Maylong Universe M-150 - tablet - Android - 2 GB - 7 review: Maylong Universe M-150 - tablet - Android - 2 GB - 7

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CNET Editors' Rating

1.5 stars Poor
  • Overall: 3.0
  • Design: 3.0
  • Features: 3.0
  • Performance: 3.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Maylong M-150 is one of the least expensive 7-inch Android tablets we've seen.

The Bad The screen is warped and scratch-prone; battery life is poor; the Android interface has been modified for the worse; there's no easy method for connecting to a computer; boot time is slow; navigation is confusing; and there's no support for Android Market or official Google Mobile apps.

The Bottom Line The Maylong M-150 tablet is a regrettable purchase at any price.

Editors' Top Picks

In the wake of Apple's breakthrough iPad tablet, dozens of obscure manufacturers have rushed to deliver low-budget alternatives running Google's Android operating system. In this race to the bottom, the Maylong M-150 (aka the Walgreens tablet) made headlines with a price tag that's less than $150 and a seemingly iPad-like design.

It's probably no surprise that the M-150 is a disappointing product; performance is sluggish, the user interface is screwy, and the screen is as ugly as it is infuriating. Still, as a case study in how to cripple a perfectly good operating system with clunky, substandard hardware, the Maylong M-150 deserves a formal CNET review.

Design
The Maylong M-150 may look like the illegitimate offspring of an iPad and a Samsung Galaxy Tab, but this unfortunate device is a bait and switch in every possible way.

Just like the iPad, the front of the M-150 features just one button. Maybe we were naive to assume that Maylong's design homage to the iPad would trickle down to the practical function of each button, but that's not the case here. Forging its own path, the Maylong M-150 confounds users with button controls that use neither Android's nor Apple's prescribed logic. A button on the right edge works as a menu button, and the button on the front acts as the back key, leaving the home button to a small touch-screen icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.

Speaking of the screen, the clunky resistive display on the front of the M-150 is covered with a warped plastic that feels and behaves more like a gas station credit card terminal than a futuristic slate computer. If you want to get any typing done, you're best off using the included stylus. To us, though, having to use a stylus on an Android device is an automatic deal breaker.

All the icons and many of the apps for the M-150's Android 1.6 OS have been given a pointless makeover, making the whole graphical interface look like an oversize budget cell phone from the '90s. It's tragic, really, since the only thing the M-150 really has going for it is the graphic polish and interface familiarity Google brings to the table with Android.

Also on the bottom you'll find some speakers, a headphone jack, and a power adapter socket that works with the included wall wart. And don't lose it; you'll be recharging every few hours, even with just some light Web browsing.

Editors' Top Picks

 

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Where to Buy

Maylong Universe M-150 - tablet - Android - 2 GB - 7"

Part Number: M-150 Released: Dec. 1, 2010

MSRP: $150.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Dec. 1, 2010
  • Wireless Connectivity IEEE 802.11g
  • Type Android
  • RAM 256 MB
  • Weight 13.5 oz
  • Operating System Android
  • Storage 2 GB
  • Processor ARM ARM9
About The Author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.