ZTE Light Tab 2 in-depth review -

Look and feel

The ZTE Light Tab 2 is rather chunky, but compact enough to slip into almost any bag. It's comfortable to hold with a soft-touch back, and you can pull the back off to access the battery and SIM card slot

Ease of use

With its responsive capacitive touch-screen and bright, colourful Gingerbread overlay, the ZTE Light Tab 2 is a breeze to use

Features

The Light Tab 2 doesn't just drop the ball, it pounds it flat. No Google Play support means next to no apps, while the tinny earphone audio really distracts when watching movies or listening to music. At least you get 3G support for roaming, though

Performance

A 1.4GHz processor keeps the ZTE Light Tab 2 ticking along nicely. Browsing the web is a smooth experience, and our (limited selection of) apps ran without much issue

Battery life

Expect around 6 hours of video playback from a single charge, or slightly longer life when browsing the web

 ZTE Light Tab 2 Review -
2.5

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,5/3/2012 12:52:00 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

7

out of 5

Ease of use

3

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Cons:

The ZTE Light Tab 2 looks like a typical budget tablet, with its compact-yet-chunky black frame and Honeycomb Android OS, but it's fully 3G-enabled so you can make calls and browse the web wherever you roam. Unfortunately, a single killer flaw ruins the show and makes it hard to recommend over rivals.

 

ZTE Light Tab 2 review

3G ready

Although the 400g Light Tab 2 isn't quite candy for the eyes, its firm frame is solid enough to take a few knocks and the soft-touch rear feels good. You can prise the entire back off to access the removable battery – quite a unique feature for a tablet – and the SIM card slot.

 

That's right, the ZTE Light Tab 2 uses 3G to make calls, send texts and surf the web on the move, but you'll need an active SIM card, otherwise you're limited to Wi-Fi networking. The only other 3G-enabled tablet we've seen recently was the Archos 101 G9, which comes with an optional dongle.

 

ZTE Light Tab 2 review

 

Power up the tablet and you're presented with the bright, almost cartoony ZTE interface over vanilla Gingerbread Android. The 1.4GHz processor keeps everything running smoothly, and you get all kinds of cool transition effects as you scroll through menus and the customisable desktops.

 

Five swappable shortcut buttons sit at the bottom of each screen, while the lock screen gives you fast access to your camera, dialer and text messages. Overall it's a fun and well-designed refresh of an ageing OS.

 

ZTE Light Tab 2 review

Net fiend

If you're a web-coholic, you'll be glad to hear that websites load quickly and scrolling through even complex, photo-heavy pages is a smooth and satisfying experience on the seven-inch screen. Flash video isn't supported in-browser, which normally isn't much of an issue as you can just download a 4oD or iPlayer app. Unfortunately, the Light Tab 2 has a major failing, which is a lack of Google Play support.

 

ZTE Light Tab 2 review

 

That means no access to the hundreds of thousands of Android apps and games, a key component for any tablet. You do get quite a few pre-installed apps, including some basic timewasters like a Frogger rip-off, although some of the apps on our review model featured Chinese text and were impossible to understand.

 

For less than half the price you can bag the Tablo 7-incher, which doesn't have 3G but has full Google Play support.

Tinny audio

You get naff-all built-in storage, but a microSD slot gives you up to 32GB of space for your photos, films and tunes. Movies look reasonably sharp, but we found the audio sounded particularly tinny through our earphones for some reason – we had to use the built-in speakers for video and music, which is an obvious limitation when travelling.

 

ZTE Light Tab 2 review

 

As is now standard for tablets, there's also a built-in rear camera. You can fiddle with the exposure, saturation and ISO balance of your shots, but this smacks of overkill on a basic three-megapixel camera, and we'd be surprised if anyone actually bothered to use these settings. You can also shoot grainy video, but more useful is the front-facing camera, which allows you to get stuck into some online Skype sessions.

The verdict

It's impressive that the ZTE Light Tab 2 offers 3G browsing at this low price, and it's a solidly built (albeit rather chunky) device. However, the lack of Google Play support and a couple of other niggly issues make it difficult to recommend, unless you're in need of a 3G web device for under £200.

 

You can buy the ZTE Light Tab 2 from Clove Technology right now, for £195