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JXD S7800B - Android Gaming Tablet Review

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  • JXD S7800B - Android Gaming Tablet Review

    I'm not in the habit of doing reviews, so do be gentle with your replies. Feel free to ask questions.

    Q: Who are JXD?
    A: One of the more 'niche' Chinese manufacturers of Android tablets. Their 'specialty' seems to be devices aimed at retro and gaming enthusiasts. Many of their past offerings have been, ah, poorly executed and sometimes of questionable quality but they seem to be getting in to their stride of late.

    Q: What's a S7800B?
    A: Their latest gaming tablet. Think of it as an oversize Android PSP and you won't be too far off.
    A: 7" IPS multi-touch screen, all the usual Android tablet bits 'n bobs like a G-sensor, WiFi, SD-Slot. Rumored to have BlueTooth, but this only seems to be available under certain OS builds. No GPS - did you really expect that too?
    A: Currently running Android JellyBean but KitKat is available.
    A: 2Mb RAM, 8 or 16GB of storage. (Worth checking carefully when buying which one you're getting)
    A: Quad Core RK3188 1.6Ghz CPU with a Quad Core Mali400 GPU - more than enough for the (good) 1280x800 screen. Some of these devices come with a cheaper RK3188T CPU which are rumored to be less overclockable and known to be troublesome with some patched kernels.
    A: Not a super-light device, but personally I like the 'meaty' feel.

    A: I bought my 16Gb version for £87.00 + free shipping from DinoDirect! A proper bargain I'd say.

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    -Two Sony VAIO P's?-

    As can be seen this gaming tablet is about the size of a Sony VAIO P ultra-portable. Also useful to know when looking about for a case to keep it in - a perfect fit as it happens.

    Closer look:

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    -A Handsome Bruit-
    (smells nice too!)

    Not a bad looking bit of kit, I'd say. And make no mistake, this is a well made and well designed device. It feels good in the hands, no signs of poor finishing or creaks. The buttons are all well placed (IMO) and all have a good positive action. The analogue sticks are 'genuine' separate analogue sticks, a first for an Android device like this - in the past they've been 'fakes' wired up the same as the D-Pad(s). If I was to be ultra-picky the analogue sticks are a little taller than I'd like but I think I'm alone in this - every mention I've seen on the 'net has been very positive about them. It does have front (VGA) and rear (1280x1024?) facing cameras - not great but they work fine and I'd consider them a bonus for a device like this.

    Round the sides:

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    -Top, Bottom, Left, Right-

    Top: Four independent shoulder buttons, well placed (IMO) with a good, positive action. An HDMI port, USB port, Headphones, and 5v dc power. Ah, and should you wish to use your telly as a secondary display but don't want to be hooked up via an HDMI cable it will do wireless output - TV allowing.
    Bottom: MicroSD slot. Supposedly 32Gb but I've yet to come across a China tablet that won't take a 64Gb one. I've not tried with this tablet as yet.
    Left: Some might say the power button is in a silly place, but in practice I've had no incidents.
    Right: Volume rocker, no issues with accidental pressing. The front-facing speakers are pretty good, and loud when you want them to be.

    More info and piccies in a bit.
    Last edited by Charlie; 17 May 2014, 13:59.
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  • #2
    Shaping up to be a nice reveivew, thanks for sharing.

    Have you owned the previous model? I reviewed it here:

    I'd be keen to hear options from someone whose owned both on if it's worth the upgrade, I still use mine daily to browse from the sofa and play games/emulators. It still runs great and the battery still keeps a decent charge.

    The fact I've had mine for a while and it's still going strong suggests a quality product.

    By the way I use custom firmware (NCCE 1.1) on mine, is that available to yours too or do you use the default JDX software?

    Finally I did open a discussion thread when I first got it as I had some troubles but since resolved it's been pretty solid:

    (The person I bought it off had deleted a load of essential programs which is why it didn't work properly)
    Last edited by fitzsteve; 17 May 2014, 14:18.
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    • #3
      Of course a nice device is no good if the hardware isn't up to the job, especially if like me you tend to drive these machines hard running emulators for retro-gaming and the occasional FPS. A good example would be one of JXD's previous attempts; the S5110. Lovely in every respect but for the 1Ghz single core Amilogic CPU - not enough to smoothly run a PS1 emulator...
      ...The RK3118 and it's Mali400 GPU has proven to have more than enough grunt for pretty well everything I have thrown at it. Ok, GameCube and Wii emulation via Dolphin is a little too tough but I'm not aware that any Android device has the necessary grunt. (Well, my 8 core Pipo T9 just might) This CPU isn't too much of a power hog, I'd say a charge will give about 4-6 hours heavy gaming with WiFi on, much longer for light use. The RK3188, GPU, and especially associated RAM, are generally very overclockable. (maybe not so much the RK3188T)

      A common issue with Chinese made tablets is poor WiFi reception. I'm pleased tosay I've had no such issue with the S7800B. Why 'B'? There is also a S7800A which looks exactly the same - It isn't! Less RAM and a slower A31 CPU, although the A31's GPU is reputed to be a little stronger than the Mali400 that comes with the RK3188.

      More Photos:
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      -Attack of the Green Blobs-

      Here's a couple of shots showing the S7800B running Respawnables, currently my favorite Android FPS. It does a jolly fine job, and the second image shows the S7800B's secret weapon. If your game or emulator doesn't support the hardware keys out of the box, just press the little joypad button below the left speaker and you can assign the hardware buttons to the on-sreen ones. The app will remember your configurations for later, so once done forever sorted. The only small 'gotcha' is Android for this device is configured to hide the status bar at the bottom of the screen. If you reconfigure it to show/hide make sure you stick to one way the other or your configured buttons may move off their activation spots.


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      -Emulators Galore!-

      The screenshot above shows just a small selection of the emulators available under Android. The platform is very well catered for indeed. The only major problem is there's no Android RiscOS emulator... Oh how I wish there was one. Some day I sincerely hope.
      The version of Android JellyBean that comes with the tablet includes a copy of Happy Chick. I am genuinely amazed to see Happy Chick can be found on Google Play for download - especially for those new to Android emulators it's an excellent one-stop shop for all your emulation needs, pretty much. The authors of Happy Chick obviously don't give two hoots about copyright.

      In Action:
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      -PS1 Cash Team Racing, NDS Mario Kart-

      CTR is one of my favorite PS1 games and plays perfectly on the S7800B. Plenty of Android devices can manage that trick but here we have the game in all it's OpenGL glory, with all the eye-candy options turned up to maximum. It never really bothered me that most Android devices don't have the grunt to emulate Nintendo's DS as the platform has very few games that I'm interested in. Having said that emulators (especially DraStic) have come on in leaps an bounds and this device has enough speed to do a good job, including the addition of a few eye-candy filters.

      So that's about it. I really can't recommend the JXD S7800B highly enough, especially if you keep an eye out for a good deal.
      The one 'mod' that I would recommend is to ditch the factory software for one of the hacked versions. For reasons I don't understand JXD's ROM is configured to leave only 1Gb of internal memory with the rest specified as SD card. Without a bit of faffing you'll run out of storage for installed software pretty quickly.
      Over on FreakTab you'll find a few 'Riley ROMs' for this device. 1.1 is the latest JellyBean version, 1.2+ are the KitKat versions. I'd suggest a careful read of the relevant threads to decide which is best for you. (I've stuck with 1.1 for now)
      There is also a 'Supercharger' ROM to be found with a quick Google. More overclocking options but I'd say it's harder to install successfully.

      Retro gaming heaven is a S7800B tablet by JXD.

      - - - Updated - - -

      Hi Steve,
      Thank you for the interest and the info. Your review for the 7300 does look rather more 'professional' and in depth than my quick burst of typing, and was most interesting to read.

      I think I must have been doing part 2 at the same time as your reply. I haven't had the chance to play with a 7300 but from my experience with a few Chinese tablets, and your own review, I would guess the S7800B is a good deal more 'powerful' than the 7300, but probably doesn't bring anything extra for emulation up to PS1 N64 level. I bet just about every Android-native game worth having rus fine on the 7300 too...
      ...the S7800 has enough for DS emulation and seems ok with Dreamcast emulation too. (I've not done too much with the latter as yet) I guess this is where the 7300 struggles, true? For me there are very few DS games I'd give house room to (each to their own) and I've yet to properly investigate the joys of Dreamcast gaming - I know, what HAVE I been doing?

      The S7800B is at least the equal to any other tablet I've used for more 'normal' Android tablet use, I presume the same is true for the 7300? The 1280x800 screen is really good, if not amazingly high resolution by today's standards, but I'd say one doesn't want to strain the GPU in a gaming tablet too much with ultra-high resolutions...
      ...putting it another way I can't help feeling 'retina displays' are over-hyped. My 'old' 10.1" 1280x800 tablet has a much lower ppi than my 'new' 8.9" PiPO T9 with 1920x1200 but really doesn't look that 'inferior' in a side-by-side comparison.
      Last edited by Charlie; 17 May 2014, 15:13.
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