Friday, March 1, 2013

Movetab MA900 review

I recently acquired a Movetab MA900 tablet from a well known department store in my area for Php7,500. I was looking for a cheap tablet that is still good enough at least for blogging.
What got my attention about this device is that it comes with a keyboard that is embedded on its cover. For me, that is definitely a plus as I do a lot of writing.

Right off the box it comes with a power supply, a USB cord, a USB adapter and the ones I mentioned above, a cover (housing) with embedded keyboard which you connect to the tablet through the mini USB port. It also comes with an Android OS (Ice Cream Sandwich). Oddly enough, it has a head/earphone port but no earphone was included.

The rest of the specs are as follows: 8GB Storage, Wi-Fi capable, Cortex A9 1.2GHz processor, Capacitive Touch Screen, Full HD Playback, HDMI port, micro USB port, 1Gb DDR3 RAM, 0.3 mpfront and 2mp rear camera, 9.1" TN LCD 1024x768pixels display, USB 3G dongle capable (selected models only), 5V, 2A power adopter, size: 242mmx189mmx9mm

The response of the touch screen was good. Screen output is also good. I mean, for its price the screen output is already very good. It is not iPad equivalent but . . . . oh you get the idea. I forgot to mention that the screen is plastic and so there is a potential that it could get scratch rather easy. A screen protector is thus necessary which is not included.

Some of the pre-installed apps are skype, angry birds, Aldiko, Pinterest, Adobe PDF Reader, Instagram, AVG Antivirus, picture viewer and video players.

User experience is somewhat a hit or miss. Video/audio playback is good. I watched a 1.5 hour movie and it played with no problem. The same with music.

USB connectivity however seems to be limited only to PC. From the manual, it says that it is compatible with the two big telecommunications company here in the Philippines. But checking the list of compatible USB modem from the settings menu does not show the recent dongle that this two companies currently use. Connecting other devices through the USB also don't work. Example is the memory card readers. Although it comes with a micro SD card slot, most camera to date uses an SD card which unfortunately can't be read through this device since it can't recognize any other device attached to its port other than a PC. Even that, the file browser does not list my PC so a user is confined to using the PC to copy and paste files to and from Movetab MA900 and the PC.

Solution to this is connecting your Movetabe MA900 via wi-fi and browse any shared folders on the network using ES file manager.

The movetab MA900 has two camera. One in front and one at the back. The front camera has a missly 1.7 megapixel while the back is slightly higher at 2 megapixel and both have quiet very small sensors. As expected the output isn't something you can brag about. At a bright sunny day, any bright objects like white shirt will "glow" and make your subject look like an angel. Obviously it does not have a proper metering. What I have been doing is pointing at the sky until it gets dark then go back at my subject and quickly take the shot before it readjusts.

There is however the panorama mode where you can pan for an angle of 180 degrees and you get a very wide image.

Internet browsing
Browsing is quiet nice. It slows down quiet a bit as you browse so you may want to clear the cache a few times if you want faster browsing experience. There is an option to request the desktop site (or full site), which I always do since I always connect to a wi-fi anyways, but its default is to get the mobile site. When the browser is closed it defaults back to getting the mobile site even if you have opted the full site from your last browsing.

Going to youtube always give you the mobile site even if you checked the Request desktop site check box on the browser. And sometimes some video will not load with the mobile site using the MA900. The trick here is go down to the Youtube page and click on the Desktop Site link. This reloads the page in full, now you can watch your videos!

I have opened some of my very large pictures on my movetab MA900 and although it loads when each file is opened either via file manager or MyPhoto or Gallery, it will not load properly when you use the slide show of MyPhoto or Gallery. What will only show is a small portion of the image. It means slide show will not try to fit your image on the screen. If you need to display several of your pictures using slide show on movetab MA900, you first need to resize them on another computer before copying them to the movetab MA900.

The on screen keyboard is very responsive. Like what was mentioned earlier on this page, the touchscreen response is very good.

But I guess what we are all interested to know is whether the extension keyboard is any good. Surprisingly, it is! The resistance is very good and the overall feel is excellent. The only thing   that is putting it down is it is somewhat small. My first time using it, I have some difficulty fitting all my fingers in place (I type with all ten fingers including thumbs for space bar). The good thing is that after an hour of using the keyboard, I already got used to it. Note to the manufacturer: There is still an inch each side that can be used to make the keys bigger or wider apart.

I guess it is worth noting that I wrote this review using the MA900.

The extension keyboard connects to the movetab MA900 to the mini USB port using a USB OTG adaptor from a thin and flexible USB cable that is permanently connected to the keyboard. It would have been better if it can be connected directly to the mini USB port without using a USB OTG adaptor.

The case or cover resembles that of a leather planner that opens up to show the clipped movetab MA900 on one side and the embedded keyboard at the other side.

As mentioned above, the the keyboard's USB cable is permanently attached to the keyboard, or in this case the case/cover. Because of this, I am a bit concerned as to how long it will last since it is left dangling when I am carrying it.

Also, a stand is provided at the back of the tablet side of the cover to prop it as you type giving you the same experience as when you are in a notebook at a table. The only problem is the workmanship or the material is very poor. After only three days of using it, I can already see a tear and after a week, the thing that's supposed to prevent the stand from slipping is completely detached rendering it useless. I can still use the stand, but now I can't pull back too much or risk it slipping.

Lastly, with the cover on, you can not use the back camera because there is no opening on the cover for the camera but the front camera is still very much usable. To use the back camera, you'll need to remove the movetab MA900 from its cover.

Again, the screen is good. Not iPad quality but for its price, I can't complain. Me and my son uses it to watch movies through our shared network (movie is on my desktop's shared folder) but there is an angle where the image looks better especially when the scene is dark. You'll need to move the screen sideways to see it. Aside from that, everythings is great.

The sound is also great (for me at least). By that I mean, It does not produce sound loud enough to be heard audibly to the next room even at maximum but within the room, playing from music to movies is very audible. If you need it louder, use an external speaker to amplify the sound.

Battery life
Back at the store, while I was trying to decide whether to buy it or not, the dealer can't assure me longer than 45 minutes of active browsing or movie playback. But by my experience movetab MA900 can last up to 3 hours continuous browsing although charging also takes sometime. Also, I am not sure how long the battery lasts before it becomes useless and whether it is replaceable or even worth replacing.

Mounting Devices
I have tried to connect SD cards (using a universal card reader), USB modem (not on the list but with memory) and external hard disks and a desktop but unsucessfully able to browse its contents on this tablet. Movetab MA900 detects these external storage and the "Mount this device" on the settings becomes active but it just will not mount. I tried mount manager but to be honest that app seems not intended for device mounting.

Downloading has no problem, everything will depend on your connection speed/quality, size of file to download and whether you have enough storage space on your memory specially with 8G, just several download and you will already be having storage space issues.

Although the movetab MA900 is not an official Android device, accessing the Playstore is no problem as long as you have a Google account. But though the MA900 had the Playstore app preinstalled, it is advised to use the browser to access the PlayStore. Why? Because there are certain apps that will not work with this device, specially resource hug apps, and the PlayStore app will not test for compatibility however the web version does. This way, you can avoid downloading apps that are not compatible with MA900.

When most of what you do with a tablet is browse the internet, read ebooks, check your facebook and twitter status, play music and videos and writing articles for your blog and you're on a budget, then look no further this tablet is excellent for you. With a keyboard cover, the movetab MA900 will give you the same text output as a notebook can. Just use a simple notepad that is available free at PlayStore. And as long as you are not looking every bit of pixel while watching a video or looking at a photo, you won't know the difference between the display of the MA900 and a higer end tablet.

But even if you can afford a more expensive tablet but are mostly doing the same as listed above this is highly recommended and save that money on other gadget or an add-on.

But if you are into gaming and uses apps that requires lots of system resources, this device is not for you. Better save that money until you have enough to buy a Samsung or iPad that costs twice (or even more) than Movetab's MA900.

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Bhu Guillermo March 14, 2013 at 1:19 AM

It's BAD! Very BAD! We bought MA900 last feb.15, 2013. just for a week of using it the pin for the charger was loosed. I brought it up to were i buy they send it 1st to their vendor. just after a week i received the replacement. Now for a whole night of charging i only used the tab for just 1 hour. BATTERY is not good. i think this is not a good tablet to buy. not so expensive but it was the WORSE tablet i used.

Blog Author March 22, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Hi Bhu, sorry to hear that. I guess I was lucky to got the better make then. The only thing i can advice is to reduce the brightness of your screen but I am not sure how much of your battery life it will save. And when not online, turn off Wi-Fi. Regards.


movetab ma900 is most affordable tablet may be your tab has needed to replace another battery but im sure your gonna like it.all gadget has all same life if you care even the apple.

Rhea Estrera September 1, 2013 at 7:58 PM

anybody can help me? i cant connect an internet

Julius Emman September 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Hi Rhea, could you give more specifics about your problem? But initial actions you can take are to check whether Wi-Fi is turned on in your device (under settings). If it is on, are you connected to a wireless router? If there is a password for the router, ask for it from the network admin. If it is connected you should be able to connect now but in case your tablet takes too long to refresh a page, try deleting some unwanted files and clearing your cache. Your captured images may have too much pictures (from accidentally touching the screen capture)

Harold Lantoria October 19, 2013 at 6:10 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harold Lantoria October 19, 2013 at 6:12 AM

how to charge my move tablet on a laptop or pc, my ac port is broken...tell me how thanx

Julius Emman October 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Hi Harold, from my experience, the device will not charge if connected via the mini USB port to your computer. The only thing that works in charging is using the port intended for charging. If yours is broken, I recommend you take it to somewhere that repairs such devices. Be warned, if you have sensitive contents inside your tablet, it might be stolen from you so be sure to always be there while they are repairing it and always go to a reputable repair service.

Droid Indonesia November 24, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you

romnick cedilla March 28, 2017 at 8:15 AM

can i ask for something ?? where the hell i can buy the touch screen of this movetab MA900?

romnick cedilla March 28, 2017 at 8:17 AM

yung mura lang po ...

romnick cedilla March 28, 2017 at 8:19 AM

add nio nalang po aq sa FB .. sure buyers po aq .. basta good items ahh nid ku lang usap nlang tyo pag meron kau .. :)

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