A review of the Laser MID-771 Android Tablet

I can summarise this in one line:  This is the shittiest tablet I have ever had the misfortune to try and use.

But going into more details:  I never wanted to use a tablet but my mother decided that she wanted one (despite having no aptitude for using computers, at all).  She went ahead and bought the cheapest one she found, from Dick Smith Electronics, the Laser MID-771.  Then I was lumbered with setting it up, and showing her how to use it.  It wasted ages of my time trying to come to grips with it, and it's next to impossible to teach her how to use it.

It's the mindset of a lot of technically incompetent people, buy the cheapest to save money, then end up with an awful product.  Or decide that they don't need the fastest and biggest (which is fair enough), but they go for the complete opposite, and buy the smallest and slowest, ending up with something that's utterly useless to do anything with:  A computer that barely manages to boot up, never mind actually make use of the thing.

And, oh yes, they do make computers that are under-qualified to do what's required of them.  The idea being that you will buy a cheap computer, and then purchase some optional extras (such as a faster CPU, instead, and more RAM), to make it somewhat better (though often not good enough), and people simply do not bother to upgrade the computer beyond the basic starting point.  You would have been much better off buying a better computer in the first place, but you just can't convince people not to waste money on bad products.

Now I wouldn't buy anything made by Laser, to start off with.  They make hideously terrible products, and this is no exception.  In general, they're badly designed, have poor quality control, their products are unreliable and don't last very long.  In specifics, this tablet takes an age to start up, and then doesn't have enough processing grunt to do more than one thing at a time.  Unfortunately, tablets don't quit applications that you start (when you've actually finished with them), they just put them into the background, and run the next thing that you start, in front of it.  So it doesn't take long before the thing grinds to a near halt.

You can go into the inner workings of the thing, delving through the menus, forcing things to quit.  But that's painful to do, not always possible (as it's not designed to work that way), and only gets you out of a bind in the here and now.  The next time you run something you're right back in the same situation—the thing being bogged down by several applications running at the same time.  Made worse if you have more than one user, as you get even more accumlated programs sitting in the background.  As if that's not bad enough, it's even worse when one of those applications is poorly programmed.  Which is a far-from-rare occurance.

So I've decided that I never want to have anything to do with this, again.  It's a pain to use, with a dreadfully slow and inaccurate touch screen, too-slow-to-use processor, tiny screen, and awful programs.  I don't even like large, high-end, tablets, for what it's worth.

Mum takes this to her friends to show off (heck knows how, as she can't do anything with it), and lets them install some things for her.  Then never actually uses it herself.

I decided to take another look at it, see if I can do anything with it, but the applications her friends have installed include malware/adware/crapware.  It's not only made her login a disaster area, it's also messed up mine (e.g. hijacked the browser, so it always pre-loads two or three crap websites, and you can't get the on-screen keyboard to pop-up so that you can go to websites that you want to go to).

I decide enough's enough, and try to remove the obvious problems, but don't get very far.  It's like the bad old days of running Windows (I gave that up over a decade ago), where programs install a pile of crap, but uninstalling them only removes part of them, leaving behind the stuff that causes system problems.  I can't remove what it's done in a straight-forward manner.

The last straw was deciding that I'll just factory reset it, only to find out the device flatly refuses to let you.  The two stated ways of resetting the tablet (which I had to search for on the internet as it comes with no useful information), are to:  Either power-up the device with your fingers held down on the power button and the volume-up button, for a few seconds.  Or to power-up with your fingers held down on the power button, the volume-up button, and the volume down-button, for a few seconds.  Then choose an option from a reset menu, which never appears.

Don't buy this product, new or second hand.  And if someone gifts you with one of them, you should punch them in the face.  Laser ought to be castigated for ripping off consumers and wasting planetary resources making such crap products.

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