Coby Kyros 8" Tablet Computer (Black)
Coby Electronics Corporation
CNET Editors' Rating: 1.5 / 5
The good: The Coby Kyros tablet delivers Android 2.2 at an attractive price, along with HDMI output, microSD memory expansion, and a front-facing camera.
The bad: The screen quality and touch responsiveness are awful; battery life is poor; the design is bulky; there's no Adobe Flash support; and Google's suite of mobile apps isn't included.
The bottom line: The Coby Kyros tablet offers a large screen for relatively little money, but it's a bad proposition at any price.
Design, Features & Performance (out of 10)
We just couldn't resist trying out the Coby Kyros. It wasn't the $250 list price ($150 street) or Android 2.2 operating system that lured us in; it was the screen. We've seen plenty of 7-inch and 10-inch tablets pass through CNET, but never an 8-inch. We figured maybe Coby was onto something.
Design and features
Unfortunately, the first thing you'll notice about the Coby Kyros is that the screen is unforgivably bad. When it comes to budget tablets there's a lot we can forgive (minimal storage, plastic construction, poor battery life), but when you cheap out on a tablet's screen, we have to draw the line. The Kyros' resistive screen requires a forceful touch (a plastic stylus is included) and is covered in a sheet of plastic that is easy to scratch. What's worse is that the LCD panel and the resistive plastic covering are spaced so far apart that the screen appears as though it is underwater. As a result, viewing angles are mediocre, e-book text is washed out, and outdoor viewing is nearly impossible.
If you can look past the Kyros' screen (and you shouldn't, since it's the foundation of the entire tablet) you'll notice a 2.1-megapixel camera above the display and a home button below it that is flanked by buttons for search, back, menu, and browser. Yes, Android fans, Coby threw a dedicated browser button in among the conventional Android navigation. Having it there is convenient, in theory, but in practice we wound up triggering it by accident more often than using it deliberately.
On the right side you'll find a power button and volume rocker--fairly standard stuff. The back offers a pair of stereo speakers. The bottom edge, though, is where all the action is. Here's where you'll find the microSD memory card slot (which accepts up to 32GB of extra storage) and the always-reassuring "reset" hole. The bottom also holds the power adapter input and headphone jack (which we confused for each other more than a few times), a Mini-USB sync port, and a Mini-HDMI output that supports up to 1080p video output. How it is you plan on acquiring 1080p movie content and loading it onto a tablet with only 4GB of storage (2.9GB usable) is entirely up to you to figure out.
Included with the Kyros is a USB sync cable, a USB host adapter cable (which works with thumbdrives, but not external keyboards), a pair of earbuds, a plastic stylus, and a wall-wart-design power adapter for recharging. Be sure to keep that charger handy, since the Kyros is rated at 6 hours of Web browsing at the default brightness (which, as you might guess, is fairly dim).
The Coby Kyros runs Android 2.2, aka Froyo, but it's not the Google-sanctioned version of Android you've seen on products like the Samsung Galaxy Tab or Dell Streak 7. Instead, you're getting the open-sourced Android experience that is common to most of the low-end tablets and e-book readers, such as the Archos 7 Home Tablet, Velocity Micro Cruz Reader, and Maylong M-150. As such, there's no Google Market, no Google Maps, no Navigation (not that there's GPS anyway), no Google Books, no Google Talk, no Gmail, no Google Calendar...you get the picture. It's not a device for Google fans.
What you do get are the standard Android Web browser and general e-mail and gallery applications, along with the same AppsLib app market found on Archos tablets. As app stores go, it's pretty thinly stocked. If you're going to use a device like this, we recommend taking the extra time to install the Amazon Appstore app, through which you can browse and install a wide selection of free and premium apps.
The good news is that the version of Android loaded onto the Kyros is not as heavily altered as we've seen it on similar budget tablets. Overall, the navigation, onscreen keyboard, settings, and other tried and true aspects of Android have all been kept intact. Unfortunately, the root problem of the inferior screen weighs down on the whole experience. For example, accurate typing really demands a stylus, which for many is an automatic deal-breaker. The screen's lack of multitouch support also means that pinch-to-zoom gestures are a no-go, which makes photo and Web browsing a chore.
Aside from its cool name, the Kyros doesn't have much to brag about. The screen is cruddy, the battery life is mediocre, the camera quality is subpar, and the Android experience is dated and lacks Google's core apps.
If the Kyros has one cool trick, it's the HDMI output. The execution isn't perfect, though. For example, when you connect the Kyros to a monitor or TV, you'll notice the home screen is mirrored on the external display at its native 800x600-pixel standard-definition resolution, running black bars down the left and right of the display. The HDMI's full 1080p output capability is only realized when playing back video content (and, in our case, making a few manual adjustments to the attached display). Does it work? Yes. Will you want to bring along that bulky power adapter to prevent the tablet from running out of steam halfway through your movie? Absolutely. The Kyros is rated at only 4.5 hours of video playback using default settings, and cranking out 1080p video over HDMI probably wasn't the best-case test condition.
Here are our official CNET Labs-tested battery life results. More tablet testing results can be found here.
|Video battery life (in hours)||Maximum brightness (in cd/m2)||Default brightness (in cd/m2)||Maximum black level (in cd/m2)||Default black level (in cd/m2)||Default contrast ratio||Contrast ratio (max brightness)|
We have no doubt that there will eventually be a great tablet priced between $150 and $200. The Coby Kyros, unfortunately, isn't there yet. With a screen this bad, it's not even in the ballpark. If you're looking for an all-in-one touch-screen device and you're on a budget, check out the Archos 70, the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, or the Editors' Choice Award-winning Apple iPod Touch.
Update, October 10 at 12:53 p.m. PT: CNET Labs' battery life test results were updated.
Average User Rating: 1.5 / 5
User Rating Breakdown
5 Star: 2
4 Star: 3
3 Star: 1
2 Star: 2
1 Star: 4
not worth it
Rating: 1.5 / 5
on June 28, 2011
3 out of 4 users found this review helpful
Pros: size is good, internet worked great, can download a lot of android apps through amazon android apps, as well as adobe flash
Cons: video is very poor... after 3 weeks had to return because it would not turn on anymore.
Summary: Read the reviews on hsn.com for this product. Numerous customers had the same problem in regards to their tablet not working anymore. I should have taken that into account.
Better than expected from a long-time user!
Rating: 5 / 5
on March 10, 2012
1 out of 1 users found this review helpful
Pros: See Below for more details...
Cons: See Below...
1. Great form factor. A 7 inch tablet is just as important as a 10 in. tablet.
2. Convenient to surf the web, watch Netflix or quickly check Facebook.
3. Once the Android Market is acquired, games and other applications are easy to install.
4. Up to 32 MicroSD addition.
5. Capacitive Touchscreen!!!
6. Charges quickly, usually less than 30 minutes-1 hour for full battery! And never feared of overheating as mentioned from another user!?
7. My 3 year old daughter uses it effortlessly.
8. Android 2.3
1. Battery Life is not short, but could be longer and really depends on what you are doing (e.g. Video will drain quicker than surfing the web). But I am still able to watch a full 3-4 hours of straight video.
2. Only one speaker, but no big deal for me I add a speaker through the headphone jack, whenever I want it louder. I use the Coby when I take showers, sound is excellent and no need for anything louder. The newer Coby's have more speakers if you have the need.
3. Unable to add newer Android OS unless you "Jailbreak" it.
I normally do not write reviews, but was tired of reading people's poor reviews of this product. Unfortunately, it may be too difficult for a few users, but it is not hard to add the most important part to a harmonious tablet experience, adding the Android Market. Once the Android Market is in place it is easy to check Facebook (unlike another commenter mentioned).
Check YouTube on how to put the Android Market on the Coby Kyros. Join the AndroidTablets.net forum to learn more about your device.
Yes, I watch Netflix on my device. I am using Netflix version 1.5.0 Build 360 and it works!
Others have mentioned poor Wi-Fi. I am using a Linsky G-router with WiMax internet and by no means the newest router such as "N" and/or the fastest internet such as "Cable" or "Fios". No problems. Add "Advanced Wi-Fi Lock Free", a free application from the Android Market and I have never lost a connection albeit I live in a small home of 1550 sq. ft.
Other applications to add to your Coby should be "Cache Cleaner" and "Super Task Killer".
Now for other useful software. I use the Opera Mini Browser for quickly checking Facebook, Ebay, Amazon, etc.. and Dolphin HD Browser for reading my web journals/magazines like Wired.com. SkyFire Browser may be suited to others preferences.
Download a Youtube application for watching Youtube from your Youtube account subscriptions.
I also can watch ESPN3 on the tablet, although rendering is not the best at times and may be due to my internet for streaming. When I watch "Replay" ESPN games, rendering is better.
I also use Pandora, TuneIn and Shazaam for tunes.
I use the Nook reader for ebooks or epubs.
Games and other applications are limitless like Angry Birds and some coloring games like PicsArt for my child. I also have a Star Trek Soundboard to alert me whenever there is a new email... Love it!
Anyway, the Coby Kyros fits my needs and is by no means an iPad or mid-range priced tablet. What it is though is an excellent first tablet with a small learning curve and once everything is in place... you can't lose for the $100 tablet arena of the Coby Kyros 7022.
Just as a Footnote: I am a longtime Apple user; having owned a iMac G3, iMac G5, Macbook Pro and a Mac Mini. Apple is losing the 7-inch market and people do like using smaller tablets like myself. Android is a suitable and a well developed ecosystem. Thank you Coby for developing the Kyros and for providing an affordable tablet that fits my needs!
Rating: 1.5 / 5
on March 4, 2012
1 out of 2 users found this review helpful
Pros: good size. can downloads a bunch of stuff.
Cons: stopped working within a month after i got it. the back will not come off. back stuck on. and even in that time it froze like 5 times.
Summary: overall i think this is a horrible product. DO NOT BUY!
Updated on Mar 4, 2012
Very useful tablet
Rating: 3.5 / 5
on October 6, 2011
1 out of 2 users found this review helpful
Pros: good sound from little speakers, able to install a lot of apps, nice battery life
Cons: no flash player installed ( but a did get it after 2 weeks of research)
Summary: Is a good Tablet for the price. Two weeks later after the purchase I was able to install flash player 10.3 and it woks perfectly so now I can watch videos on the web. It has nice speakers, the wireless signal is fine, sometimes you will need some patience with the resistive touchscreen. Something cool is that I can take it to anywhre I want to go (ultraportable).
Rating: 0.5 / 5
on June 6, 2012
0 out of 0 users found this review helpful
Pros: Clear screen
Cons: Worked for one month then got a line through it.
Summary: BEWARE OF COBY'S RETURN SHIPPING POLICY. IT WILL COST YOU $30.00 TO HAVE THEM CHECK OUT THE DEFECTIVE PRODUCT AND EITHER FIX OR SEND NEW ONE. COBY IS NOT INTERESTED IN WAVING RETURN SHIPPING FEE. WE WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER COBY PRODUCT.