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on August 26, 2011
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 Unless you see it on sale for around $50, this is an outdated device, with NO support (from the manufacturer OR the community anymore), and it is NOT worth it.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.

__________________________________________________________________________

*WARNING*

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.

Final Notes:

*) 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!

Cheers!

__________________________________

Update: 18/12/2011

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.

______________________________

UPDATE: 16-09-2012

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.

Cheers!
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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...
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on May 14, 2012
I really wanted a tablet and didn't want to pay a lot of money. I did my research and finally decided on this one.

I loved it! It was great, it was everything I wanted and it worked fantastically for everything that I bought it for (e-reader, games, facebook, ect...). But literally 24 hours after getting it, it totally froze. I did everything suggested if it locked up and nothing worked.

I called support. Got even less help than I did here and he didn't seem knowledgeable at all, almost as if he was reading from a very small cue card. Reset. Nope, doesn't work. Take out the sd card then press reset. Nothing. All out of ideas, he told me contact seller and exchange.

Sorry but with the prospect of getting another lemon, I'm getting my money back and researching a bit more. I felt it was too risky getting another one of these which is too bad because it was totally what I wanted!!
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on August 28, 2017
This product is not bad if you're looking for something with a great battery life, or as a starter for a child to play around with. However, it's not an ideal product for an adult or teenager, because the hardware is outdated and you cannot upgrade the operating system. You can upgrade the firmware to a certain point, but it does not really change the overall experience. There is a very limited list of available apps this tablet can run, so unless you use it as an e-book reader or checking your e-mails, this shouldn't be your first choice.
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on July 12, 2012
Provided that you accept the limitations that come with buying a piece of hardware that costs less than half the price of an entry-level iPad, there's incredible value to be had from this tablet.

It doesn't look or feel cheap. It has weight, and the fit and finish reflect a quality that far exceeds the price.

What it's good for:
* Web browsing / web apps - TAKE NOTE: Android's stock 2.2 browser is terrible. I hated it on my phone, and it seems to be the cause of *ALL* the hard lockups I had on this tablet. I installed Maxthon instead then set it as the system's default browser, and the frequent lockups have ENDED! Go ahead and try the stock browser yourself, but if you have issues with it crashing / freezing your tablet then consider adding Maxthon, Dolphin HD, Opera, or another option you read good reviews on.

* Photo browsing - The screen on this unit is absolutely gorgeous and bright, and a look at the configuration section shows that it's not even operating at full brightness! Unexpected quality, given the price of this unit. Pictures look insanely great! (Sorry Apple)

* Streaming video - While I was cautioned by other reviews that the Netflix app didn't work well on this tablet (or this version of Android), it worked immediately for me. The app doesn't always format the browse screen as well as I would like (it may think it's on a phone) but the viewing screen displays perfectly. Additionally, the YouTube app streams just fine. Sometimes, on some sites I found web-based streaming using Flash seemed slow, or there was no sound, but this was also fixed by changing to the Maxthon web browser.

* Video files - Install MoboPlayer from the Google Play store. For best results playing any kind of file, open the settings, look under Playback, and check the box next to "Default Using Soft-Encoding".

What it's not good for:
* Lengthy data entry - The on-screen keyboard is fine for web searches, emails and other short forms, but you don't want to use this to write anything of substantial length, complexity or importance. In addition to the physical limitations of typing on a screen, you do NOT want to lose important data should the tablet freeze for any reason during operation. Some apps, like Gmail and Google Docs will save frequently, thus protecting your content after reboot... that's the exception.

* Any critical use - I experienced my first hard lock-up within the first 24 hours and have had one once per day since UNTIL I switched from using the built-in browser. Resetting after a freeze is easy: insert a paper clip into the reset hole and a minute later you're back in business. But I'm glad I wasn't doing any important work with this tablet when it crashed. It's my leisure toy. If you want an ultra-reliable workhorse, you'll have to look at the $400-$500 range (and up) instead.

TWO MONTH UPDATE: I'm extremely pleased with this item. I've had some issues with the YouTube app freezing, but general use has been reliable and any browser-based activity has been rock solid since switching to the Maxthon browser. My only regret is that I could have saved another $20 had I waited a couple of weeks to buy this. No regrets on getting this model instead of the newer model from Le Pan; it also has freeze-up issues which I'd have had to solve as I did with this one.

FIVE MONTH UPDATE: Still the occasional lock up, sometimes with screen in black mode or in recharge mode, which might make you think the unit has died. If the power button isn't turning the unit on/off or waking up the system, I recommend inserting a paper clip into the reset hole. I've "saved" my unit from "apparent death" at least 3 times this way, so far.

November 2013: Well, it's dead. It went to sleep one night after an evening of Netflix and never woke up. While I'm still pleased about the price of this item for the function it provided, I'm now less sure it was good value. If you're one of those people that would have wanted a new tablet in a year or 18 months anyway, this might have been the way to go. As for me, I squeeze all the life I can out of devices, so this was a disappointment.
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on December 5, 2011
So I recently ordered my Le Pan TC 970 on Nov. 27 and it just arrived on Dec. 5. So far, its worked exactly as I had expected it to be.

Not to repeat much of what other users have already said but here goes:

Pros:
- Cheap. I bought it at $169 CAD. At that price point, it pretty much beats what I was planning to buy which was the Kobo Vox ($199 CAD). I had originally planned to simply buy an e-reader but after seeing the Le Pan price drop significantly (likely due to the new model coming out Le Pan 9.7-Inch Multi touch screen with Honeycomb tablet), it was too good an offer to pass up.
- Built in GPS. Seems to pick up my location just fine. For anyone who was thinking of buying a GPS, this may be an alternative for you.

Cons:
- Froyo (Android 2.2). I knew what I was getting into when I purchased this unit but for those not aware, Froyo is basically Android for Cell Phones. The OS looks a tad awkward on a 9.7 in. screen but generally is a workable OS. Be warned that there currently is no official release for updated Operating systems for this tablet such Android 3.0 much less Android 4.0
- "Ok" flash support. Youtube videos look like they can only be viewed through the Youtube app; attempting to view them via the browser is spotty at best (the audio plays but the video stays black).

Nit-picks
- Sticky screen. Maybe its just my fingers but without a screen protector, its a little bit hard swiping my fingers across the screen. I can see how fingerprints would stick. Highly recommend getting a screen protector.
- Weight. It's a tad heavier than an iPad 2 but nothing deal breaking.
- MicroSD slot. The cover which, well, covers, the microSD slot seems rather cheap and doesn't align well with the rest of the body. Maybe it's just my unit but it's semi annoying to look at.

Edit (2011-12-6)
Another nit-pick to add is the apparent lack of reception for the GPS chip. After installing the latest firmware (4431), I tried the GPS functionality again and it mistakenly says I am in Burnaby, BC. And this was while I was in doors in Mississauga, ON. Comparatively, my Nexus S phone correctly identifies my location. It looks like this is the default location after the firmware update and the GPS chip simply couldn't pick up the signal while indoors. I will have to test again while outdoors to give a better review.

Edit (2011-12-7)
GPS works fine. Indoors, it suffers the same problems as most GPS devices; it can't pick up the satellite. Once outdoors, it works great.
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on December 27, 2011
I like the tablet to carry around wherever I go.
I'm an amateur photographer and this little device is great to show your photos.
It is very responsive and with 32 GB Micro SD (Option) you can have many photos in the storage.
There are many free apps that are very handy and fun.
I can recommend this product.
The only think I like to say is that the Skype doesn't seem to work with the camera on the device.
I need to find out more info about that detail.

Here is my fresh review:
The tablet had just stop working.
Here is what happened after that.

Ticket Thread
Wed, Aug 14 2013 10:48am
Tablet not working. Reset not working, charging not working

Wed, Aug 14 2013 12:28pm - staff
Dear XXX,
Thank you for contacting Le pan Support!
Your ticket #XXXX created on Wed, Aug 14 2013 10:48am is in Support department.

Wed, Aug 14 2013 12:28pm - staff
Dear XXX,
Thank you for contacting Le Pan Support Department.
We are sorry to hear that after charging your tablet and doing the reset, your tablet still cannot power on. Please
try the following to see if you can get your tablet charged and able to power on:
1. Connect charger USB cable with tablet as you normally would to charge the tablet.
2. While pressing the power button down, pull the one end of USB cable that plugs into the adapter, out of the
adapter. Leave the adapter plugged into the wall.
3. Plug the cable back into the adapter. You may need to do this few times. Customers have said that this has
worked to charge the unit and get it power on.
If the tablet vibrates after doing this, please leave it connected to the charger for a couple hours to let it register
8/16/13 Le Pan Support Center
lepantab.com/Support/view.php?id=4554 2/4
If the tablet vibrates after doing this, please leave it connected to the charger for a couple hours to let it register
charging. Please let us know if you can successfully charge the tablet and start using it after this method.
If you need further assistance, please let us know.
Best Regards,
Le Pan Support Department

Wed, Aug 14 2013 8:26pm
Hello,
OK, I tried this but no luck.
I also tried another charger and cable and still nothing.
We have three identical tablets. This is only one with this problem.
Please help.

Thu, Aug 15 2013 10:41am - staff
Dear XXX
If your TC 970 is not functioning well, or it cannot be booted, please go to [...] --> "Support" --
> "FAQ" --> "Troubleshooting" and go to No. 40 to find the Q&A for re-installing the 970 firmware.
Let's us know if this fixes your problem.
Thanks!
Le Pan Support Department

Thu, Aug 15 2013 7:27pm
Hello again,
I'm sorry to say but no luck.
The tablet is dead.
I followed the instructions exactly but no change.

Fri, Aug 16 2013 9:35am - staff
Dear XXX
Your unit is no longer covered under the one year limited warranty and any repairs or replacements must be paid
for by the customer.
The cost for repair or replacement is $100+ dollars. Please send in the tablet first, and we will assess the
damages and let you know a cost.
Let us know if you wish to move forward with this process.
Le Pan Support Department

Hello,
It is so disappointing to buy something...anything just to find out that the product stops working a couple of
months after its warranty.
It is even more disappointing to find out that the support team will not suggest any other solution than $100.00+
dollars!!!
Since that proposition made no sense to me by a long shot I decided having nothing to loose to look if I can
open the tablet and see if I can beat the LePan support team.
I found a tiny Philips screwdriver, knife and another flat screwdriver.
I found two screws in the SD card compartment. I figured out that those should be removed first.
After that just going around and gently prying did the trick to open the lid.
Battery plug was steering right into my face. I unplugged and re-plugged the battery and voila...the tablet got live
again.
Snapped all back together and its working like new since.
Thanks to the LePan support team for making me to remember the old saying: "If you need something to be
done properly do it your self".
Jan Hasik

Fri, Aug 16 2013 12:28pm - staff
Dear XXX,
Thank you for letting us know that you were able to find a solution for your issue. If you need any further
assistance, please feel free to contact us again.
Best regards,
Le Pan Support Department
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on November 21, 2011
Recently purchased the Le Pan 970 touch google Android Tablet : great bang for the buck.
Not being overly electronically enlightened - I wanted something bigger than a phone for internet access - basic surfing on the go: basic quick availability for info on the go for my job. Le Pan at 1/2 the price of an I - pad has not let me down. Wi-fi connects all over my home area; has not been a problem getting connected. Brilliant colours and clarity from the screen ( I am using a generic plastic screen protector for finger-print protection). Touch screen, virtual keyboards all very responsive. A friend with an Apple was quite impressed with my little toy - and he knows his electronic gadgets. Very happy with my purchase - perfect and then some, for my needs.
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on January 15, 2014
I purchased in summer of 2013. I hardly used it, and then it stopped working 2 months later. It cost me 20$ to send to get repaired. They returned the unit (not the same unit) which wouldn't charge. I returned that one, only to get a replacement that wouldn't turn on. I returned that one, and the next one (which they said would be new, but wasn't) had an error and wouldn't even boot into the OS. I have since returned it again!

This is a GARBAGE tablet, DO NOT BUY IT. It has been broken for longer than it worked, and there seems to be no end in sight.
AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!!! The manufacturer (who does the repairs) lies, and doesn't care at all that their product is garbage and that their customer's are unsatisfied.
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on May 17, 2014
It packs easily and we have used this tablet all around the world. It is a good value. The screen is very clear. The only problem we have as seniors is that the virtual keyboard is hard to use, and very slow. However, you must understand that we are over 70 and with arthritic fingers we are not as dexterous as young people. Whenever we could get to a computer with a real keyboard it was much faster for us to use. Not recommended where internet is expensive and charged by the minute!
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