Test-Driving the New Astro Queo A935 Tablet

I had not had much experience with tablets apart from the Amazon Fire, which to its credit, is a pretty good buy for around 50 dollars. But when my best friend picked up an Astro Queo A911 for dirt-cheap from an online retailer at Amazon, she was pretty happy with it as well - at first. It had all the same bells and whistles as the Fire, except for the camera capabilities, and she could watch videos and get all her internet applications like Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, plus a nifty web browser.

All that was well and good, but there were some glaring drawbacks. Most aggravating, the A911 came installed with a very old Android system, version 4.0.4., code-named "Ice Cream Sandwich". And as delicious as that sounds, this version was less than compatible with some of the more powerful applications like Google Play Store which, I'm ashamed to say, should be the number one app on any tablet known to mankind. So, with the loss of Play Store, there were thousands of useful apps that were inaccessible, everything from video players to special file managing software, word processors, and beyond.

There were other problems with the Astro Queo A911, but when I brought the matters up with Inspira Technologies, LLC, the folks behind the tablet, they assured me that they had learned their lessons with the limited success of the A911, and were bringing out something much better in a matter of weeks. Since this model, they have released three others, the A912, A921, and the A924. The Astro Queo A935 is the newest addition to the Queo family and, so far, it's the best.

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Gone is the old Android. The A935 comes with a much sleeker, sharper, more powerful version, Android 5.1.1, code-named "Lollipop", which means all those Android apps you couldn't get via the Google Play Store are now available. In fact, my model came with the Google Play Store already pre-loaded and ready for action.

The unit is driven by a much more powerful 1.5 gigahertz Allwinner Quadcore A33 processor, stronger than the Allwinner A13 for the A911, which makes it perfect for multi-tasking at blazing speed, while offering impressive battery life of up to 5 hours. The A935 offers 1 gigabyte of onboard RAM, 8 gigabytes internal storage, dual cameras with a front resolution of 0.3 megapixels, and a back resolution of 2 megapixels, Bluetooth 4.0, and all wrapped up in a 1024 x 600 9-inch high-definition (HD) screen. By comparison, the Amazon Fire has a dinky 7-inch screen. The A935 also comes with a mini-USB adapter, which will allow you to plug in other devices, such as a keyboard or mouse, so you can easily modify the tablet into a full working computer on the go.

My experience with the Astro Queo A935 was really good. I had a lot of fun with the video camera, taking pictures, and being able to post and share quickly and easy. I was able to use a handy keypad with the tablet seamlessly, plus I could plug in a joystick into the USB to play all kinds of video games. Also I was impressed with the speed of data transfers. I downloaded a 50 megabyte app in less than 15 seconds on our home Wi-fi, so the connection was pretty fast and solid. Apps loaded and installed really fast, and I found the navigation for the Lollipop Android much friendlier and easier.

For a first-time tablet-user, this is a great start, and though the price isn't really as compatible with tablets like the Amazon 2015 Fire, at around $50, still for the price of around $70, you really do get a lot of the same features - including a much larger screen size. I'd recommend some shopping around, of course, to see if you can find something better with the same features but, overall, the Astro Queo continues to improve with each model released, so this brand truly deserves a closer look.