That's why China's based Android Tabs is Cheap

Thank's to China's smart folks who had succeeded delivering (cheaper) Android tablet machines in this world recently. So that poor guys like me can enjoying a cheap Android tablet with the latest OS: Ice Cream Sandwich :). Just like PC, tablet machine also have main CPU (actually, integrated with the GPU).

Anyway, there’s so many CPU hardware available purposed for tablet machine. At least 14 architectures from any range of hardware scale used on various tablets machine. But most of tablet consumers didn’t know about what they buy inside. They only know from outside of the box and the company brand name.

Here below is known tablet CPU architectures from A to Z; and great number of it has used for Android based tablet:

  • Amlogic
  • Allwinner A10
  • Blackberry
  • Freescale
  • Indolian
  • Infotmic
  • Marvell
  • NVidia
  • Qualcomm
  • Rockchip
  • Samsung
  • Telechips
  • WonderMedia
  • x86

Logically, A better well known CPU is the expensive one. As from the list, some of it described company name that stand behind the brand (eg: for Samsung or Blackberry). I don't talking about both Samsung or Blackberry here, since it doesn't fit with this current blog title :) So, let's start it with China's brand tablet. Here's some examples CPU used in China's brand tablet:

Amlogic AML8726-M single-core Cortex A9 with Mali-400 GPU, 1080p video playback support
Which used in Tabulet Troy, Apad, DTC.

Allwinner A10 chip
Which used in Ainol Novo 7, Gemei A2.

Rockchip RK2918 single-core Cortex A8
Which used in MSI Windpad Enjoy 10, Vandroid, Cube u9GT2, Smartfren Andro Tab 7

All above 3 chipsets was designed for different purposes, even they have a slightly similar value (price) and performance. Please check below comparison (summarized from a source I forgot what the URL was ):

From above comparison, take a look at Rockchip's chipset, it's almost "special" with almost average score per item. Quite "fast" GPU with average temperature and battery life. But, what's up with the video decoding functionality? Check below explanation taken from Rockchip's website. From the explanation, video decoding is not a problem since it can handle 1080p video playback support.

Most of tablet architecture have CPU & GPU integrated as well in a single PCB. One of it's benefit is, to keep space smaller as possible. Here below is the picture of Rockchip RK2918 chipset.

One example of tablet that using RK2918 CPU is Smartfren Andro Tab 7 (SFAT) as known as Skyworth S7. Finally, I bought it after seeing it's price. Don't follow me to buy this tab, since I'm not a salesman. However, this tablet seems worth to buy :)

This tablet purposes (almost all of China's hand-made), quite enough for play and fun. Nothing important things to do with tablet except for gaming and browsing. So, that's why I'm buying it.

Based on free Quadrant tool available on Android market, above is the SFAT performance factor. I'm thinking about most of China's tablets are around this score because the using of the chipset particularly. Take a look again for another tools from Now, how about to compare SFAT with Samsung S3 device?

While Samsung using it's own chipset with different architecture for sure, I'm not suprised with the result. Even with the same ARMv7 processor type, Samsung CPU have quad core in it. As it finally gives simple stupid equation:

Assumption; 1 Core CPU = $1
Then, 4 Core CPU = 4 x $1 = $4

That's why Samsung S3 price, 4x more expensive than SFAT! It's (almost) equational anyway :)

PS: For anyone has bought SFAT. Here's some tips and tricks for you
  • How to Reset? There's a small hole near 3.5mm audio out jack purposed for resetting this tab. By using a dull paper clip bar and stick it to the hole, you can reset this tabs.
  • How to make screenshot? SFAT equipped with hardware button to make screenshot. Press volume (-) and power simultaneously within 3 seconds until it show on screen. It'll automatically saved in Image Gallery.

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Eko Wahyudiharto
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