Coby Kyros Ice Cream Sandwich tablet hands-on

January 16, 2012
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We told you so. CES 2012 was flooded with more cheap tablets than you could shake a dev kit at, most of which we neglected to report on for obvious reasons. But Coby has been steadily building a reputation for affordable (if not desirable) hardware for years, and they're jumping into Ice Cream Sandwich in a big way. A representative was kind enough to show us an early hardware version of the tablet on the show floor. The "MID9742-8", just one of nine tablets coming from the company in the next few months, is on the higher end of their Kyros product line.

The hardware we tried out wasn't full baked (for example, the manufacturer still isn't sure whether they'll be including a rear camera) but the software seemed almost ready to go - the tablet was running a surprisingly solid version of Android 4.0.1. Unlike most of the more expensive models, not to mention other offerings from Coby itself, this tablet has a 4:3 1024x768 screen, and at 9.7 inches it's almost exactly the same size and resolution as the HP TouchPad and iPad.

Under the hood you get a rather pokey 1Ghz single-core Cortex processor, but a generous 1GB of RAM. Internal memory is capped at 8GB, but a MicroSD card should allow for media junkies to add as much  storage as they can use. Standard hardware like an accelerometer, microphone and B/G/N WiFi should make for an Android experience that's at least comparable to more expensive slates, though you'll have to rely on GetJar for apps. A Coby representative said that the company is well aware that many of its users add Google Apps and the Android Market via various hacks, and doesn't really have a problem with it.

The 9.7-inch Kyros is intended for a Q2 release at under $200. Various other models with smaller screens and less powerful hardware will be even cheaper, though a 16:10 models of the 10-inch tablet will have better resolution. Coby is trying to hit every conceivable part of the cheap tablet market, and good for them - with heavier players like Asus preparing entry-level models like the $250 quad-core MeMO, they'll need every edge they can get.


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  • http://tinyurl.com/Commision-command Polly Jenkins

    Looks the same as any other tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/mykie242 mykie Gunderson

    I’ve never been disappointed by any of the cheapo Coby electronics that I’ve purchased over the years…

    I’ll admit my expectations are skewed a bit by the pricepoint, but at least they’ve never failed to deliver.

  • Anonymous

    Glad to see more companies getting on the 4:3 tablet bandwagon, as those allow full page PDF reading with less screen waste.

  • Oreg0nized

    Too bad my 3 month old Kryos is useless, no way to upgrade OS. Would not & will not buy any more products from COBY! For get Android too many issues, iPad here I come!

    • KevinW42

       The older Android products were only upgradeable to around 2.3, its a simple fact.This new one is 4.0.3 straight out of the box. The 10 inch is on sale April 23rd. The 9742-8 so far is nice, I was able to get through 3 checkpoints in Shadowgun before for some reason the game screen paused but the Coby asked if I wanted to close the application. The battery was pretty low so this might be a reason, I turned it off and the battery is now charging.

  • Not good

    the only thing I have aginst the tablet you can’t use google play to download apps. Getjar is usless. Every time you want to download something it goes to google play and of course you can’t download it. Go with a product that uses google play as their app store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bertus.geustyn.1 Bertus Geustyn

    I have my Corby 8inch now for two weeks, some complain about OS unable to be upgraded, others about app store, then those that agree on the cheap pricetag. I am kinda new to android after symbian stabbed me in the back, BUT ALLOW ME TO SAY THIS, ” I have downloaded LOTS of apps from the net either via BB-device or pc and ALL of those games and apps works perfectly on my Corby. Games are great, themes makes it look totally awesome, internet 3G responds perfectly, social apps works great. So from my side, THUMBS UP!!!!!!!!