- it does not have a fruit logo on it. You could maybe get a sticker.
...further on January 13, 2012 (Friday the 13th!)
Still loving the tablet. Disappointed that the tantalizers about Ice Cream Sandwich on this tablet turned out to be pickle smoke, and that to get that, I'd have to buy a newer tablet.
Some must have apps from Android Market turn this into a useful interface to my clients:
Kingston Office lets me view/edit Word documents and Excel Sheets
Dropbox lets me save and retrieve files
A full featured file manager is a must (for example Astro)
Good ePub reader software (for example Moon +) lets me take my shelf of manuals with me
Advanced Task Killer lets me shut down applications fast and easily
on November 4, 2011
After lots of research into all the tablets and ipads that are on the market we found the Le Pan TC 970 and we've been quite happy with it. We wanted something that would facilitate Skype, movies, web browsing, and gps but was still affordable. Most tablets definitely get up there in price, but there are also many that have a good price but are just crappy (according to reviews).
= Tablet and software: This tablet definitely met our needs very well, it runs Android 2.2 (bear with me because I'm not too good with all the specs and technological info) responds quickly, and can multitask and switch between apps fast. The Android market of apps is large and still a lot of good apps are free. It's quite skinny although not the lightest tablet around, but I wouldn't know because I haven't really weighed any other tablets.
It doesn't have a usb input, but I have connected the Le Pan to my laptop and they communicate with each other easily, synchronizing and the works.
= Screen and touchpad: The 9.7 inch screen is bright and very clear, watching movies on it is a joy, especially HD movies. It responds instantly to touch and keeps up with several fingers on the keyboard at the same time. Scrolling works great, and it zooms in and out by pushing your fingers together or apart (for lack of a better way to explain this)
= Movies: I prefer to have the movies on the sd card instead of streaming or watching online, so I found a player that would work for avi files, MX Player. I tried Rock Player and VLC but they both didn't satisfy. Movies are fast and as said earlier, the quality is amazing. I've already tried streaming hockey games and youtube movies, and I've been pleased with the fast result.
= Sound: The sound from the speakers is surprisingly good although definitely not the kind of quality you would get from a proper speaker system. But even with a lot of background noise it's still easy to understand and listen to, even music. And naturally headphones work even better.
= Wi-Fi and Connectivity: Forgive me but I don't know all the difficult terms for all that so I'll keep it simple. Wi-Fi works great and receives to quite a far distance, the Le Pan also facilitates satellite (for GPS) and Bluetooth, which I haven't tried or needed yet. So far I haven't had any trouble with Wi-Fi yet.
= GPS: The GPS (with or without satellite) works surprisingly well. We have yet to try it on a roadtrip (so we'd probably connect via our Blackberry phone, but we'll have to see yet)
= Skype and Webcam: Because I use Skype all the time to chat to my family in South Africa I will elaborate on this for you, especially since some users have complaints about it. At first I installed the regular Skype via Android market, it worked well but I couldn't get the webcam to work at all. So I consulted with Le Pan Support (I will elaborate on their service below) who told me that under Android 2.2 this would probably not work. A day later they messaged me again with the following:
"An update on your case:
This version of Skype works and supports a front facing camera:
Make sure you enable "Use preview surface" under the tweaks menu.
It is a little glitchy on first establishing the video call,
but if you fiddle with it, by pushing on the screen, and hitting the back button, it clears up."
Exactly what they said happened, I downloaded the zip file on my computer and then sent it to the tablet via email, it opened up easily and installed well (make sure you remove the other version of Skype first). After fiddling around with the settings under the Tweaks menu I got the camera to work. It did make quite a mess of it at first so I just kept switching screens between the call and back to the call, and finally it worked. I hope it works for you too!
Overall: Of course the reason for buying a tablet is different for everyone, but I can tell you that this tablet was a great buy for what we want to use it for. We haven't been able to put it down for the first few days and our little girls enjoy watching Baby Einstein on it. And we haven't run into any problems with it at all, installed many different apps and tried different memory cards which work fine. So far the only problem we've had with it is fighting over who gets to play with it!!!
= Le Pan Support: Just a small note on their support, after signing up online you can build a case, they got back to us within six hours, followed by another result about eight hours later. So from our point of view their service is great.
on August 19, 2011
I've just finished spending 6 hours with this machine. Sorry for the quick review but I think first impressions are important. I bought it on the strength of many others' good reviews in various places.
I've never used android before but I am familiar with Mac OS,Ios, and Nokia Ovi. I am very familiar with linux operating systems.
The Le Pan is attractive. It is not well built and it is flimsy. The bezel "gives" here and there when handling the unit. The charger/usb connection seems poor and I'm not sure how it will stand up to long term plugging and unplugging.
Many others complain about the small recessed power button. It is awkward but not a show stopper.
The display is spectacular. Very bright and crisp with no flaws whatsoever. Utube videos play and show better on the Le Pan than they do on my higher end laptop. AngryBirds is fullscreen and great fun. I cannot fault the multimedia performance.
The camera is good. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of photos and video. Most of these 'cell phone' type cameras take terrible pictures and videos.
It was nice of them to put the camera on the front considering I've yet to get any kind of video chat working. Skype works but not video. From what I'm reading online Google Voice and Video is not available and probably will not be for android 2.2. Fring video does not work. I'm not happy about this as video calls are important to me.
The speakers are tinny but what can one expect for such a small machine? The microphone works well.
The battery life is impressive. I went a good six hours on whatever charge it had outofthebox.
It does run several apps well. There does not seem to be a shortage of horsepower.
I do not find Android intimidating at all. It is fairly easy to navigate and "market" for apps is big plus for these tablets. Lots of neat stuff available much like Apple ios.
Wifi works perfectly with good connectivity. It had no problem hooking up to my wpa wireless.
Right now I'm on the fence about keeping it. I am in love with the display. I'm not sure it is worth the $270.
You know how it is ... "you get what you pay for".
* Update ... a few days later.
This unit is still going strong. My wife has really taken to it. The superb display and strong battery is what makes this tablet stand out. At the current price of $229 I would highly recommend this tablet. 4 stars at this price point.
* Update ... 10 days later.
I decided to buy the new Toshiba Thrive so we could both have a tablet. Toshiba has the jump on everyone else due to its customer replaceable battery. I have heard it can cost in the neighbourhood of $150 to $200 to send a unit out for a battery change.
The Le Pan has a better display with its aspect ratio! The navigation menu is better. I suspect it has a better battery too.
Sure the Thrive has better connectivity options, two great cameras, and a good build quality. Still no skype video.
So far, I do not see Android 3.1 being leaps and bounds better than 2.2.
Is the Thrive worth twice the price of the Le Pan? I don't think so.
I'm upping my recommendation to 4 stars for the Le Pan. It loses one star for its build quality.
If you have been debating this purchase I say "jump all over this" at $230. You will not be disappointed.
* Update ... May 2012.
We have hardly used the unit after the first three months and now it is dead. Power button seems to be the likely cause from reading other's reviews. Sent it back to LePan for warranty repair but others are complaining of months to wait. Customer service and software updates have not been good. Disappointed? Yes.
I do not recommend buying LePan products and I'm giving it one star. Even at $174, avoid at all costs.
* Update ... Dec. 2012
What a waste of $270! LePan has totally abandoned this model. No software updates whatsoever. I did send it back for the power button and it was promptly returned, repaired, which was a good thing. It is still totally unreliable. Even as a bedside clock it will occasionally freeze. Android 2.2 is too old. There is a way to get 2.3 installed if one searches. I may try this eventually but the process is not perfected yet.
If I can give anyone advice, its to stick to mainstream manufacturers like Acer, Asus, Samsung, Toshiba ...
I bought an Acer at a door crasher sale for $179 and its been awesome. My Thrive is still going strong but Toshiba is slow to supply updates but at least they do.
Stay away from the cheapo $100 no-name tablets. They have crappy speakers and microphones and are useless for video/phone uses. I can heartily recommend Blackberry Playbooks for video chatting. High quality and available for under $150.
on September 7, 2011
I stumbled across this tablet when it was on the 'deal of the week'. I was in the market for a tablet/ereader and the price was RIGHT, so I decided to look into it but after much searching online for reviews, product information, videos, etc I found hardly anything. The few reviews I found and comments on Amazon, Tiger direct, were all positive. I decided to buy it anyways and was really worried because of the low price.
I received it from Amazon and put it to work immediately. Let me just say, this is AMAZING!
The screen quality is stellar (really crisp, great color quality, vivid)
capacitive, multi-touch screen (not one of those beyond terrible/obsolete Resistive garbage screens)
The build quality feels premium
The power button is fine (apparently a problem for lots of people??)
Full android market access (not a slimmed down version, or carrier regulated)
1.58GB internal storage readily available for apps
Battery life is much better than expected
Pure Google tablet, no skins, and no interference from Le Pan
Runs on Android 2.2, presumably up-gradable to Ice Cream sandwich in Q4, but I'm not holding my breath, and really I don't care, froyo does all you need, flash and the ability to move apps to SD is all I need.
I never write reviews for products, but I wanted to be one more for people like me that are considering buying but searching for reviews first.
You won't be disappointed with this tablet.
Even at the current price it's a huge steal! buy a 16gb microsd card for 15$ and you've just saved $300 off a comparable tablet.
It goes to show you that you don't need to spend $500 for a premium tablet
Congrats to Le Pan, this is a quality tablet! Really happy I dove in and decided to purchase!!
I'd highly recommend this for anyone in the market for an android tablet.
on January 16, 2012
This is the first tablet I have in my life. I had a lot of desktop and laptop and still continue to have both. This time, my plan was to have a tablet with the goal of:
1- Have a fast way to check email, weather and news when eating the breakfast.
2- Have a way to check streaming matches and youtube match of Starcraft 2.
3- Be able to do on the web for Facebook, Wikipedia and other website while watching the TV.
4- Have a battery that can at least be good for 4-6 hours because I do not want to be wired all the time.
With these objectives, the Le Pan TC 970 was in my target list and at a price of 200$ (with tax and shipping) the deal was looking good.
Now, it's been about 5 days that I have this tablet, I have updated the firmware from LePan website and have rooted the tablet (which give you a little bit more leverage of what you can do). This took 30 minutes and all was running fine.
My first objective was really a breath since I use Gmail for email and the tablet can have for free a Widget for the temperature (weather.com's widget). I can read the news with Google Reader and with the browser. So, the first objective is full fulfilled by the TC 970.
My second objective was to check youtube video and streams. This is good at 75%. Youtube video is pretty easy and can connect to my account so I have all my subscribe channels. The quality is good and it's pretty clear with the screen that LePan have. My problem is with streaming. I go to TeamLiquid.net which has a list of broadcaster for Starcraft 2 and I can check videos but it's not a quick process since buttons are little and video hangs a lot of time before starting correctly. Still, it's possible but with more trouble. So instead of taking me 10 seconds before watching a video like with the youtube application, it takes me more like 2-4 minutes to be able to start watching streams. Nevertheless, it's possible.
For the battery, for the moment I have used the tablet intensively. I have play game, check video, and check a lot of website, tests a lot of application. I had used it for about 6 hours. I have notice that if I go sleep and keep the tablet open and come back 8 hours later that the battery fall of about 2 percents (and I keep wireless on). So, I think the battery (which is over 6000 mha) is pretty solid.
In short : it's a good buy even at 250$. I know it's not the latest Android operating system, but it doesn't bother me at all and I am a software Engineer. I guess someone with less knowledge of computer will simply like it twice as much as I do. It's 5 starts for everything so far.
If I need to say few things about negatives points I would start with the screen. The screen becomes fast dirty. But I do not care because it's so clear that it makes 720p video look like 1080p and pictures are so clear that it's amazing. Also, no cover to protect the tablet which was not really a concern for me until I had to let it on the table... I still have the feeling to cover it with something to protect it in case of falling or if I would like to travel with it.
on December 8, 2011
I want to start by saying that I never have written any reviews for anything for my entire 27 years in life, regardless of how impressed I was. I am mostly up-to date with new technologies and have tried various tablets before making this purchase so I know exactly what I'm looking for. At first, I was skeptical - Le Pan?? a product line that I've never heard of, from a manufacturer that I've never heard of and it is from China.
I've received this tablet 3 days later I ordered it, which was Dec 1st. Upon uncovering from the box and turning it on, I was impressed by the design and the ease of use. Screen is beautiful - fully capacitive multi touch enabled, 9.7 inch with HD support. You cannot possibly expect this much of a feature from any tablet under $200 anywhere. But the surprise does not end here.
Turning it on, I was stunned to find out that the FULL android market was accessible - and I want to stress that this is important because most tablets under $200 will limit your choice of selections of app you can get by using 3rd party app downloaders but this one does not. It gives you 100% access to google android app market. I've downloaded numerous number of apps and have tested them to work 100% of the time without any errors or crash. Angry bird runs beautifully, and so does others as far as game goes.
For videos, you'll of course want to have ur own micro SD card for it since the tablet itself comes with 2 gb of storage and has another 2gb of microsd that is plugged into it out of box, which won't be enough for movies. I have inserted my 16gb micro SD and the storage is now more than enough for my entertainment. The videos run seamlessly, at an amazing quality - I've tried also Youtubes as well, and they run just as well.
For any of you who are considering Ereading, this tablet will blow your mind in this aspect as well. It already comes with Kindle app, Google Ereader, and you have access to BOTH markets 100% - it is just simply AMAZING.
I was able to test different languages as interface since I read, write and speak 4 my self - it supports pretty much all mainstream languages as a default and for inputs as well. If you aren't able to find your language there, you can download it through android market and its guaranteed to be there for you. So far I have not had ANY inconvenience communcating in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and English - they are ALL supported either by it self or by downloading simple apps off the market. I am of Korean decent, and the apps such as Kakao Talk, NateOn are ALL available in this tablet - so you no longer need to be logged on to your computer or be on your cellphone to have access!
Every app I downloaded worked flawlessly without disappointment - not one that I found so far in my 2 weeks of using, gave me issue or trouble. Facebook, twitter, emails, and even other social network services are ALL supported by the android froyo 2.2. I know that a lot of you may think that Froyo, which is quite behind now in terms of OS, does not support or cannot run things as you'd want, but you will be pleasantly surprised. Although Froyo may have been designed for smartphones mostly and not for tablets, I have so far had not found ANY issue with using Froyo. The WiFi connection is beautiful - it connects well and does not lose signal in the middle of things. On top of all this, this tablet supports FLASH. Where would you be able to find a tablet for under $200 that supports flash?
Flash means your web browsing, streaming movies will work seamlessly and provide the ultimate experience for either activity.
You may say that this is all too good to be true. I know. I did not believe, at first, all those reviews who sounded like were written by the sellers them selves (we've seen too many of these) but this tablet really has blown my mind. The battery is amazing as well - 8 hours worth of videos, games, web browsing - this was all tested. I had watched 3 movies with just a single charge, and had let my friends play with the games I downloaded it for almost the whole day.
Now I have almost become a preacher to people in my circle to purchase this over any other expensive tablets, who may actually be under performed compared to this amazing tablet. It is just simply too good.
For anyone who is considering to buy, I bought this when it was on sale at $169 Canadian. I see that right now the listed price has gone up to $199 - but even at $199, you will NOT regret it, that much I can guarantee you. Sure, android OS will require some customization when you first use it, but thats what it makes it all the more better. Mine is heavily modified and customized to the point that it serves my needs flawlessly and I'm sure that once you get a hand on this, you'll be doing the same. If you see this tablet price drop below $199, then BUY IT NOW.
__________________________________________________________________________________UPDATE OF REVIEW AFTER USAGE FOR MORE THAN 3 WEEKS
I still maintain the 5 star rating after using this for 3 weeks now. All the statement that I've written from my original review 3 weeks ago remain true and unchanged.
Tablet froze once the whole time it was on for 24 days. I had to use the reset button and it fixed the freezing problem immediately.
I've now used close to a hundred of apps that I downloaded from android market - ALL OF THEM worked 100% without error, crash, or freeze.
One thing I should mention is that this is relatively heavy - its an approximate same heaviness you'd get from the Ipad, and I assume that this is because its a 9.7 inch screen - nothing you can do about. I did purchase a leather cover for Ipad to use for my Le Pan TC970 and it fits 100% perfectly. Only issue was that the cover was designed for the Ipad and therefore only had room for 1 button so I had to modify it a bit, but with the cover I was able to make it stand it self and watch movies and videos for countless hours.
One other thing that is bad about it is that this tablet lacks accessories that are specifically designed for this tablet. There are close to none. With the tablet's purchase, I had bought the leather cover for IPad, Screen protector for Ipad (both of which I was able to use on this tablet without any issue), but I had to cut down a bit of screen protector to make it fit on my Le Pan TC970.
I see people complaining about finger print smudges, but that is just plain dumb. If you're planning to use the tablet for a long period of time, its an obvious decision for you to buy the screen protector - why wouldn't you have it? it is a common sense. Screen protector will get rid of the finger print smudge problems so its not even something you can write down as a bad thing.
Few things I forgot to mention in my original review - Audio, Network Tethering, GPS, and bluetooth. I can confirm that Audio is loud enough for me to take this out in a crowded Starbucks to play a movie and hear it just fine as many others would within 10 feet away from you. If you have ear phone, this has earphone jack too. Network tethering is possible through bluetooth - However, I have not yet been able to test this yet so I cannot confirm if it will work. GPS I did test, it works beautifully. I dont think any of the feature that are mentioned for this tablet will fail, without any doubt because all of them have been tested to work beautifully.
If any issues arise, I will be sure to post it here again but for those whom gave 1 Star as review for this tablet, perhaps you should just go back to using a laptop.
on May 22, 2012
I REALLY wanted to love my Le Pan TC 970. When I saw it was the Amazon.ca deal of the week at the amazing price of $179.00 CAD I leaped at the chance to grab one. What a great price! But, wait... why so cheap? My spider sense should have warned me that if a deal is too good to be true, it usually is.
I received the Le Pan unit a few days later. It looked sleek! Nice and shiny with metal adorning it, it was also around the same size as the iPad, but seemed a bit sleeker than the original iPad model. I turned it on, eager to get started. Charged it up, then sat back to connect with my home wifi and download some apps.
That's where I ran into a major problem. The wifi would not stay "on". It kept switching off, and wouldn't scan for available wifi connections. I walked through every possible technique I knew to get this happening, including rebooting the little beast several times. Still no joy.
Then I started reading up about upgrading the OS and the ROM. Okay, I could live with Android 2.2 but I had to have workable wifi to get anything done.
By the middle of the weekend I had found a workable ROM update file, copied the three upgrade files to the root directory of the 2 gig flash card on my Le Pan unit, then followed the reboot and upgrade instructions in the FAQ. So far so good! Everything updated properly and I felt, for the first time, that I was making so some of progress.
But no luck. No wifi success. Not even with the update. I soon came to realize that the wifi was super-wonky, probably a bad component. Reading through the forum postings it seems my problem is a bit of an epidemic situation with the Le Pan. Either the units just stop working altogether or if they do turn on, you cannot connect to a wifi network you've had absolutely 100% success with when using any other device.
In my case, i've connected several iPads, a TouchPad, an Asus Transformer, Apple TV, iPhones, MacBooks, various laptops, Kindles, Kobo, etc, etc etc. NONE of them ever failed to find the network or connect up to it. I had even made my wifi an open signal temporarily, thinking, after reading some of the advice here, that it might help. No joy.
I tried once more this morning to get the wifi working by dropping in to my local McDonalds and buying a coffee and a muffin so I could sit there and test out their open wifi. No luck there either.
Sad to say, the unit was shipped back to Amazon this afternoon. Luckily Amazon has an excellent return policy (One of the reasons I purchase items from them) and I didn't get an argument from them about the return. It is winging its way back to them now.
Goodbye Le Pan TC 970. I really did try to have a relationship with you. I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
My advice (after going through 4 days of wasted effort)? Avoid this product. It may treat you right temporarily, but ultimately it will abandon you. Or, like my case, it will refuse to accept your overtures of love from the outset.
On to my next bit of research in my quest to find a reliable, affordable Android tablet...
on December 4, 2011
For the past couple of years I wondered what all the hype was about. To me "touch screens" seemed unproductive, just another marketing gimmick, I'll stick with my mouse, win7, and my full size keyboard, besides my thumbs were just too big for these devices. I was a dinosaur and liked it! Been that way since my first Vic-20 (1982).
All of that changed a week ago, "I'm a dinosaur no more". After reading the reviews for the Lepan TC 970, and $169 price (I spend more than that on some ink cartridges), I bought one.
After charging it up, and reading the manual, I turned it on, nice resolution, plenty of preloaded apps, not too bad so far. I turned on the wifi, and it easily picked up my SSID, and connected. I started up the browser, and noticed it was very slow, what's going on? After many hours of troubleshooting, I read about the WPA2 problems, so I then reconfigured my router to WEP, but same thing it would connect and then disconnect. I then checked out some posts of other people with the same problem, but no real solutions. So I started trying different router configurations, then BINGO, using WPA Personal, BG Mixed and 3600 sec, key renewal it worked! A stable connection -57dbm (100%), downloaded WiFi Analytics to monitor the signal, never lost it again.
Discovered the "Market", amazing place, download apps for free? ARE YOU KIDDING! never heard of anything like this before. It not only downloads these apps in lightening speed, it installs them and automatically updates them, amazing stuff to me. Voice commands, GPS built in, Google Earth, Google Maps, Navigator, all good stuff. I wouldn't want to be in the handheld GPS business!
RECOMMENDATION: Best thing I ever bought, best value, fun, usefulness, if you are thinking about it don't, just buy it. Also battery last a VERY long time.
NEGATIVE POINTS: 1. Minor stuff, but these tablets are made for "right handed" people. Meaning I instinctively pick it up with my right hand, and hen peck with my left, but that means I'm always pressing some button accidentally, because that's where the buttons are. Ok you think just turn it upside down which is what I did but it seems unnatural.
2. Screen is highly reflective and get covered with fingerprints quickly, I ordered a screen protector so this may help.
Kudos to the LEPAN team for designing such an amazing value/performance based tablet. Also Amazon for the best place to research anything!