Posted by Jim Martin 09 October 2013
Hannspree Hannspad SN14T7 review: a budget 13.3in Android tablet
£199 inc VAT (Available end Oct 2013)
If you’ve ever held an iPad and thought, “This 9.7in screen is way too small”, then Hanspree has the solution: the 13.3in SN14T7. This sub-£200 Android tablet is the biggest we’ve ever tested, but it’s by no means the only 13in tablet around.
Hannspree Hannspad SN14T7 review: design and build
Adding 3.6in to an iPad’s screen doesn’t sound like much, but I can’t overstate how huge the SN14T7 feels. It’s partly the dimensions (you can almost fit two iPads side by side on it) and partly the weight.
It tips the scales at 1.2kg, making it roughly twice the weight of an iPad. You don’t have to be Popeye to hold it but, because of the size, it’s impossible to hold in one hand. That’s obviously awkward if you want to interact with the screen.
Unlike the Microsoft Surface 2, there’s no kick stand and there are unlikely to be specific-fit cases which add one. (You don’t get a case in the box – a 13in laptop sleeve is probably your best bet for protection.)
Below the screen is a pair of stereo speakers which are fairly loud and ideal for watching videos, but again, the lack of a stand is frustrating since the bigger screen makes the Hannspad a better choice for watching iPlayer with a friend.
Around the back is a brushed metal panel surrounded by plastic. On the right-hand side is a power button flanked by volume buttons. Confusingly, the headphone jack and power socket are next to each other and the same size, so it’s easy to think you’ve connected the charger but have actually inserted it into the headphone output.
A hinged flap conceals micro-USB and mini-HDMI ports, plus a micro-SD slot for adding up to 32GB of storage to the 16GB of internal memory. A second micro-USB port (combined with the bundled adaptor) allows you to connect a USB mouse, keyboard or hard drive.
The flap isn’t removable and gets in the way – folded back underneath the tablet - when any cables are connected.
Hannspree Hannspad SN14T7 review: screen
The screen is one of – if not THE most – important component of any tablet. These days we expect high resolutions, great viewing angles and brightness, but the Hannspad offers none of these virtues.
The 1280x800 resolution looks blocky at this size, and it’s particularly noticeable on text. The large screen means web pages are shown at full width, but the low resolution means text isn’t easy or pleasant to read. The pixel density of 113ppi is lower even than the iPad 2 (which has a 132ppi screen).
However, there’s a more serious problem: viewing angles. The iPad 2 makes up for its low resolution by having a bright, colourful screen that’s easy to see from just about any angle. The Hannspad doesn’t.
Sat on your lap, the narrow viewing angles mean the screen looks dark and colours shift to different shades. With certain colour combinations, text on a dark background disappears entirely. Viewed head-on, it’s not too bad – colours are vibrant and it’s bright enough - but since there’s no stand, you’ll have to improvise to get the best angle.
Here's the Hannspad next to the new Nexus 7
Hannspree Hannspad SN14T7 review: performance
With a quad-core 1.6GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, you’d expect the Hannspad to be speedy. Benchmark results are respectable, but it’s never wise to look only at numbers.
In Sunspider 1.0.1, the SN14T7 completed the test in 1323ms. That’s a reasonable result and, on the whole, web pages load swiftly and scroll smoothly.
The synthetic Geekbench returned 2030 points. Again, this is a good result, but in practice, the Hannspad feels slow. It can be a little jerky swiping between Android home screens and apps can take anything up to 10 seconds to launch. Bringing up the list of running apps can be sluggish, adding to the feeling that there’s a lack of horsepower.
In terms of 3D, the Hannspad scored 17fps in the Egypt HD test within GLBenchmark. It’s marginally better than most budget tablets. You can play games such as Real Racing 3, but they won’t look as good as on more powerful tablets – graphics quality is automatically reduced to provide playable frame rates.
Battery life isn’t too bad considering the size of the screen, but it’s hardly a strong point. With the screen at 50 per cent brightness, volume set to medium and Wi-Fi on, our video looping test ran for just under six hours.
Hannspree Hannspad SN14T7 review: cameras
With a 0.3Mp front webcam and rear-facing 2Mp snapper, the Hannspad is sub-par if we’re going by numbers. Resolution isn’t the main problem, though. The lens is truly awful. Focus isn’t great at the centre and tails off immediately leaving everything else a blurry mess. Even in good light, there’s visible noise and in low light, it pretty much fails to capture any detail at all. Click the image below to see the original, full size version.
Videos are similarly appalling. Poor quality images and sound are made even worse by slow frame rates. It’s best to put a piece of tape over the camera and pretend it doesn’t exist.
Hannspree Hannspad SN14T7 review: verdict
13in tablets are few and far between, and the Hannspad isn’t a good advert for the ‘XXL’ size. It’s heavy and saddled with a low-resolution screen which also has poor viewing angles. It doesn’t even perform particularly well, has average battery life and terrible cameras.