What you do get are the standard Android Web browser and general e-mail and gallery applications, along with the same AppsLib app market found on Archos tablets. As app stores go, it's pretty thinly stocked. If you're going to use a device like this, we recommend taking the extra time to install the Amazon Appstore app, through which you can browse and install a wide selection of free and premium apps.
The good news is that the version of Android loaded onto the Kyros is not as heavily altered as we've seen it on similar budget tablets. Overall, the navigation, onscreen keyboard, settings, and other tried and true aspects of Android have all been kept intact. Unfortunately, the root problem of the inferior screen weighs down on the whole experience. For example, accurate typing really demands a stylus, which for many is an automatic deal-breaker. The screen's lack of multitouch support also means that pinch-to-zoom gestures are a no-go, which makes photo and Web browsing a chore.
Aside from its cool name, the Kyros doesn't have much to brag about. The screen is cruddy, the battery life is mediocre, the camera quality is subpar, and the Android experience is dated and lacks Google's core apps.
If the Kyros has one cool trick, it's the HDMI output. The execution isn't perfect, though. For example, when you connect the Kyros to a monitor or TV, you'll notice the home screen is mirrored on the external display at its native 800x600-pixel standard-definition resolution, running black bars down the left and right of the display. The HDMI's full 1080p output capability is only realized when playing back video content (and, in our case, making a few manual adjustments to the attached display). Does it work? Yes. Will you want to bring along that bulky power adapter to prevent the tablet from running out of steam halfway through your movie? Absolutely. The Kyros is rated at only 4.5 hours of video playback using default settings, and cranking out 1080p video over HDMI probably wasn't the best-case test condition.
Here are our official CNET Labs-tested battery life results. More tablet testing results can be found here.
|Video battery life (in hours)||Maximum brightness (in cd/m2)||Default brightness (in cd/m2)||Maximum black level (in cd/m2)||Default black level (in cd/m2)||Default contrast ratio||Contrast ratio (max brightness)|
We have no doubt that there will eventually be a great tablet priced between $150 and $200. The Coby Kyros, unfortunately, isn't there yet. With a screen this bad, it's not even in the ballpark. If you're looking for an all-in-one touch-screen device and you're on a budget, check out the Archos 70, the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, or the Editors' Choice Award-winning Apple iPod Touch.
Update, October 10 at 12:53 p.m. PT: CNET Labs' battery life test results were updated.