CPU: 1.4GHz dual-core RK3066 processor
Display: 8-inch IPS Capacitive Touchscreen
Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768
Dimensions: 7.9″x 6.3″x 0.39″
Weight 0.97 lbs
Operating System: Android 4.1
Storage: 8GB Internal Flash Memory
In and Out Ports: HDMI Port- USB OTG Port
Camera: 2MP front-facing camera
- Bright and clear display
- Sleek facade
- HDMI port
- Good battery life
- Surface turns hot after hours of use
- Blacks out when left idle for sometime
- No rear camera
If you are after a budget-friendly device to keep you mobile, the AOC Breeze MW0831 might be the Nutella to your Sandwich.
The demand for tablets these days is like the craze for portable cassette tape players or the more popularly called “Walkman” back in the day. Before, almost everyone you ran into on the street carried one for listening to their favorite music. Now, during your typical stroll around the mall, you occasionally pass by someone holding a tablet. Tablets have entered the mainstream market, although some may still not see it as a viable device option because a smartphone can offer the same functionalities. Still, it has gained a huge fan following that has got manufacturers competing to be on top.
AOC, a manufacturer of PC monitors and televisions, has joined the tablet bandwagon, releasing their Breeze tablet line. At first glance, the Breeze MW0831 looks eerily like the more famous fruit-branded tablet without the round home button and the huge logo at the back, but it does have its own charm. The unit I reviewed was in black with a smooth, silver-glazed plastic back, which one could easily mistake for metal. Out of the box, this 8-incher stuns with its minimalist design and sleek exterior. Carrying it around feels like holding a hardbound copy of a novel-quite hefty for an 8-inch tab, but not that much added weight in your bag.
Taking a tour around the device’s façade, basic features can easily be accessed. The volume rocker is located on the side, with the power button and a light indicator adjacent to it. The audio, USB, DC, HDMI, and mic ports are located at the bottom or side of the tablet, whichever you look at it, together with the microSD slot. Speakers are at the back.
Upon booting the device, you will be greeted by the Breeze animation and the green Android mascot peeping out of the bottom corner of the screen. The user interface of the tab looks much like the typical Ul of Android devices.You can, of course, install a custom launcher that reflects your personal style like Espier and Go Launcher with its Android Jelly Bean 4.1 operating system.
The 8-inch IPS capacitive touchscreen gives users wide viewing angles and clear graphics with an accurate response to user touches. I loaded a 720p video on the device and the graphics and the viewing experience were okay, except when you look closely, you’ll see a bit of visible noise and pixelation. Graphics, when it comes to games, are bright and vivid. For the hardcore 3D gaming fans I wouldn’t recommend this tablet, but for those who are just after pure multimedia consumption, the Breeze will do nicely.
Running on a 1 .4GHz dual-core processor, loading and multi-tasking on this slate performs on an average level. I played Minion Rush and Jetpack Joyride on this 8-incher and it ran smoothly with only smidgens of lagging occurrences.
Tablets, for most people, are used for internet surfing, game play, and reading, so the 1GB of RAM inside the Breeze is enough to execute simple tasks seamlessly. Videos, music, and pictures can be stored in its internal 8GB flash memory expandable up to 32GB.
As a book-lover, the pre-installed eBook reader on this 8-inch tablet is a plus point. You can even customize thee-reader in the way you want your novels and books to be projected. There are a couple of things I found uncanny about the Breeze MW0831. First, there is no rear camera. During my first encounter with the tablet I immediately noticed the embedded front-facing cam, with no sign of a rear-facing snapper anywhere. The 2.0-megapixel front cam works best under good lighting conditions. Despite a bit of cloudiness, it’ll do justice to your ‘selfies’ and video conferences. Another peculiar thing was that if left idle for, say, an hour, the screen will totally black out and you have to shut it down for the device to work again. I’m not sure if this was just a quirk of the test unit, though.
Although the AOC Breeze MW0831 lacks luster in several departments, it did shine with its sleek design and practical cost.
Words by Mia Carisse Barrientos
First published in Gadgets Magazine, August 2013