It’s inevitable. Your child is going to get exposed to other kids who have tablets and they’re going to want one of their own too. Now, if I were a parent, I wouldn’t give them an iPad or a high end Galaxy Tablet right away. No, I’d rather start them out with something by something decidedly more affordable that can still do it all. And that’s exactly what the SKK Mobile Raven can do.
The SKK Mobile Raven is your basic entry level tablet that won’t blow anyone away in terms of performance. However, it will be able to run just about any game your child would want to download from the Play Store. The price tag has been slashed from Php2,499 down to Php2,199 and is pretty attractive, but is it something worth picking up for the kids? Find out in my full SKK Mobile Raven review.
What’s in the Box?
The SKK Mobile Raven retail package is pretty bare of any accessories. You get the tablet itself, a micro USB transfer cable, wall charger, the quick start guide, warranty card, and that’s it! Of course, the battery is non-removable and most people would rather use a headset with their phones, not their tablets, so it’s not too bad.
Build Quality and Design
The SKK Mobile Raven is an entry level tablet, so don’t expect any surprises when it comes to build quality. There are however a few interesting design features.
The Raven is like most tablets with thicker bezels for easy handling of the device and to avoid accidental touches on the touchscreen. This is where the weirdness begins though. When holding the tablet in portrait mode, you’ll find the earpiece above the screen. However the front camera is actually situated at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
You won’t find any hardware controls on the left side of the device.
The same is true of the right side of the Raven.
The top is bare as well.
All of the hardware controls and features seem to be located on just one side of the Raven. There’s a microphone pinhole that lets you use the tablet as an over-sized phone. There’s also the volume rocker, charging port, micro USB port, 3.5mm headset jack, and power/lock button. You can also see the SIM card and micro SD card slots from here.
Switching to the back jolts you from portrait orientation to landscape. Near the top are the camera and its LED flash, and the loudspeaker. Then there’s the SKK Mobile branding in the middle. There’s also a secondary microphone pinhole for noise-cancelling to aid calls. If you notice, you can also see the micro SD and SIM slot toward the side.
Admittedly, the Galaxy S5-esque bandaid texture of the back does give the Raven some character. However, it’s still an entry-level tablet made with entry-level materials. At the very least, we should be happy that the plastic is pretty sturdy.
A bad screen on a touchscreen device is one of my pet peeves, and on a tablet whose primary interface is through its touchscreen, the Raven couldn’t have done worse. The SKK Mobile Raven sports a 7 inch WVGA screen. As the viewing angles and color reproduction aren’t that good, it’s very likely that it is a TN LCD TFT screen, which is about as entry-level as it gets when it comes to LCD screens.
As bad as that is, it gets a little worse. The resolution is such that when the tablet is in portrait orientation, the image looks slightly stretched out from top to bottom, while in landscape, everything looks wider.
It’s not that apparent in this photo though, and to be honest, it’s not too bad. You can get used to it over time, but this is the main reason I don’t recommend this tablet for anyone other than kids.
The device is powered by a relatively unspectacular 1.5GHz Allwinner ARM Cortex A7 dual core processor coupled with a Mali 400 GPU. The Raven did manage to surprise me though when I ran it through Antutu and a few benchmarks. The dual core processor manages to hit the 14k mark in Antutu, which is rather high and is the kind of result you would expect from a low end quad core processor, not a dual core chip. Here is the ranking of the Raven’s Antutu score and Vellamo Metal score as well.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that synthetic benchmarks aren’t the best way to gauge the overall user experience, but it’s certainly a start.
Entertainment and Gaming
The SKK Mobile Raven is certainly portable and handy, however as an entertainment device, it’s very basic. The dual core chipset is capable of processing 720p HD videos, but just barely. And if you’re a discerning about image quality, the Raven’s screen is sorely lacking. Thankfully, audio playback is decent, even when wearing a headset. However, I’d sooner use a smartphone for music than a tablet.
Also, it’s still fairly decent for casual games. I installed The Amazing Spiderman by Gameloft, which is a runner like Temple Run. There wasn’t that much of a delay between swipes and the frame rates didn’t stutter. Of course, this is WVGA resolution you’re looking it, so it will still look like the graphics from a 4 inch phone blown up to 7 inch proportions.
So Should You Buy the SKK Mobile Raven?
First things first. For less than Php3k, you’re not going to get much in the way of specs of performance on a tablet, not just on the Raven, but any other Android device at that price point. It’s a really basic tablet that just so happens to pack a lot of features for a reasonably low price.
Of course, this is still a fairly capable Android device. It can still run a lot of casual games and apps so its functionality is easily expanded. Then there’s the call and text capability, which is a surprising addition at this price point. If you’re not that picky, which most kids are, then the SKK Mobile Raven is for you.
SKK Mobile Raven Specs
- 7″ WVGA TN Display (480 x 800 resolution, 133ppi)
- 1.5GHz Allwinner ARM Cortex A7 dual core processor
- Mali 400 GPU
- Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal storage, expandable via micro SD
- 2mp rear-facing camera with LED flash
- VGA front camera
- WiFi b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Single SIM