Redfox WizPad Lite Review – Affordable 8 inch Windows Tablet

The Redfox WizPad Lite is a P9,990.00 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet with an optional Bluetooth keyboard cover sold separately for P900.

The WizPad is the size of a StarBucks planner and when inside the keyboard cover, it opens like a book. You can prop it up on a table like a small laptop – the cover allows for a stand. Our review “package” consists of the WizPad Lite tablet and optional keyboard.

The keyboard magnetically sticks to the inside of the cover and acts as a stop to prevent the tablet from sliding down. This means comfy vertical viewing angles on either a desk or on your lap. The inside of the cover where the tablet sticks to has two slide-in corners that hold that tablet in place, but is hard to pull the tablet out from.

With a Bluetooth keyboard that cramped, long periods of typing is out of the question. Unless two-finger typing is your thing. For the most part, I ignored the keyboard and used the book-like cover to protect the tablet’s display, because the build is not good enough to make you feel it’ll survive a drop. You should just find yourself a USB keyboard and use a UST OTG cable to connect to the tablet. Or pair another, comfier, full-sized Bluetooth keyboard. Of course, without the optional WizPad keyboard, the tablet just slides down, with nothing to keep it in place. You’re better off buying a tablet stand, believe me.

RedFox WizPad Lite, Huawei Ascend Mate 7

With a smaller display size, premium build, faster processor, more RAM, speedier everything, the Huawei Mate 7 costs about three times as much as the WizPad Lite. But it can’t run full desktop MS Office.

The 8″ display plus rubber back finish allows for a form factor that’s easy to hold, much like the P7,000 ASUS Memo Pad 7, which is cheaper, and lets you run all the games and HD videos and social apps you want. This brings us to why you want a separate tablet that runs only Windows 8 and legacy apps and few of the Android and iOS ones.

RedFox WizPad Lite Review, RedFox WizPad Lite Specs, RedFox WizPad Lite Price

Keep in mind that the WizPad is neither half a laptop (waiting only for a keyboard) nor a laptop replacement. The limited 16GB storage and 1GB RAM means you’re bound to experience storage problems with Windows updates and apps you want to install either from the Windows app store or legacy apps you can download or install via USB. Actually, after installing Windows updates and Windows 8 app updates plus Firefox, C: is nearly full.

Also, if you’re expecting the same so-many-apps-launched and so-many-tabs-running and so-many-explorer-windows-open that you’re familiar with with desktop or laptop Windows, don’t. The 1GB RAM is not enough to keep 7 tabs in Firefox from slowing down. It’s faster when you’re using Internet Explorer, but you won’t have the add ons and extensions you’re used to. Also, you need to invest in a microSD card to expand storage and learn to run portable legacy apps stored in a USB OTG flashdrive.

The Wizpad Lite is indeed lite; it’s a compromise through and through: an acceptable display with good color reproduction and viewing angles, a plastic body that creaks (flex it a little and the display pixelates and does weird things), a severely cramped optional keyboard, tiny internal storage, plus limited RAM – run five tabs in Firefox and the thing slows down. It’s priced like an upper midrange phone which you’ll be happier to buy. But you won’t buy a tablet that can run desktop legacy Windows apps like Chrome and MS Office to be happy. You buy one to get some work done. And the Wizpad comes with one year Office 365 subscription so for one year, you can get MS Office work done.

RedFox WizPad Lite Review, RedFox WizPad Lite Specs, RedFox WizPad Lite Price

On the up side, the back rubber finish is nice to hold and portrait mode in your hand is cool – you can see more parts of a website and see an entire page of a Word document. But don’t you dare dream that you can allow this tablet to slip from your hands and that it will survive impact. The build feels too compromised for that.

RedFox WizPad Lite Review, RedFox WizPad Lite Price, RedFox WizPad Lite Specs

It would have been uplifting if the OS were designed for touch. But since most work happens on the Windows 8.1 desktop side – browser tabs, office documents, multiple file browsers open – and the menu fonts and icons are tiny (see above), you need a mouse and a better keyboard so you can treat and use the WizPad for what it should be: a small, incidentally touch-ready, slightly slow, laptop. If you want a tablet to browse on, there are better gaming Androids out there for less than P10,000. (ASUS Memo Pad 7).

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, RedFox WizPad Lite

Well, if you have the funds to burn, why not? The premium build and Ultra HD display of the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro really dwarfs the WizPad Lite is all aspects. But then the WizPad was designed for student budgets.

But a small, affordable, slow computer doesn’t mean that work can’t get done. It can. Though slowly. So you need to choose your battles. Short and light documents and spreadsheets will load faster than thesis/novel-length works and end-of-year inventory spreadsheets, for example. You can still retouch photos though slowly via portable Photoshop. Movies are okay but expect a stutter if you have apps running in the background.

RedFox WizPad Lite Review, RedFox WizPad Lite Specs, RedFox WizPad Lite Price

Again, it’s nice to hold the WizPad in portrait mode (above) as you review your résumé and gaze at the rehashed format, at the smallish blocks of paragraphs, and squint at miniscule fonts blurring into words worming into sentences talking about your qualifications. I realized that I like working on documents on a Windows tablet while on portrait mode.

You can still enjoy the casual side of browsing but do it on Internet Explorer, because it behaves faster. And bump up the fonts on the desktop so you can read them better and click on them faster.

 

Pros

  • Affordable. Priced like an upper midrange Android.
  • Comes with Office 365 one year subscription. So you can get work done.
  • Works well with any Bluetooth keyboard, because the optional keyboard is cramped and not recommended.
  • Micro USB port allows for USB OTG, so you can access files and videos on external drives and flashdrives. The same port allows for connecting a physical keyboard.
  • Rubber back and smallish form factor make for a comfy to hold device. You can stow this in your bag and even in a cargo pants pocket.
  • Portrait orientation document viewing is great for reading and editing documents, same with viewing some websites because you can see more and navigate quickly.
  • Good display, for this price, viewing angles are good, resolution sufficient, colors not too muted or too washed out.
  • Good for video marathons and long hours of reading and surfing.
  • Allows for installation of legacy apps (if you can budget the storage right).
  • As long as you use Internet Explorer, surfing, launching pages, and switching between tabs is smoother compared to other browsers, like Firefox.
  • It’s unlikely someone will steal this from you.

Cons

  • Severely limited internal storage. You need to rely on a microSD card – Scotch Tape it so it’s permanently there – and an external USB flashdrive. Install apps on the microSD card, and save files there, too. So that means a big microSD card: 32GB at least.
  • 3-5 apps running already slows down the system, and you can feel lags, stutters when browsing, and wait times when loading pages and apps. The 1GB RAM is really the culprit here. So you need to practice curbing your desire to open and keep running so many apps and browser tabs. If you can do this, you can manage.
  • Tiny menu text and icons on desktop side are hard to tap and double tap on. This is really not Redfox’s fault, but that of Microsoft. Desktop mode is built for mouse cursor clicking not touch tapping. Increasing font sizes may help, but for long periods of use, you will really need a mouse. Only the Metro or Windows 8 side of the OS seems optimized for touch, but sadly most of the work happens on the desktop side. Microsoft, where are your priorities?
  • Just because legacy apps can be installed doesn’t mean they will run smoothly.
  • Plasticky build, while comfy to hold, flexes. You can’t really trust the build to survive a drop. So find a case for it or be extremely careful.
  • About four hours of battery on medium usage, like surfing.

Verdict

This machine is on a price and specs diet, so your work flow and loading speed expectation should also be on a diet.

On top of being forced to be disciplined, the Windows Market of apps also forces me to do all my social media and chatting and games on my phone, leaving the WizPad Lite to writing and reading and surfing and few spreadsheet work..which is actually a good thing! The limited storage, which a dedicated microSD card will solve, actually curbs your torrenting desires.

RedFox WizPad Lite Review, RedFox WizPad Lite Specs, RedFox WizPad Lite Price

With the Flip Cover Keyboard Case, the WizPad Lite looks like a small laptop.

What you’re getting for this affordable price is naturally a compromise.

These being said, the WizPad Lite cannot replace your laptop. The optional Bluetooth keyboard is too cramped to be of use for long typing. So don’t opt for it. Which leaves us to the my real remaining actual beef with the WizPad Lite. The tiny internal storage, which is already nearly filled with recent Windows updates. You need to sit down and really go over apps you want to uninstall, to make room . Because, as of this writing, apps cannot be installed on the microSD card.

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.