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Polaroid’s New Android 4.0 ICS Tablet is Now in Stores (And in my Hands)

April 14th, 2012 by · 53 Comments · hardware reviews

Last weekend I posted a review of one of Polaroid’s 7″ tablets, the PMID701C, and today I have my hands on the next model, the PMID701I.

I happened across this tablet at BigLots this morning where it was selling for $99, the same price as the earlier model. I wasn’t expecting to see it there, and I had been planning to get a different tablet. But due to an overwhelming itch of curiosity, I got it.

I have both tablets on my desk at the moment and I cannot tell the difference without turning them on. Aside from the small detail of the firmware (earlier model runs Android 2.3 while the later model runs Android¬† 4.0), they are literally identical. That being the case, I’m not sure at the moment that I will follow through with a review of the later model; I believe it will work just as well as its predecessor.

But there is at least one other important point which I can answer. Last weekend I posted instructions on how to add Android Market to the PMID701C, the previous model (same hardware but running Android 2.3 Gingerbread).  Today I can confirm that those instructions work with the later model as well. I have installed Kindle, Aldiko, and Angry Birds from the Android Market. They work.

This is an important detail because I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work. I thought the different firmwares would be a stumbling block but I was wrong.

Update: But after using it for half an hour I think I do see a difference in performance. Angry Birds is considerably more laggy on the later tablet, which runs Android 4.0. That might be a good reason to get the earlier model.

Even so, this is very good news because I now have a tablet running the latest generation of Android plus Android Market. For a $99 tablet this is a very nice deal.

Specs

  • 7″ capacitive touchscreen (800×480)
  • Android v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1GHZ CPU
  • 4GB Flash, microSD card
  • Wifi
  • speaker/mike
  • g-sensor
  • TTS
  • Video out (but no cables provided)

Tags:

53 Comments so far ↓

  • Ravi

    That’s a pretty positive review for a budget ICS tablet. How do you think it might do as a toddler-tablet? Mine is a little too interested in my Transformer, among other things, so I’ve been looking for a cheap alternative.

  • cookie

    I have yet to own a tablet/phone that required a hack to install the Android market, or used a custom ROM, be able to install any of the Oxford dictionary apps that I purchased from the market. It is a pisser

  • Myself

    Nate, do you know of the cheapest “decent” tablet that comes with Google Play included? By decent I mean capacitive multitouch and more than four hours of battery life.

    I know that Samsung has priced the Tab 2 7.0 at $250, so other brands probably have gone much lower, right?

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  • john

    How is this tablet if used mainly as an e-reader? Thanks!

  • steve

    how can I free up the internal memory space by deleting apps already installed on the tablet. I bought this today based on your excellent reviews of this tablet. Thank you.

    • Nate Hoffelder

      You can delete apps from the app menu under settings.

      But I’m not sure it’s worth it. The space reserved for the apps cannot be used to store other files. And the existing apps don’t take up all that much of the space reserved for them.

      • steve

        Thanks, I thought I could use that space to store other files. So I’ll need a micro sd card to put more music and movie files on it. Again thank you for the advice.

  • steve

    Also what’s the best way to get the market on the device. How do I to get an e-reader app?

    Thank you.

  • Jonathan

    Nate, I’m looking for a cheap tablet that I can use with students at school. It needs to be able to run Flash apps and also some kind of productivity software, for word processing and presentations. What would you recommend? Please remember, it must be cheap….and yet function.

  • Mickey

    Have you had any luck getting Adobe Flash installed and working on the “I” model?

    I would like to be able to watch Hulu on it.

    Thanks.

  • Webster Phreaky

    You should really point out that the screen is cheapy PLASTIC, not Glass, certainly not Gorilla Glass! This screen point, only 512MB RAM, only 4GB Mem, no camera and no HDMI or USB 2.0, this is no bargain for $100, let alone $129 or $149.

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  • rick

    can you get netflix on it

  • Mike

    NetFlix plays 10% of the time.

  • steve

    Would you let me know (if you can) why when I go to facebook on the tablet it shows differently than what I see on the web on my computer. Facebook launches on the tabglet okay it just shows older post on the home page not the most recent like on the website from my computer.

    Thanks

  • Kibbles

    Is this tablet available in the UK as I am looking for a tablet to take to college.

    Thanks

  • Cilla

    Hello Nate,
    I have this tabet,it’s pretty nice to be a budget tablet,hoping to buy a nicer tablet in the future.I have a question maybe you can answer for me.Can you use a external mic on this tablet,such as a cell phone headset with mic.would like better mic quality since the internal mic is not very good.Hope to hear from you soon

  • Cilla

    Hello Nate,
    Thank you for replying to me,have enjoyed reading your website.hoping to learn more about android .

  • Cilla

    Hello Nate, I have a question ,I would like to have adobe flash player,not having Google play where can I get it.studying on how to root this tablet still..hope to hear from you soon.

  • Cilla

    Great,thank you

  • Dylan

    I noticed in your review for the IdolPad you mentioned stress testing it with large old scanned .pdfs. Does this one fair any better? I’m looking to get a low-end tablet/reader mainly for some 700-800 page scanned .pdfs that are ~50kbs (some work files I’d like to have easy access to read). I could always chop them up into smaller files, but the less of that I need to do, the better.

    Originally I was just going to get a low-end Kindle, but if I can spend a few extra bucks and get App functionality for doing other things as well, it may be worth it.

    • Nate Hoffelder

      I’m not completely sure, but I would expect most of the budget tablets to choke on large scanned PDFs. TBH, after the first couple choked I stopped testing,

      If you’ll give me until this weekend I’ll pull out all the budget tablets I have and test them.

      • Dylan

        That sounds fantastic to me. I wasn’t even considering tablets originally (just the Kindle e-reader) but when I saw Big Lots had this on sale it seemed worth consideration.

  • Stephanie

    Can anyone help-my daughter is 11 and would like to get a Kindle Fire or Nook, to read on and also download apps/play games on and watch movies on. She is saving her money to get one. I saw the Polaroid ANdroid for $90 at Biglots. It says it has a nook app and she can play games, etc. Would this be just as nice as the nook, or kindle fire and serve its purpose well for a 11 year old?

  • McKenna

    Big Lots has it for $90 this week :) I have an android phone and would love to use the apps on a larger format without spending a fortune. Based on your review, I’m heading to Big Lots tomorrow!! Thanks! http://www.biglots.com/browseItem/as-advertised/8181

  • Irene Worley

    I’m considering on getting this tablet. However, I want to make sure that it has the things that I’m looking for.
    Bluetooth
    USB port
    Addtional memory storage
    download pictures
    Also capibility to download kindle reader

    Can you help me with this decision? Big lots will have it on sale starting Sunday for 89.00 and before I buy, I want to make sure this is the right tablet for me.

    • Thomas

      No Bluetooth. It has a mini-usb port but does not come with a host adapter, so you’ll have to shell out a few bucks if you want to connect a peripheral to it. It does have a micro-sd slot. Not sure what you mean by ‘download pictures’. It can use the Kindle reader.

  • Cilla

    Hello Nate ,
    I have a question,can you tell me what Adobe Flash player this tablet uses,since i can not access Google play…I have tried Adobe flash 11.2 from freewarelovers and it install’s but still doesn’t support flash.are thier any other options

  • Cilla

    Thomas,can you tell me what Flash player this supports i have not been able to find one .

  • Cilla

    Thank you Thomas.hope i can get it to work

  • Borg Nexus

    You can go back to GB if you dont like ICS. It is more laggy. The roms for both GB and ICS are on the manufacturers wesite. EXACT SAME PROCEDURE.

  • Kristy

    I am wondering if this is good for gaming? I am considering getting 1 for each of my kids (ages 3 – 9) and they love Angry Birds, Where’s my Water and Minecraft. Also, is the WiFi connection pretty good? One more, are there parental controls so we can control how much they spend on downloads? Thanks!

  • Carol

    Can you load ePub books and also can you use overdrive.com to load books on the Polaroid Android? Also, what is available for games like video poker. Thx for your help…my 81 yr old mother wants to read and play games.

  • Maxine

    I know very little about computers and nothing about these tablets. If I buy a tablet, do I need a subscription to a company like Clear or Cricket to access the internet? Can I use it as a GPS system to get directions to addresses? Should I buy a warranty or do they come with’ a manufacturer’s warranty? This is Black Friday and I can buy one for $60 on an electronic company’s website or $85 on Brad’s Deals on the internet. I’m a senior with short-term memory loss and need something that is very easy to use. I appreciate any help you can give me.

    • Nate Hoffelder

      Most tablets have Wifi, not the 3g\4g connection which would require a contract with Verizon/Cricket/Sprint. That means you’ll need to have an accessible Wifi network if you want to browse the web using your tablet.

      That $65 tablet probably does not have GPS capability, so it would not be much use for maps. There is a chance that you might be able to install Google Maps, though. This app has an offline mode, but I don’t know if the app will work on such a cheap tablet.

  • Vickie

    Help – my nice little Emerson EM543 suddenly stopped doing anything. It’s almost like the connections at the end aren’t connecting. The charge cable doesn’t show the charge ‘battery’. The on button doesn’t work. It was low charge, so I plugged it into the computer to charge, and that was the last time it worked. (p.s. Win 7 doesn’t have a driver for Android).
    I noticed that the micro-usb plug is longer than on other cables. But I’m using the one that came with the unit (with no issues until today).

    • Vickie

      Emerson 4.3 – Android 4.04. it finally got charged back up. But I can’t figure out how to use the Amazon appstore. I’ve got apps under my acct. But when I open the Appstore, it just has a search box. No place to download the apps from my acct,
      Please refer me to ‘appstore for dummies’!

      • Stephen

        Amazon app store not working seems to be a constant problem on this tablet. The store will work ok, then if I put thetablet to sleep or off the store acts as you describe. The only fix I have found is to delete the app and re-download it from Amazon. But then it happens again. The getjar app store does not have this problem, but it is much more limited. Also, try downloading the Google Play store that Nate has a link to above.

  • Rob

    just purchased 7 in. polaroid 703c for $70.00. works great. loaded flash player per instructions. bought 16gb sd card, more memory than will ever use. watching movies, using as kindle reader, etc. etc. cannot understand why anyone would want to spend more money other than to have gps or a camera; however, have that on my android/phone.
    thanks for all your info.

  • shawna west

    i just bought my 11 yr old the Polaroid PMID710X running version jelly bean (4.1.1) 49.99 @ toy r us. Will the play store worl around work? Also, keeps telling me that it has detected that my device is “rooted”?

    • Nate Hoffelder

      It should work, but I won’t know until you test it.

      And you can ignore that message; all the Polaroid tablets are rooted. They come that way from the factory.

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