GOCLEVER are another manufacturer that you may not be as familiar with in regards to tablet devices, so we were keen to try out their latest 10.1” Android Jelly Bean tablet (ORION 101) and put it through its paces.
In the Box
While the tablet is not cheap at £210 it’s a lot cheaper than some of its non-Android competitors and it also features - on paper - a respectable spec and feature list. For example it provides Android Jelly Bean version 4.1.1, 16GB of storage, HDMI-out, 2GB RAM and a Quad-based 1GHz CPU (though no GPS, but it does have support for a 3G External dongle (optional)).
Plus it was good to see that the product was professional packaged with plenty of protection for the device inside.
In terms of cables/accessories you are supplied with a pair of headphones, a standard microUSB cable; for linking the device to your PC, 1 x OTG cable (you can plug in a USB source into the port) and 1 x Propriety charging plug.
Though in some ways the above is redundant as the USB cable can be used to charge the device (if you plug this into a computer or suitable USB mains plug, i.e. an iPhone mains adapter). At least you have the option and this is useful if you accidentally forget to take the propriety charger with you.
Speaking of nice touches we found the screen was also equipped with a screen protector out the box. Well it was primed and ready to go i.e. we just had to peel off the outer layer.
Mind you if we were being picky the bottom right corner was not quite a perfect match so we did tend to catch it with our hand and because of this we felt that the protector won’t last too long before it gets dust underneath. Even so it’s still a nice touch to include one as standard (it saves you a job).
Also in the box you get a Bluetooth keyboard which doubles up as a handy case to protect the screen part of the tablet.
As for the tablet itself when we first got this out our first impressions were good, it looked stylish and had a nice weighty feel to it, with a relatively thin profile. At the back it was also edged in a nice brushed aluminium finish sporting the GO ORION logo.
Subsequent uses of the tablet however diminished our initial thoughts, as the tablet does creek a little in places; it’s not terrible, but it's still noticeable compared to something like a 'Kindle Fire HD' which is rock solid.
To the left of the device you also have most of the connectivity ports hidden by a protective cover. This is useful in some regards because it prevents dust getting into the ports, but on the other hand it uses one of those lanyard systems whereby the cover comes off and is suspended by a plastic wire.
We found at times our hand position kept catching this cover and pulling it off, so making this a bit tighter would have been beneficial and less fiddly.
On the plus side the cover does provide access to a miniHDMI, microSD card slot (accepts up to 32GB cards) and a microUSB port.
To the right of the cover you have the propriety power slot and a 3.5mm headphone port and to the right side of the tablet you'll find the speakers (note: volume and power buttons reside on the top edge).
The Bluetooth keyboard – which acts as a hard case for the device and features a 180mAh battery – is not built using premium parts in our opinion as the edges do feel a little rough. Though, it is light and the key presses seemed robust enough on a quick inspection. Plus the board does at least protect the screen when you are transporting the tablet from A to B.
At the back-end of the board you have the off/on switch and pairing button. Additionally there is a switch to activate a small stand.
This helps keep the tablet stable, and in some ways it needed to work because the two slots either side, where the front-end of the device rests on, were too shallow in our opinion and they certainly dug into the tablets screen; so it was lucky the screen protector was on. They are not padded either and this is a surprise given that the bottom-edges contain a rubber coating and the surrounding sides also (this is to stop the screen getting damaged by the keys once the case is in place).
As a result it took several goes to stop the tablet from falling over when we applied pressure to the screen. Once you get the hang of things you can prevent this from happening, but little extras, like placing a rubber coating on the edges of the tablet support, would have helped.
Surprisingly given the weight of the tablet the board did at least feel well balanced when used on our lap. Sadly due to the widescreen display the board is a little on the compact side, more in terms of depth, so our hand position tended to be a little squashed. But more on the keyboard side of things later.
DISPLAY: 10.1" 1280x800 (IPS LCD multi-touch)
CPU: Allwinner A31 Quad-Core 1GHz (Cortex A7)
GPU: PowerVR SGX544MP2
OS: Android 4.1.1
MEMORY: RAM 2GB DDR3; FLASH: 16GB MLC NAND
NETWORK: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), 3G External dongle 3G supported (optional)
BLUETOOTH: Bluetooth 4.0
CONNECTORS: microSD up to 32GB
SIM CARD SLOT: N/A
USB: microUSB OTG
HDMI: miniHDMI 1.4 FullHD
DC: 2.5 mm 5V 2A
AUDIO OUT: mini jack 3.5 mm
CAMERA: FRONT 0.3 MP BACK 2.0MP
BATTERY: 6200mAh; AVERAGE INTERNET USAGE TIME: up to 6 h of working
DIMENSIONS: 267x176x10 mm (with keyboard: 270x179x16 mm)
WEIGHT: 600 g (with keyboard: 876 g)
COLOUR: Graphite, White
IN THE BOX: Home charger, OTG cable, USB cable, Bluetooth Keyboard 2.0+EDR with 180mAh battery
Price (Best): £209.99