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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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on January 14, 2013
I bought this tablet for my father , 83, who is a resident of a long term care facility . He has limited vision and mobility but he seemed to enjoy playing solitaire on my iPad, so I thought I'd give it a try. He is really enjoying it. He plays card games, checkers, chess and has even managed to email! It is certainly not as responsive as an iPad but for the price it is more than adequate for his needs.
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on January 6, 2013
THIS IS A GOOD TBLET FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT NEED A HIGH DEGREE OF SOFISTICATION. FOR ITS SIMPLE USE IT IS EXCELLENT. I HAD TO GET A LARGER CAPACITY MICRO MEMORY CHIP FOR IT SINCE A 2 GB UNIT WILL NOT BE SUFFICIENT. ONE NEGATIVE COMMENT ABOUT IT IS THAT IT IS UNWIELDY AND A BIT HEAVY FOR NORMAL USE.
HID
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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 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.

The positives:
- 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

Finally,
- 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
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on September 8, 2011
Just adding quickly to these reviews: I love it. I never owned a tablet before so I have nothing to compare it to but at $228 (must have been on sale as it is a bit more expensive now), I absolutely have no buyer regret. The screen is crystal crisp and bright, no hiccups when I run applications, surf the net, watch youtube videos and the built quality feels top notch, high end, solid and durable. It all depends on intended purpose and for me it is primarily reading ebooks and pdf documents. Le Pan fulfills this function 100% for me. Thick computer manuals in pdf format are now easy to read, "leaf" through and carry around when I travel. The battery life is great and will give you many hours of play time before you need to recharge.
One complaint that many people tend to voice is finger prints and smudges on the screen after use which I suppose goes for all tablets. Well, I solved the problem by buying a "capacitive stylus" which makes it much more precise to navigate through the icons and it leaves no residue whatsoever. The rubber point is very soft so there is no worry that it will scratch the screen surface. Make sure you buy the stylus that is designed for capacitive screens. Other types of stylus won't work. I got mine at Future Shop for $14 (cheapest one I found, which is a complete rip off, these things should cost no more than $2 but I got strange looks when I asked about capacitive stylus at Dollarama). You might need two of them if you want to use the "multi-touch" functionality, perhaps a little less convenient than using fingers but again, the screen remains squeaky clean (and I hate dirty screens). Even at the current price it feels like a fantastic deal. I might get another one for my kids to play on.
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