Introduction (skip to The Review for the meat and bones of this post)

I have added a part 2 to this review, which can be found here.

Well, if that post title ain’t a mouthful!

While tablets have been available on the South African market for a while now, most of them are horribly overpriced. This is due to a variety of factors such as import tax, shipping, and local distributor markup. Even reasonably priced tablets such as the Nexus 7 change from the approximately $250 (R2,172.92) price bracket, to the $360 (R3200) price bracket by the time it hits our shelves.

I know I’m not the only one who would like to purchase one of these tablets, but let’s be realistic. As much as I love new tech to toy around with, I’m not going to dump R3200 ($360) into a tablet that may be gathering dust in 6 months.

Thankfully, there are cheaper options which are starting to appear, and while they may not be quite the same standards as some of the big boys, thankfully, they’re not too far off.

There has been quite a flood of Prestigio tablets into the South African market. These tablets are available from as little as R999 ($115 – on special) but are usually priced about R1200 ($138). Having seen these incredibly low prices, I decided to do some research. The specs for the 7″ tablet are as follows:

  • Android 4.0 OS
  • Cortex A8 1GHz processor
  • 512 megs ram
  • 4 gig storage
  • 800×480 7″ screen

Overall that’s not too bad, but I was really not impressed by the low specs. When tablets like these first started to enter the market, people complained a fair amount about issues (like poor speed), so I was a little bit cautious about just snatching one of these up.

I discovered a little while later that a friend of mine at work had bought a 7″ Prestigio tablet, and I got to fiddle around with it a bit. Despite it’s relatively low specs, I was really surprised that it was fast and responsive. Having a hands on with this device definitely got me interested in buying one, but I was still a little bit worried about the low ram and storage space.

I dug around a bit more, and found the MSI WindPad Enjoy 7 Plus tablet (hereafter referred to as the E7P). The specs were a bit of an improvement on the Prestigio since the E7P had 1 gig of ram and 8 gigs of storage for only R200 ($23) more.

But I’ll be damned, no one on the entire internet has done a proper review on one of these! I decided to take a chance and pick one up. I managed to get one for R1350 ($155) direct from the supplier but you can get them from most online stores for about R1400 ($161).

The Review

Apologies, as always, for the poor quality pics. One of the things I must invest in is a decent quality camera!

Here’s what you get with the E7P:

  • Android 4.0 OS
  • Cortex A8 1GHz processor
  • 1 gig ram
  • 8 gigs storage (but it has a MicroSD slot which supports up to 32gb)
  • 800×480 7″ screen
  • Charger (I certainly hope so)
  • On-the-go USB cable (for low power external hard drives and flash drives)
  • Tablet to PC cable
MSI WindPad Enjoy 7 Plus
MSI WindPad Enjoy 7 Plus
Tablet vs mouse

When I decided to buy this tablet I wanted it so I could read ebooks and comics, watch video, and surf the internet a bit. I knew that I wasn’t buying it to be a PC replacement, but rather a supplementary digital device for use away from my computer. There were two instances which confirmed that this was a good purchase.

The first instance was when I was heading to my usual sketch meetup. Usually I have to pack 3 or 4 reference books since I suck at pulling new and interesting drawings out of my head. I was about to pack these books into my bag, when I realised I didn’t have to do that. I could access whatever I needed on my tablet.

The second instance was when I was had finished doing most of the cooking, so all I had to do was stir the curry once in a while. I then grabbed my tablet, fired up the browser and surfed the internet, stopping to stir the pot every couple of minutes.

The Good

  • Fast and responsive in most cases
  • Nice finish
  • Google Play store which has most apps that you need for free
  • Plays all HD videos (so far) that I’ve thrown at it
  • Great for (epub) ebooks
  • Cost

The OK

  • Less than stellar viewing angles on the screen (i.e. if you’re sitting in front it’s fine, but if you’re to the side, the image distorts)
  • PPI (pixels per inch) on the screen is less than fantastic
  • Reading comics is a bit of a mixed bag (some comics have great fonts, others, not so much)
  • Large comic files may be a bit unresponsive while it loads the whole file into ram
  • Decent amount of onboard storage
  • The built-in speaker is a little underwhelming

The Bad

  • It’s a finger print magnet (as are all tablets)

I have added a part 2 to this review, which can be found here.