So what's the catch? Well, I could point out the paltry 4GB of storage (2.5GB of it usable), the thick, heavy design, or the unimpressive battery life, but it's the screen quality that makes this tablet difficult to recommend to any user. No software update or Android rooting can change the fact that the T410's 800x600-pixel-resolution screen looks like a bad joke compared with the IPS screen of an iPad, or even a smaller device like the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet. Its viewing angles are poor, the pixel density is low to the point of appearing blurry, and the backlight's maximum brightness is barely adequate.
There are many positive things I can say about the Cruz T410. Its navigation is responsive. The inclusion of a File Manager on the home screen makes locating your sideloaded media a breeze. The 1GHz single-core processor supports smooth gameplay. Still, the sum of the T410's positive qualities can't make up for the fact that you're stuck experiencing them all through a lousy screen.
Battery performance is not a strong suit for the T410 either. Velocity Micro doesn't venture to give an estimated battery life rating; I can say anecdotally that I've never spent more time recharging a tablet than I have with the T410. Part of the problem is that I've been using the tablet at full brightness (its default setting), though I suspect that the animated home-screen background doesn't help things. Here are our official CNET Labs-tested battery life results. More tablet testing results can be found here.
|Video battery life (in hours)|
|Velocity Micro Cruz T410||6.5|
If low-cost tablets like the and Barnes & Noble Nook Color and didn't exist, this review might read very differently. Unfortunately for Velocity Micro, these devices do exist and they do a fantastic job of presenting media, e-mail, and the Web on a bright, beautiful screen. Next to these devices, it's immediately apparent that the T410 and its smaller sibling, the T408, are holding themselves to a lower standard. You deserve better.
Editors' note: This review was updated with CNET Labs' battery life test results.