The Bottom Line
This Matricom Tab Nero X2 tablet performs well for the price. While it won't be able to handle intensive apps and games, it is good at media consumption, web browsing or playing games like Angry Birds, Temple Run, Subway Surfers. However, the poor battery life of only about 2 hours and few design related issues makes this slate little bit unimpressive. As it stands, this Matricom tablet is a good, but not great entry-level slate. You decide what you want, a great entry-level slate that can last longer like $129 Asus Memopad 7 HD or this Matricom tablet.Read full review...
What You Will Like...
- Good value for money
- MicroSD slot
- Dual cameras
- mini HDMI and mini USB ports
- Netflix, Skype & YouTube works well
- Google Play app store
What You Won't Like...
- No bluetooth and GPS
- Poor viewing angles and glare at certain angles
- Very poor battery backup
- Only 4GB internal storage and 512MB RAM
Matricom Tab Nero X2, launched on June 19, 2013 is an upgraded version of the original TAB Nero. This new Matricom tablet costs $80 (up from $60) packs double the processing power of the original Tab Nero and a slightly improved display. But, does that make this slate better than other cheap Android tablets like Tagital A13, Zeepad 7.0 or DragonTouch Y88? Find out just how much value this tablet offers overall, right here in this Matricom Tab Nero X2 review.
What comes in the box? The package includes the device itself, a charger, a mini USB cable for connecting the slate to PC and a mini USB to USB adapter for connecting USB devices to the tablet. There is also a stylus pen and a poor quality earphones included. Moreover, the included user manual is poorly written which makes it of little use.
Design & Build
If you put the Matricom Tab Nero X2 next to its predecessor, Tab Nero, you’ll notice that Matricom used the same styling cues for both the devices. Like its predecessor, it is thin and light enough to hold comfortably in one hand, such as when riding the subway. The back of the Tab Nero X2 tablet features Matricom and Tab Nero logos, a single speaker on the bottom left side and a 1.3 MP camera on the top center side (when held in landscape orientation). Along the top edge are mini USB, mini HDMI and charging ports, a power button and microphone. On the right are a volume rocker button, a microSD card slot and a headphone jack. The front also has 1.3 MP camera placed on the top center and a thick black bezel running across the display. We, however, wish that the logos on the back side were not that huge and black bezels were narrow thereby reducing the overall width and height of the tablet. In short, a fresh and unique design would have set it apart from the competition.
For the price, we weren’t expecting it to be of premium quality. Therefore, we weren’t disappointed much as we didn’t set our expectations high. Built mainly using cheap plastic the slate lacks build quality like that of $220 Google Nexus 7 16GB or $129 Asus Memopad 7 HD. With this device the saying “you get what you pay for” fits perfectly. So, if you need something that can last longer, then $100 Lenovo Ideatab A1000 7-Inch 8GB Tablet or $129 Asus Memopad 7 HD are worth checking.
Display & Audio
The multi-touch 7 inch display features the higher 1024 x 600 pixels resolution over the original Nero having 800 x 600 pixels resolution. This slight improvement does make pictures and videos look better than they do on its predecessor. But the screen isn’t very sensitive and doesn’t always respond to your touches specially when used with the stylus. If this seems less, issues like poor viewing angles and glares at certain angles are enough to make you worry. Perhaps this is the best you can get for the price.
There is only single speaker located on its back side. The speaker is loud and audible — not fantastic though. Moreover, when you place the device flat on a table, the sound gets muffled. This shouldn’t be of much problem though, but, we feel you should be aware of that. For better listening experience, plug in a good headphone into its 3.5mm headphone jack which gives stereo output. And, don’t even think of using bundled earphones as they nowhere fit in the good headphone category.
A robust x15 ARM Dual Core CPU with a top frequency of 1.2GHz and 512MB DDR3 RAM are what that powers this device. The performance is greatly improved over its predecessor which is equipped with a single core AllWinner A13 1.2GHz CPU. The screen rotates well. However, the performance is no way near to Nexus 7, but, it has enough juice power to get things done. It entirely depends on usage how well it performs. Like if you don’t run too much apps simultaneously or run intensive apps, you are unlikely to get into trouble. But, if you do so, the tablet freezes at times. After all, despite being touted as a dual core processor the processor is still a weak one.
Operating System & Apps
The Tab Nero X2 is using Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean OS and comes with Google Play app store. It also comes loaded with several apps like Netflix, Facebook, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Adobe Flash and YouTube in addition to the standard array of Google apps. Web browsing via Chrome browser is okay, it takes few seconds to load pages though, but, that’s normal. Both Netflix and YouTube works fine without any trouble. But, the video watching experience can be taken to next level by connecting the slate to HDTV via the slate’s mini HDMI port. However, you may need to spend few bucks extra buying a mini HDMI to HDMI female adapter or mini HDMI to HDMI cable. And, if you want to play and view videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet, then install XBMC which works fine as well in this tablet.
The Mali400 High Performance 3D Gaming GPU present in this slate is enough to run games like Angry Birds, Temple Run, Subway Surfers, Candy Crush Saga at good playable frame rates. Not bad for occasional less intensive gaming.
Having only 4GB internal storage (out of which 2.5 GB is usable) greatly limits the amount of apps and data you can store in this tablet. Wondering where the rest 1.5 GB goes? Then it is taken up by operating system and other system files. Therefore you can’t install too many apps in it, because if you do so, the slate runs out of storage space real quick which can also negatively affect its performance. But, the good news is it does have a microSD card slot which can be used to expand the storage space further by upto 32GB. You can also plug in USB devices like flash drives, hard disk drives or even 3G dongles into its mini USB port as well using the bundled mini USB to USB adapter.
The Matricom Tab Nero X2 has dual cameras which not only allows you to take pictures but also allows you to record videos. But, the problem is that it records videos at a low resolution, 640 x 480 pixels to be specific and takes pictures that lacks clarity. However, that was expected as both the cameras are low resolution cameras. It should be noted that we are not sure about the resolution of cameras as specs don’t mention it, but, 1.3 MP for both front and rear cameras is the best guess we could make at this time because the device image at Amazon mentions 1.3 MP integrated webcams.
The original Matricom Tab Nero had 3000mAh battery, but, its successor Matricom Tab Nero X2 has slightly lower capacity battery of 2800mAh. Its beyond our understanding why they reduced battery capacity at first place. But, this decrease means the battery backup that this slate can now offer is only around 2 – 3 hours at max with WiFi enabled. On the contrary, devices like $129 ASUS MeMOPad 7 HD offers around 10 hours of battery backup under similar conditions.