Unboxing China’s Android iPad
After several days of searching with no luck in Beijing, I finally tracked down an “iPad” in Shanghai’s massive Qi Pu Market. I started by asking around in the market’s designer knockoff stores, and was finally led to a nondescript shop with nothing but generic scarves and belts lining the walls. I found it hard to believe that this is where I would find the Android iPads I had heard so much about, but after 15 minutes of waiting, a Chinese man in his mid-twenties showed up with a familiar white box in hand.
I was optimistic after seeing an image of the Apple iPad on the box, but a few seconds later I was holding the most pathetic excuse for an Apple knockoff I had seen among multiple trips to Beijing and Shanghai over the last two years. After much negotiation, we settled on a price of 1,000 RMB (about $150), and an hour after first setting eyes on my doorstop to be, I was walking out of the market with an obnoxiously shiny new Android iPad in hand.
I have to admit that I might be a bit biased – I’ve spent the past two months with an authentic Apple iPad, and I couldn’t be happier with it – but this Android tablet doesn’t come close to the real thing. With a $150 price tag, however, you can take this piece of garbage home for much less than its far superior role model – that is, unless you happen to be the German tourist who snagged one just a few minutes before me, paying twice as much and still leaving with a smug grin on her face.
As you might expect from a $150 device, performance was incredibly sluggish, and the display wasn’t nearly as sharp or responsive as that on the Apple iPad. The accelerometer worked well, however, and the included micro-SD card slot is a nice touch. The Android iPad is nothing more than a novelty, and the photo leaves you salivating, you might want to save up for the Apple version.