CloudPad 800w Review [Video]





 

I’ll start with a confession. Last year, when I held the thin, light, non-flexing, vividly-screen’d, and fits-in-my-hand CloudPad 800w, I loved it. Fast forward to the present. A week after abusing my review unit, I love it still. At P9,000, which is nearly half the SRP of the LG G Pad 8.3, and P1k less than that of the ASUS MemoPad 8 (forthcoming review), the Intel-powered CloudPad 800w, for the reasons I just stated and more, is worth it.

ASUS MemoPad 8 on the left. 

It’s thinner and lighter than both tablets mentioned, and the reasons you’ll be picking this up from a stall at the mall are the same reasons you’ll be taking it home – thin, light, bright-and-vivid display with punchy colors and good viewing angles, the battery stamina is good, it costs just around the price tag of a good midrange phone, and best of all, IT DOESN’T LOOK AND FEEL CHEAP.

The white plastic slab on top is that of the ASUS MemoPad 8 (forthcoming review), which is longer and thicker than the CloudPad 800w. 

I’m glad the default start screens of the CloudPad are bare (not a lot of bloatware) – you’re encouraged to stuff it with all the apps you want. Because that’s what you will do anyway.

 

CloudPad 800w Specs - Click to View


 

Since the Cloudpad 800w is affordable, please don’t scrimp further by not buying a protective case. A bonnet or beanie will do in the meantime, but please do invest in a cover. Preferably one with a kickstand so you can watch movies while eating.

Here’s my clumsy video walkthrough of the CloudPad 800w’s UI, a few games, and a played video. Let’s watch it before we hit the Good and Bad before we settle on a Verdict.

 

The Good

Great finish, sturdy build, thin profile, very light.

Impressive display for its price point – color punchy-ness and viewing angles and ppi are spot on. Display is actually nearly comparable to that of a more expensive and heavier spec’d tablet, the ASUS MemoPad 8 (forthcoming review).

Long battery life, just perfect.

Loud enough clear, solid sound. Not tinny. Go watch the video above to check.

Six comes-with capacitive keys! the right most are actually useful – screenshot and volume rocker. 

Nearly 23 GB of internal storage usable, out of 32GB. Pretty good, for this price point.

Lenovo Vibe Z on the left. I know this looks misleading, as the phablet looks tiny compared to the CloudPad, but I assure you that that tablet is one hand-friendly. 

USB OTG means you can access more files and movies and apks in your thumbdrive. It can also take in a USB keyboard in case you want to type things out.

Sometimes you just need to type without the hassles of wires. That super cheap and comfy Bluetooth keyboard is reviewed here.

Expandable storage, which is as it should be since this baby is just begging to be used as a movie marathon and gaming device.

Good placement of the charging port, which makes connecting a USB keyboard acceptable. If you’re tired of typing on the on-screen keyboard, by all means yank out your PC’s USB keyboard and plug it in.

The microUSB charging port is placed on top of the tablet, which is GREAT. Because while the tablet leans on a stand, you can charge the Cloudpad, or connect a USB OTG cable, or a USB Keyboard. You can’t do that with other tablets whose charging port is at their bottom. Attention to details matter.

Viewing angles are good. 

Plays most graphically demanding games, even those that make other phablets heat up, like Plants vs Zombies 2 and Clash of Clans. (See video above for game play demo.)

 

The Bad

4:3 aspect ratio of the display leaves ugly black bands above and below the screen when watching wide screen 16:9 resolution videos. Not a deal breaker but if you’re used to watching wide screen on other 16:9 tablets and phablets, you might not like this. Over time though, you might get used to it. On a related note, 4:3 aspect ratio seems to be perfect for Plants vs. Zombies 2. (See video above for game play demo.)

The slight warmth at the back, which happens when you’ve been playing games for some time, gets a bit warmer when you’re both charging the tablet and still playing games. But unlike the Lenovo Vibe Z, which gets flat iron-hot and then shuts down (under the same conditions of charging while playing a game), the CloudPad 800w soldiers on. Not bad.

Rear cam sample shot under indoor adequate lighting, but still not so detailed. Low light shots, naturally, aren’t that good. Outdoor shots with daylight are better. 

Rear camera output is subpar. But then it’s incredibly rare to find an Android tablet with a rear camera that wows. Not even the LG G Pad 8.3’s rear camera is that great.

A bare home screen, which is good. Not a lot of bloatware to deal with, on that can’t-ignore logo dominating the view. 

Power button on the upper right side, when in portrait mode, is a bit more recessed than the volume rocker. Also, I frequently mistook the volume rocker for the power button. Its odd placing takes some getting used to, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Some sans serif fonts don’t render as cleanly, so you see the pixelation. For the most part, it’s fine. 

The 163 ppi means some (some, not a lot of) pixelation, but as you can see form the pics and the fonts, it’s not bad at all. No need to be worried. If you’re used to flagship phones with 400+ ppi (like the LG G2, Lenovo Vibe Z, and the Sony Xperia Z1), which is dense, you’re going to notice, for sure, some pixelated fonts and images. For comparison, the ASUS MemoPad 8 has 185 ppi. But again, for the Cloudpad 800w’s price point and when you consider the entire package, this slightly lower ppi not a deal breaker.

Punchy enough colors. 

 

The Verdict

Buy it. If you still owe a niece or nephew a graduation present, this might be it. If you’re looking for a tablet with a good screen and long battery life for those long commutes and for killing time with movies and reading, this is it. Don’t be put off by a brand known primarily for selling tough phones with near-zombie apocalypse battery stamina. Cloudfone delivers a value-spanking-worth-it package here: battery life, great display, a nice-to-hold body, and a sturdy physical build. The Cloudpad 800w doesn’t get hot even after hours of gaming abuse, too. The only complaints you can have is that 4:3 aspect ratio and that 163 ppi. Small things to complain about when you look at the entire package.

Unboxed – the CloudPad 800w, charger and charging cable, earphones, and related literature. 

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Author

Irwin Allen Rivera loves his wife's cooking so much he's now twice the man he used to be. His English essay won a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in 2012. His philosophical-horror story appeared in Philippine Speculative Fiction 8 (2013). He was managing editor and lead writer of Sites and Symbols 2 (2005), a coffee-table book about buildings in UP Diliman - his alma mater (BA Philosophy; MA Creative Writing continuing). He worked at the UP Diliman Information Office before shifting to web content writing. His sudden fiction, "Notwithstanding Pigs," initially a Friendster testimonial, appeared in Philippines Graphic (2006) and in Very Short Stories for Harried Readers (2007). He used to write for www.technoodling.net.