Friday, January 27, 2012

Chip’s mini review of JXD7100 (with capacitive screen)

JXD S7100

Chip has posted a concise and informative review about the JXD7100 that get’s straight to the money shots:

I have both the G18 and S7100.  As seems to be standard with Chinese PMPs, neither are perfect.
The S7100 has a much better dpad.  It's an actual dpad with a pivot in the middle, not just four buttons arranged like one.  I't not the greatest dpad in the world, but it's not so bad as to completely ruin the experience (like the G18).  The buttons on the S7100 feel better overall, with less squishiness and less "sticking" due to better tolerances on the buttons/holes.  
I got the S7100 with the capacitive screen, and that's really the only way to go these days.  I find the resistive screen on the G18 to be it's biggest weakness.  That said, 7" is really too big for 800x480 resolution.  Perhaps I'm just spoiled by high resolution smartphones and the 1024x600 IPS panel in the nook color, but the pixels on the S7100 seem enormous.  It's OK for retro games, but distracting for android games or web browsing.
However, the lack of shoulder buttons on the S7100 is really frustrating.  Maybe it's just because I have big hands, but I have no problem at all wrapping my index fingers around the top corners of the device where shoulder buttons should be, so it seems idiotic that they were not included.  Forget about playing most SNES games, PSX games, or any Genesis games that required six buttons.  GBA games are possible by mapping the shoulder buttons to the other two face buttons, but still less than ideal.
A close second in annoyances to the missing shoulder buttons is the software.  JXD decided to make their own customized launcher, and it's kind of a mess.  There are a lot of non-removable programs that are useless (they're in chinese), and you can't even move or remove objects from the home screen.  You can get around this by installing an alternative launcher, but this crap is still there, hogging system resources.  I don't know if it's just mine or a common problem for all devices, but mine won't stay in suspend mode either.  You press the power button to turn off the display, and five minutes later some program brings it back on.  It will shut off again after the screen timeout, but 5-10 minutes later, it will come on again all by itself.  This means you have to turn it off if you don't want it draining the battery while you're not using it.
The one good thing they have included in the software package is a sort of ROM market.  They have a few hundred ROMs that you can browse and download, at least until whatever server they're pulling them from gets shut down.
I'd be glad to answer any other questions you have about the S7100.

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