CloudNine Neuropad 2

How does the Neuropad measure up in an aggressive and ever-expanding marketplace? We dispatched our fearless reviewer to find out.

By Chris Messenger | Published 26/10/2012

The Good

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Screen is super responsive.

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Compatible with Google Play

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Full HDMI HD output

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Skype compatible with front camera

The Bad

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Enabling 3G can be tricky

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Screen brightness below par

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Web browsing experience painfully slow

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SD card needed. 4GB is just not enough

Introduction

The screen isn’t the best quality in the world, but it is responsive and neither over nor under sensitive.

With a name that sounds like something from a Phillip K. Dick novel, the very latest Android OS and a neat, budget price tag, Cloud may very well have stumbled onto a successful money making formula. But what sacrifices have been made to keep the costs down? And how does the Neuropad measure up in an aggressive and ever-expanding marketplace? We dispatched our fearless reviewer to find out.

 

The Specs

Considering the low price of this tablet, the specs are actually really impressive. A single 1.5GHz Cortex A-8 processor is surprisingly fast. Meanwhile, the screen resolution of 400 x 800 might not give the iPad anything to worry about, but it does put out full 2180p HD via HDMI. An automatic screen rotate function (that moves in four directions) as well as responsive multi touch capability only add to the fun and the feel here is that of a much more expensive tablet made available at a bargain price. Also, with 4GB of internal memory and an SD card slot that allows for up to 32GB of storage space, you aren’t likely to run out of things to do any time soon.

 

As for Internet, you are presented with two choices. Either use the built-in WiFi (this tablet has 3G capability) or buy a USB dongle. I’m a pretty big fan of having the choice, as there’s some comfort to be had in the extra option.

 

We also get basic speaker/mic capability, as well as a pretty standard camera. However, this is a tablet that will play almost any media file extension you care to name (even FLAC!). That’s the way this tablet is: for every (minor) negative point, you can expect a couple of (major) plus points.

 

 

The Price

On this site, we love a bargain, but the sad truth is that most ‘budget’ tablets are cheap, easy to break and mainly represent false economy. By the time you’ve paid your £80 for the cheap, no-name device and shelled out the extra £45 for the add-ons, you’ll spend half your waking life waiting for the WiFi to find a signal and the other half praying that it won’t crash for the eighth time in five minutes. At that point, you’ll order a newer tablet in the mid range section and, by the time that one messes you about, you’ll have spent enough money to buy about three iPads.

 

Basically, if it looks to good to be true, then it probably is. Except that one in ten desert mirages turn out to contain actual water and this gorgeous little device is one such oasis.

 

This is made even more astounding by the fact that the CloudNine Neuropad 2 is available at £69.99. That is a bargain indeed.

 

The Performance

The screen resolution of 400 x 800 might not give the iPad anything to worry about, but it does put out full 2180p HD via HDMI.

As a general rule, cheap tablets feel cheap. Hard plastic, slow response times and infuriating WiFi are just some of the features that plague the ‘under £100’ tablet PC. However, I’m very pleased to report that the Neuropad 2 suffers from none of the above.

 

Now, it won’t compete with an iPad or a Microsoft Surface, but the Neuropad 2 does what it does extraordinarily well. I’ve seen faster Internet, I’ve used quicker computers and I’ve had better playback, but not in this price range. To compare this tablet to the market leaders and branded mega-products out there would be fallacious. The Neuropad isn’t trying to be a market leader; it is trying to be that rarest of things, a true bargain.

 

The screen isn’t the best quality in the world, but it is responsive and neither over nor under sensitive. The pre-installed apps all work wonderfully well and there generally aren’t any hiccups. I really think this is a superb little tablet.

 

What Other Users Say

The Neuropad has also pleasantly surprised the Amazon marketplace, with 99 of the 115 reviews offering scores of 4/5 or higher. ‘Debi’ (5/5) summed up this tablet’s appeal succinctly by saying “I can't see why anyone would buy a big name brand when this tablet is so brilliant”. She also praised the “great” WiFi and mentioned that this tablet will “happily run 4 or 5 apps at the same time”.

 

‘Joanna Williams’ (5/5) was also positive, concluding that the Neuropad was “an absolute steal” and reporting no crashes or freezes whatsoever (a real rarity in this price range). Not expecting much, ‘Gibbonici’ (5/5) bought this tablet as an e-book reader, thinking that it would probably be “rubbish at everything else”, he went on to call it “a total bargain” and praised both gaming and WiFi.

 

'F. Todino’ (2/5) revised his initial positive opinion, however. After a month of use, he found the plastic casing coming apart and the general speed of the tablet to have decreased, amongst other complaints. Elsewhere ‘Nickyaaa’ (2/5) called the Neuropad “slow” saying that it was a waste of money. ‘JJ’ (1/5) found that his screen cracked overnight and so did his brother’s, that is an alarming coincidence and leads me to wonder if some sort of poltergeist activity was involved.

 

Our Verdict

Right now, you will not get an iPad for £70. That is just the way of the world. The Neuropad 2 certainly isn’t the finest tablet ever made, but it just might represent the best value for money. There are a lot of cheap tablets out there, most of which are more embarrassing than wandering around inner London with a ‘Jim fixed it for me’ badge, but the Neuropad 2 is not one of those tablets. Fast, responsive and relatively well made, this is a cheap alternative to the big boys that seems to me to be ‘just right’. An excellent tablet.

 

 

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Tags: CloudNine Neuropad 2 Tablet PC Review, Tablet PC Review

 

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