Coby MID7065 review

Coby's MID7065 is one of the least expensive 7-inch Android tablets you'll find, and while performance and feature sacrifices have been made to get to the $120 price, it's a serviceable budget option with access to Google Play.
Photo of Coby MID7065

Coby’s latest crop of Android tablets offer low-end performance at rock-bottom prices. The big news here is Google certification—a first for the company—which means the newest models have access to the Google Play app store. The MID7065 ($119.99 list) is the smallest and least expensive model in the lineup. You get the same microSD card slot, mini HDMI out, and relatively clean Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” build found on the larger MID1065. But the MID7065 uses an inferior lower-resolution display and features a cheap plastic build. You shouldn’t expect much for this price, and if you can spend a little more, you can do much better. 

Editors’ Note: The Coby MID7065 is virtually identical to the MID8065 and MID1065 except for screen size and price, so we’re sharing a lot of material between these three reviews. That said, we’re testing each device separately and comparing it with the competition in its size/price range.

Design and Features
A generic-looking 7-inch tablet wrapped in unassuming black plastic, the MID7065 measures 7.8 by 4.8 by 0.45 inches (HWD), weighs 11.84 ounces, and is comfortable to hold in one hand. Along the right edge are the power plug connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, micro USB port (for syncing, not charging), and a mini HDMI port. There are Power and Volume buttons along the top edge, with a microSD card slot on the bottom.

The IPS LCD found on the larger MID1065 has been nixed in favor of a far inferior panel. The 1,024-by-600-pixel non-IPS LCD on the MID7065 isn’t particularly sharp, with a narrow viewing angle, and low maximum brightness. Colors also run cooler giving white backgrounds a bluish hue, and I noticed some blooming along the tablets edges, which washes out black backgrounds.

The MID7065 is a Wi-Fi only tablet that connects to 802.11b/g/n networks on the 2.4GHz frequency only and Bluetooth 2.1 is on board. The MID7065 comes in a 4GB model for $119.99 or an 8GB model for $129.99, and our 32 and 64GB SanDisk cards worked fine in the microSD card slot.

Android and Performance
The tablet is powered by the same dual-core 1.2GHz Amlogic Cortex A9 processor with 1GB RAM and a MALI 400 GPU found in the larger MID1065. It’s not the fastest setup, but it bested the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) with its dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP4430 chip in all of our benchmarks and matches the performance of the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD with its dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP4460 processor. Fortunately, Coby uses a different touch screen digitizer that doesn’t feel quite as imprecise as the one found on the MID1065, which leads to almost-constant choppiness in navigation. Performance is similar between the 10- and the 7-inch tablets—you’ll still notice occasional lag here, but things are a bit smoother. There is still a delay between when the Power button is pressed and when the display wakes up.

Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” is now two versions behind the latest 4.2 “Jelly Bean” build, but Coby has left it unskinned. Android newcomers, however, might be better served by the more polished, easy-to-use custom Android skins like Samsung’s TouchWiz or the heavily modified Android featured on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. If you’re a fan of pure Android, however, you’d be better served by the Editors’ Choice Google Nexus 7, but you’ll need to pony up $199.

Previous Coby tablets only offered second-rate app stores like GetJar, but the MID7065 hooks into the Google Play app store which has more than 800,000 titles, and includes excellent integrated Google apps like Gmail and Maps. 

The tablet can handle Xvid, DivX, MPEG4, H.264, and AVI videos at up to 1080p resolution. For audio, you get MP3, AAC, FLAC, OGG, WAV, and WMA support. Screen mirroring worked fine using a mini HDMI cable, and the tablet was able to output video at 720p or 1080p resolution. There is no rear-facing camera, and the 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera is fine for the occasional Skype call, but not much more.

In our battery rundown test, which loops a video with screen brightness set to max and Wi-Fi on, the MID7065 clocked a positively anemic 2 hours, 45 minutes. The same-size Kindle Fire HD notched 7 hours, while the Nexus 7 lasted 10 hours, 30 minutes in the same test.

Conclusions
With Google certification, and access to the official app store, Coby’s latest line of MID tablets is a notable step forward for the company. The MID7065 is the cheapest of the bunch, and for the seriously budget restrained, it’s about as low as you can go while still keeping access to Google Play. That said, the refreshed Amazon Kindle Fire is also a good deal at $159.99, offering similar performance with a much easier to navigate operating system and content ecosystem. The Kindle Fire offers a better display, more battery life, and better build quality. And if you’re in it for the untainted Android, spend a little more for the Nexus 7, which is our Editors’ Choice for small-screen tablets with excellent performance for an affordable price.

Specifications
Wi-Fi (802.11x) Compatibility 2.4GHz
Screen Resolution 1024 x 600 pixels
Operating System Google Android 4.0.4
Dimensions 7.8 x 4.8 x 0.45 inches
Weight 11.84 oz
Screen Type TFT LCD
Graphics Card ARM Mali 400
RAM 1 GB
Camera Resolution No Rear
VGA Front-Facing
Storage Capacity (as Tested) 8 GB
Screen Pixels Per Inch 149 ppi
Additional Storage MicroSD
Processor Speed dual-core 1.2 GHz
Bluetooth Version 2.1
Screen Size 7 inches
CPU ARM Cortex A9
Ports mini HDMI
Storage Type SSD

Verdict
Coby's MID7065 is one of the least expensive 7-inch Android tablets you'll find, and while sacrifices have been made to get to the $120 price, it's a serviceable budget option with access to Google Play.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc