Coby Kyros Review
The Coby Kyros MID8120; while a poor performer, actually does great compared to other tablets in its price range.
Meet the Coby Kyros MID8120, a bargain-bin tablet that, while a poor performer, actually does great compared to other tablets in its price range. Coby made the most of a tiny budget (MSRP $170), but this tablet doesn't even come close to competing with the major players. Still, if you're looking for the cheapest possible tablet that can still be of some use to you on the go to review documents or simple user-uploaded media, the Kyros could possibly satisfy a few users' needs.
Design & Usability
Basic design, limited usability
Because it is small and fairly light, the Coby Kyros MID8120 is relatively easy to handle. There aren't any fatigue issues, although the resistive screen isn't terribly responsive. The internal accelerometers will allow you to hold the tablet at either orientation.
Because the physical controls are limited to volume buttons and a power button, most of your interaction with the tablet is going to happen through the resistive touchscreen, which is mediocre at best. The fact of the matter is that resistive screens just aren't really ideal for tablets, but they persist because they're still cheaper to use than capacitive touchscreens.
Due to the fact that this tablet is very limited in capabilities because of its low cost, it's surprising that the connectivity is somewhat greater than we expected, mainly due to the fact that it has a microSD card slot, a full HDMI port, a mini-USB port, and 802.11n wireless. This surprises us because this isn't a media maven, nor is it built to handle very much of anything at all, as its paltry 256MB of RAM and limited internal hardware can't really keep up with the other tablets on the market.
While there technically is an ability to score some apps for your Coby Kyros MID8120, to be honest, there's Angry Birds... and that's about it. Considering the resistive touchscreen, even that will be frustrating. We poked around for a while and really couldn't find much of anything that wasn't just a promo or crapware item. No Pandora, no Netflix, no productivity software (that we could trust); virtually nothing that Android users would recognize or care for.
Bad screen, bad overall performance
The screen of the Coby Kyros MID8120 is 6.406 x 4.8125 inches, with a resolution of 800 x 600 and a resistive touch screen. This is the standard option for budget tablets, but as far as resistive touch screens go, that of the Kyros isn't terrible.
However, resistive screens seem to reflect less light than capacitive screens, for whatever reason, but don't take that to mean that the Kyros is easy to see in the outside world. On the contrary, because of the abysmally low peak brightness, even if you crank your backlight to the maximum level, you'll struggle greatly in seeing your screen properly. This is a tablet that should stay inside to be used, even on an overcast day.
While it's not enough to make users forget about their experience with the tablet, the battery life is absolutely absurd. Lasting well over 8 hours reading eBooks and playing back video, the Coby Kyros MID8120 actually does provide a respectable performance for what is otherwise a product noted to take every measure it can to come in at a price point under $200.
You get what you pay for.
All things considered, you could be buying a worse tablet for the money, as the last time we reviewed something at this price point, it was so bad it could not be tested properly. Not only does the Coby Kyros MID8120 function with a relative degree of stability, but given its hardware it does a fair job.
Knock it if you will, but the battery life of the Kyros is great overall, even if the capabilities of the tablet are a little bit on the limited side. It's a tablet that can be bought for $100—of course it's going to be limited.
That being said, the resistive touchscreen is a huge drag, and the limited RAM makes the operation of the tablet a little clunky, but usable. This is absolutely not going to make anybody forget about the iPad or various iterations of high-end Andrioid tablets, but the Kyros performs well for the money, if you can tolerate the limitations of the unit itself.
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