7 things you need to consider before buying an imitation tablet

Late last year we saw a proliferation of imitation tablet devices with names likes iPed, Eped, and Apad popping out in the grey market offering the same features as that from named brands such as Samsung, Archos, ASUS or even Cherry Mobile.


It attracted a lot of people especially those who want to own a tablet device but are in a strict sub-5k budget. The question here is, are these imitation tablets reliable? Are they worth the few thousand pesos you would paying for or is it better if you would just save up to buy from trusted brands, even second-hand ones?

If you are considering getting one of these imitation tablets, here are 7 things we came up with that you might want to keep in mind:

  1. The materials used are not of high-quality and may have not passed quality inspection. Don’t come crying if your iPed suddenly stops working due to heat or if that power button got stuck after a hundred press. Most imitation tablets are made of cheap plastic so better see if you can live with that.
  2. Lack of after-sales support. Go ahead and ask stores what would happen if the tablet gets broken. Just like CD-R King, they would offer about a month of shop warranty or so. For repairs, well good luck having it repaired. Just make sure to reset your device so your saved logins and passwords don’t get abused while being repaired.
  3. May not be eligible for firmware or OS upgrade. A lot of imitation tablets are still running the outdated Android Cupcake or Donut. If you’re going to buy a cheap imitation Android tablet, make sure it has the latest OS (2.2) and that the hardware can support future upgrades. Still, you need to know how to root an Android device and install the latest OS.
  4. Check the touch screen type. Did you know that there are two types of touchscreen display? The spec could simply mention touchscreen so it’s up to you to make sure it’s the capacitive kind. Resistive touchscreens are cheaper to make but it takes out the fluidity of a touch interface as compared to capacitive ones. If it comes with a stylus, chances are it’s resistive.
  5. Don’t expect all features to be available. That iPed may have the latest Android OS and a front-facing cam. However, the hardware also determines if it can run that video chat application or play your HD videos or open your 40MB PDF file. Test it if you can.
  6. Is there enough internal storage? If you’re dreaming of installing lots of games and apps, make sure that your cheap tablet has enough internal memory. Sure if it’s on Android 2.2 you can install them in your microSD but not all apps support this feature yet.
  7. Don’t expect top-notch user experience. Owning an imitation tablet can be quite frustrating especially if yours turned out to be in one of the bad batches. WiFi keeps on disappearing, it doesn’t do multitouch, display color changes for no reason, apps would start crashing, web browsing is not responsive”¬¶ these are only a few issues cheap tablet owners are encountering.

As for me, I still don’t recommend getting these imitation tablets. The cheap price is not worth the headache you may experience with it in the long run. And you need to be a real tech person to maximize your cheap investment.

However if you’re still determined to get one, do a LOT of research especially from user experiences. See what chip is the best so far (Cortex A8?). If you can, bring a techie person with you who knows how to properly check the specs. Sometimes, the listed or printed specs are not accurate. If it says it runs on Android 3.0, look away. As of this writing, 3.0 is not yet available.

I cannot suggest a brand or a specific model because I don’t have extensive experience in using these tablets. All I know is to stay away from those with outdated VIA chips. Also remember, you are getting what you paid for. You might get lucky if your iPed turns out to be a cheap but worthy alternative to the real thing or it may turn out to be just an expensive digital photo frame.

For more technology news and gadget reviews, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Definitely an expensive photoframe! ^_^;

    Now I don’t know if this is knock-off tablet related but:

    Some users install 3 different browsers for 3 very specific uses(youtube video watching there’s a browser for that, if speed is your need a different browser also, and if you want great browser/searching/editing features and smooth page scroll again a different browser)… Now you just have to remember which browser to use on which websites! ^_^; FAIL

    What is PLDT using for its ‘world’s first’ tablet landline phone? One of the imitations? Got frustrated with the touchscreen sensitivity (or insensitivity) when I tried their sample product in one of their promo stalls. No excuse even if hundreds of people touched it that day… It should stand that kind of stress…

  • Just stay away from untested china brands they are full of crap

  • imitation tablets sucks like hell

  • tarafanatic

    grabe sir calvin.. saludo ako sayo!!! nafeature ka sa jessica soho.. hahaa.. im planning to buy this apad kaya lang wala ako mhnap na mejo maayos hahaa.. sana if you happen to get one unit and test an apad you can make a review hehehe

    • hehe parang ayaw kong bumili ng apad just for testing purposes. wala rin naman nagpapahiram since puro tiangge nagtitinda. pero kung gusto mo talaga ng peke, hintayin mo yung kinpad. mukhang maganda specs.

  • bel

    hi po! i’ve seen your blog sa jessica soho..just wondering if you also have “things to consider in buying 2nd hand/pre-owned netbook”.. thanks =)

  • albert

    congrats bro! I saw u sa jesica soho..

  • OrLy

    Just buy genuine iPAD…

  • Harley Son

    love this post!

  • george

    pano po ma dedetermine if fake ung apple mac air??

    • mahirap ifake yung mga apple products especially laptops. i mean obvious na makikita mo kung fake. sa build quality pa lang may difference na. and kung sobrang baba ang presyo it’s either fake or nakaw. punta ka na lang sa mga apple reseller for your apple products.

  • Would some of these apply as well to cheap Android phones?

  • jay paul

    my review po ba kayo sa mga tablet na to

    MiD Android 7″ Tablet PC 2.2 Froyo Basic

    MiD Android 8″ Tablet PC

    MiD Android 10″ Laptop Predator 2.2 FROYO

    imitation po ba yang mga tablet na yan???
    and alin po kaya dyan ang the best???