As the holidays draw near, the deals can be pretty incredible and your budget can get a little tight with all of the people in your life.  Each one of my kids wants a tablet and my mom wants one too and that leaves me, the techy son and father to take care of them all.  So I looked around a bit on Amazon and found 3 that I really liked (more because of the price).

Mostly my reviews and articles are around products that I do extensive testing on and so I am doing the same on this article, but times 3.

Here are the tablets and their specs

Alldaymall A88

  • 7” 800×480
  • AllWinner A23X Dual Core 1.5Ghz
  • Mali-400 MP2
  • 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual Camera 1 Mega Pixel Front and Rear
  • 8GB NAND Flash
  • Android 4.4.2
  • Wireless N (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Ports: Micro USB, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, TF/MicroSD card slot for additional storage, DC-5V

1

Chromo ZX-RK2926

  • 7” 1024×600 Display
  • Rk2928 ARM Cortex-A9 Single Core 1Ghz
  • Mali-400 MP
  • 4GB
  • 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Dual Camera 8 Mega Pixel Rear
  • Android 4.2.2
  • Wireless N (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Ports: Micro USB, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, TF/MicroSD card slot for additional storage

3

Tablet Express DragonTouch Y88X

  • 7” 1024×600 HD Display
  • AllWinner A33 Quad Core 1.344Ghz
  • Mali-400 MP
  • 8GB
  • 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Dual Camera 2 Mega Pixel Front and Rear
  • Android 4.4.2
  • Wireless N (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Ports: Micro USB, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, TF/MicroSD card slot for additional storage, DC-5V

2

When I mentioned budget tablets, I really meant budget tablets; they range from $49.99 to $64.99, from Single core to Quad Core and all offer something a little different from the other.  This round up is not focusing on one tablet, but on all 3 to help you decide which would better suite your needs.

I will list each model and benchmarks from each of the tablets in order, each will have a screenshot from the tablet so that you can see for yourself what it scores.  One thing you may notice on all screenshots directly from the tablets, the screenshots will all be different resolutions, that is because the tablets themselves differ in resolution as well.

Antunu

Chromo ZX-RK2926

4

Tablet Express Dragon Touch Y88X

5

6

Alldaymall A88

7

8

Final Score

9

So this gives you a good idea so far on where we are in regards to graphical performance, for games although I will show you some games playing as I normally do.  The Chromo ZX-RK2926 did not fare so well, scoring almost half of what its competition scored, Antutu judging it as Poor.   The Alldaymall’s A88 scored a very decent 14357, Antutu itself captioning its performance as General and then finally the TabletExpress DragonTouch Y88X an impressive 16073, Antutu declaring it Good.

You might notice, that for the Chromo, there was no bar graph comparing it to other tablets and unfortunately I can’t say I forgot to paste it on here, even after a few runs, it would not print a result in that format.  If you read on, it was not by chance.

Let’s jump over to another game centric benchmark, the graphical benchmark of benchmarks FutureMarks 3DMark.  As we did in the previous tests, I will list them in order as originally presented.

3DMark

 Chromo ZX-RK2926

 10

Tablet Express Dragon Touch Y88X

11

Alldaymall A88

12

Final Score

13

Once again, it looks like the Chromo ZX-RK2926 could not keep up, only scoring 1476, the TabletExpress DragonTouch Y88X scoring 2695 and the Alldaymall A88 at 2609.  The initial Graphics test was higher on the Alldaymall, by 1.4 frames per second but then 2.6 FPS slower on the 2nd Graphics test.  Interesting the way that worked out but the overall difference in the final score was only by 86 points higher on the DragonTouch side.

One thing I will mention, that shows how rock solid these tablets are, even the Chromo is the fact that the minimum system requirements to run 3DMark on Android for memory at least 1Gig.  Each tablet in this round up had 512MB of RAM so the fact that they could run these benchmarks shows how powerful these little guys just are especially for the price range.  I will paste below the minimum requirements off of Futuremark’s site for 3DMark.

Minimum Requirements

  • OS: Android 3.1 or later
  • Memory: 1 GB (1024 MB)
  • Graphics: OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible
  • Storage: 155 MB

Oddly enough, sometimes when you run 3DMark on these tablets you will receive this message.

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I would think it should display this message every time you start up 3DMark, but it didn’t.

The last of the benchmarks, which tests overall system performance, again by Futuremark and again the benchmarks of benchmarks is PCMark.  This one will benchmark how everyday tasks are run and can give you a pretty detailed analysis on how the tablet will stand up.  You will find real world testing later on in this review, although PCMark does a pretty good job at it.

PCMark

 Chromo ZX-RK2926

14

 

15

Tablet Express Dragon Touch Y88X

16

 

17

Alldaymall A88

18

 

19

Final Score

20

PCMark looks like it might have evened out the playing field a bit.  As the tests have previously shown, the Chromo did not fare so well, but the Y88X came back up like a champ.  It seems like the Alldaymall that looked like it was going to come up ahead kind of fell back a bit.  Every single score, Web browsing, Video playback, writing and photo editing just seemed to throttle back.  The results were very scattered from the monitoring data.

The Chromo’s CPU performance did hover around its mid-point pretty consistently and spike a few times to the top, since it is a single core processor.  It looks like the overall CPU usage though was topped off.

The Y88X showed the average more towards the bottom, maybe it was not using its quad core potential properly, but imagine if it had, maybe with a future update either on firmware or OS level.  It seemed like it kept the CPU pretty well managed.

The Alldaymall had a very interesting result.  With its very decent scores previously, I was surprised by this low score and afterwards with its chart.  There must be a little more to the performance increase we saw in the previous tests that migth have played a part to the overall system performance.  The graph in this instance looks like a kindergarteners classwork, lines going everywhere and some thick brush strokes as well.  The CPU clocks seemed very broad as well as the averages, possilbly leading to shorter battery life with the spikes but we will see a little later in the review how that plays out.

As mentioned previously in the 3DMark portion of the review, these tablets should not have been able to run this benchmark but did relatively well for their classes.  FutureMarks PCMark also had a requirment of at least 1Gig of RAM and again these tablets only came with 512Megs of RAM.  PCMarks specs were slightly higher, requiring a base version of Android 4.1 and thankfully the lowest out of the bunch, the Chromo was 4.2.

Minimum Requirements

  • OS: Android 4.1 or later
  • Memory: 1 GB (1024 MB)
  • Graphics: OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible
  • Storage: 23 MB app only, 423 MB app + tests

On the subject of requirements, I will have to mention a little bit of an issue I ran into with the Chromo.  The Chromo comes with only 4GB’s of storage, half of what the other tablets come with and is about halfway taken up by the operating system and its extra’s.  The Alldaymall and DragonTouch came with 8GB’s of internal storage space, although all 3 come equiped with a Micro SD slot that will allow for additional storage of up to 32GB’s so you can offload some games, photo’s and more to the external storage if you had a card laying around.

After opening each tablet, I started off by loading the software that I would be testing, as I will list below.

  • 3DMark
  • Angry Birds Starwars
  • Antuntu
  • Batman Arkam Asylum
  • CPU-Z
  • Dead Trigger 2
  • PCMark

Installing all of these brought an issue to the Chromo.  The initial portion of PCMark was able to install with the full gamut of software I had previously installed but blocked me when I tried to install the remaining 432Megs it requires to run the tests.  The issue here was that I did not have enough space to install the remainder of PCMark so it kept erroring out, but never mentioned about the lack of space.

In order to get PCMark to run, I had to uninstall all of the software I had previously installed and then it finally worked.  It was again not the best score, but it did work and while not even meeting the minimum requirements.  I would think that you should be prompted when the tablet is out of space rather than just not working, that’s a problem in my book.  I am not sure if I could blame Chromo or Android for that issue, so I will leave it as an Android issue.

One of the big issues with all wireless devices is battery life, so of course I am going to give you some battery life testing.  The program I used before did not seem to work out so well, the program itself ran without an issue, but did not seem very taxing on the system.  Every day use on the tablet, at least for myself is reading some emails, watching some videos, looking at some pictures through facebook, some web browsing and some gaming.  While PCMark doesn’t test gaming performance for battery life, it does test video playback, browsing, writing, photo editing and so almost everything I do, it’s the perfect test.

Check out my results,

Chromo

21

Alldaymall

22

Dragon Touch Y88X

23

These power ratings speak perfectly as to why the other scores differed so much, it makes more sense now.

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As we can see, the Chromo did horribly, one of the ones I thought would do the best and the one that makes the least sense out of the 3.  I thought it would do well because how much power can a single core drain, but maybe it is not really well optimized or now everything is coded for at least a dual core.

This tablet has a single core, a decent resolution (for the bunch) but no hard drive capacity, the resolution must have been what drained all its power.  Out of the 3, it scored the highest in the writing score, web browsing score and almost there on work performance, all things that require only a single core and did relatively well on video playback and photo editing, the lowest but still decent.  It seems that it handled amazingly well the very simple tasks, but when it got to where it needed to handle video playback and use its decent resolution screen, I guess it was too much of a task.  At the end, only stayed alive for 1 hour and 37 minutes.

The real competition, as it has been throughout the entire review came from the Alldaymal and the Dragontouch.  These 2 traded blows albeit not incredibly ferociously, the AllDayMall beat the Dragontouch in Video playback score by a very decent 102 which makes sense being that it has a newer GPU and came amazingly close in the Photo Editing score, down by a measly 11 points again propelled by the GPU but held back by the CPU surely.  The Alldaymall, held up for a very nice 2 hours and 32 minutes but was beat by 20 minutes by the Dragontouch at 2 hours and 56 minutes.

Honestly, 20 minutes is not a big difference but it can mean tons when you are on a flight.  A 3 hour flight and you battery dies on your tablet and you are almost there, now you realize the guy sitting next to you is asleep leaning his head on your shoulder while pools of drool get deeper and deeper, at least you can smack him with your now dead tablet, am I right?

Here is a comparison of the cameras on these devices

Chromo ZX-RK2926

Dual Camera 8MB Rear

Rear

25

Tablet Express Dragon Touch Y88X

Dual Camera 2MB Front and Rear

Rear

26

Front

27

Alldaymall A88

Dual Camera 1MP Front and Rear

Rear

28

Front

29

So the Chromo, with its 8 Mega Pixel camera takes a very clear, true to life color picture as it should with its 8MP’s.  I would say its one saving grace but then the tests seem to take a very weird turn.  The Dragon Touch has a 2MP camera but the pictures are a dull, mostly devoid of color.  Its said it is 2MP on each side, but maybe it’s a shared 2MP so its 1MP per camera, just a guess. While the AllDayMall’s 1Mp camera seem to capture the colors nicely, not perfect but very nicely.

The Chromo won on this one oddly enough the winner of every other test so far took last place.  I would say though that most cell phone camera’s have a better resolution than all of these, possibly aside from the Chromo so I would not put too much weight on the camera results, unless you are a diehard tablet camera person.

Many of you will be using the tablets for video playback for movies and quick clips and for gameplay, I got your covered.  Check out this video covering playback of Tinkerbell, a pretty nice clip to show some color.

You can see here in the video playback where the resolution comes into play, the AllDayMall’s odd resolution did affect the video playback, bringing about some borders around the videos but still the video didn’t look too bad.  The Chromo actually had the best sound out of the lot, but not much better.  Now to my favorite part, here is the gaming.

As you saw, the Chromo was not able to handle the huge beast that is BatMan Arkham Origin’s.  It did play Dead Trigger II, although not amazingly well and of course played Angry Birds StarWars perfectly well.  The DragonTouch did pretty well; no real issues and the AllDayMall did show that out of the bunch, its WIFI signal was not the best.  During testing of Dead Trigger II, it needs to make a connection to the internet, which the DragonTouch and Chromo were able to handle, and the AllDayMall was not.  I had to move my testing area while still downstairs, directly under the WIFI signal.

Also, I did want to mention, I bought a protector for the tablets as I will be giving one to my son and one to my daughter so since they are young it needs to be a beefy case.  I bought one from Tablet Express as it looked universal, and it seems like it was.  Check it out over each of the tablets.

Dragon Touch Y88X

30

Chromo

31

AllDayMall

32

As you can see, the cover works perfectly for all 3 of the tablets in every aspect.  It seems to cover the buttons perfectly, speakers, cameras (although the Chromo only had one) Micro SD card slot, just perfect.  Not the prettiest color, but it is nice, even my daughter loves it and she is a fashionista but majorly, it protects the tablet nicely.

They also have a case that is meant for the Dragon Touch, but being that the rubber case is also and fits for all 3, this one should work too.  It is a leather case that doubles as a stand, check it out.

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In case anyone was interested, the stand I used in the review was the TechMatte TM-STD-M02 I reviewed previously here, it is an awesome stand and very affordable.

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So that’s about it guys.  I have given you all the information I can complete with benchmarking results.  My picks in order are the following

1. TabletExpress DragonTouch Y88X

2. AllDayMall A88

3. Chromo ZX-RK2926

The TabletExpress DragonTouch Y88X, showed overall best performance scores all across the board although the camera was not the greatest and had no Bluetooth.  The AllDayMall came close to the performance of the TabletExpress even though it was only a Dual Core and even though the Camera specs were identical, the picture quality was better on the AllDayMall.  It could not keep upon Battery life, you would think it would be a little better and it is great that it has Bluetooth but its WIFI connection was very weak in comparison to the TabletXpress and Chromo and had the lowest resolution of the bunch as well.  The Chromo was the little engine that could, it was weakest out of the pack but it tried its hardest to keep up with only one core.  It impressed with its 8Mega Pixel camera and its very nice speaker but again at this price point, the TabletExpress DragonTouch Y88X dominates.

 

Iggy Castillo

Iggy Castillo

Senior Editor an Reviewer at Dragonblogger.com
I have spent many years in the PC boutique name space as Product Development Engineer for Alienware and later Dell through Alienware's acquisition and finally Velocity Micro. During these years I spent my time developing new configurations, products and technologies with companies such as AMD, Asus, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA and more. The Arts, Gaming, New & Old technologies drive my interests and passion. Now as my day job, I am an IT Manager but doing reviews on my time and my dime.
Iggy Castillo

@zangza

I love the arts and technology. IT Manager by day at Jewett Automation and Reviewer by night at https://t.co/eYqx0uJofz and my own at @ThisBytesForYou
@EdCrisler This should be marked as adult content, I have to go repent now lol - 2 weeks ago
Iggy Castillo