The BeBook Live is a tablet computer not concerned about the iPad. It’s a little smaller, a little less powerful and it’s got its own agenda – aiming at entry-level consumers. That’s why it’s much more affordable – £229.
The BeBook Live comes with the usual tablet staples – a multi-touch screen, a front-facing camera, wi-fi, bluetooth and a motion sensor with orientation for dynamic gaming.
Compared with standard Android tablets, it adds an impressively slim form – 11mm. And compared with an iPad? There’s a USB port (2.0), a microSD slot (up to 32GB), Flash-support and the ability to read Adobe DRM-encoded PDFs – perfect for eBook purchases.
While the features may be good, the technical specs are a mixed bag. The internals are certainly impressive for the price – a 1GHz ARM A8 processor coupled with 512MB RAM and 4GB storage means that the system is actually more adept than the original iPad.
The screen, however, has a disappointing 800 x 600 resolution. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s not going to win any beauty contests. It also negates some of the benefit of Android 2.2’s lag-less HD performance, as the videos will be downsized for the display.
Luckily, BeBook have included a HDMI-out port on the device, so you can watch HD in its full glory on external devices. You’ll also find a two megapixel, front-facing camera and mic for video calls. Awesome.
It would be unfair to compare this with the world’s number one tablet, the iPad 2. The BeBook Live is aimed at a totally different market – the entry-level. And for those customers, it succeeds.
If you take into account the fact that second-hand iPad 1’s cost the same as a new BeBook Live, despite worse internals, no video-conferencing, no memory expansion and no Flash, it’s clear who the winner is.
Our only disappointed was the screen resolution – jump it up to 1024 x 768 and this device would be killer.