APC Australia


Good design and some nice software tweaks, but the screen and performanc­e reflect the price. ★★★☆☆


64GB, $379 | from oppostore.com

No prizes for guessing where Oppo’s 10.4in tablet gets its inspiratio­n from, but look beyond the surface and the Pad Air is a very different beast to the iPad Air. There’s a lot to like about the Oppo tablet’s exterior, from the dark metallic shell with 3D textured strip, to the slim sub-7mm thickness and light 440g weight. It’s a very easy device to manage on the go.

From the screen to the core spec, however, we’re back in budget tablet territory. The screen has what Oppo calls a 2K resolution, which translates into 2,000 x 1,200. Clarity isn’t a problem, but it doesn’t go particular­ly bright at 347cd/m2, and in direct comparison to more expensive tablets its colours are a little drab. That’s despite strong coverage of both the sRGB and DCI-P3 gamuts, while colour accuracy isn’t a problem. Yet it’s too reflective to use in sunlight and you don’t get the depth of colour or the vibrancy of the better tablet screens.

The compromise­s don’t end there. You get Wi-Fi 5 rather than Wi-Fi 6, along with a 5MP camera at the front and an 8MP camera at the rear. Both are fine for casual snaps and web chats, but detail and exposure aren’t brilliant. Most seriously, the Snapdragon 680 chipset – familiar from low-cost smartphone­s – isn’t fast enough for intensive use. It’s better than the MediaTek chipsets used in the Amazon Fire devices, in that it will actually run the 3D Mark Wild Life test, but it languishes towards the bottom of the benchmark tables.

On its smartphone­s, Oppo’s ColorOS software is one of the better Android variants, and Oppo has implemente­d some useful tablet extras here: we’re fans of the effective split-screen and sidebar views for multitaski­ng, and the option to cast your smartphone screen to your tablet. Battery life is merely average, with nearly ten hours of 1080p video streaming from a single charge, and the same can be said of recharging speeds, going from zero to 23 percent after a 30-minute charge.

If it seems we’re damning the Oppo Pad Air with faint praise, it’s a decent buy for under $400. It’s not fast and the screen could be brighter, but it could still work as a cheap browsing and streaming device.

 ?? ?? The screen isn’t the brightest.
The screen isn’t the brightest.

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