Having seen the first unboxing video of the Camangi Webstation yesterday, initial impressions are beginning to filter through. Unfortunately, they’re not all positive; Laptop spent some time with the 7-inch Android slate and while build quality and design are just as good as we’d heard, actually performance is less impressive. They describe the Webstation as “sluggish”, with the 624MHz Marvell processor “taking a few seconds longer to load apps and web pages or respond to button presses than we like.”
Updated: A second review is in, and it’s a whole lot more critical. Check out why one Camangi Webstation pre-order customer is already looking at how he can return his device after the cut.
Other shortcomings include stuttering video playback and no access to the regular Android Market. Instead, Camangi expect owners to use their own Camangi Marketplace, in which applications are all designed to work on the larger display and with the Webstation’s hardware; fair enough, except the actually range of apps on offer is relatively small.
The resistive touchscreen also gets criticised, though its handling of ebooks is good; similarly, media playback both through the onboard speakers and via headphones performs well. In the end, the Webstation looks to be just as niche-satisfying as we expected it to be – and indeed any compact Android slate is likely to be; we’ll have to see how well Camangi manage their Marketplace as to whether it has any longer-term staying power.
Update: Steve Paine points to another review – this time by Tomorrowland’s Michael Smith – which is a whole lot less positive than Laptop’s. Michael also critiques the speed and general performance of the Webstation, found that full-screen 30fps video playback was a complete no-go, was left bemused by the lackluster user guide and, in the end, describes the whole device as “about as powerful as a digital picture frame”. In fact his suspicion is that it is, indeed, a digital picture frame with a cellphone build of Android slapped onto it, and he’s looking to get a refund.