Review Update: Scroll Engage 8” Tablet PC
A few weeks ago we took a look at the budget Android based Scroll Engage 8” tablet from StorageOptions (see ).
In this article we will be taking another look at the Scroll Engage and digging a bit deeper into some of the features we did not have space for last time including video output, e-book features, and the micro SD card slot.
Scroll Engage Overview
The Scroll Engage is an 8” XGA tablet computer with a capacitive multi-touch screen. The resolution of the screen is 1024×768 which is the same dimensions as the Apple iPad 2 (although the iPad 2 utilises IPS technology).
Powered by the Android 4.0 operating system (also known as Ice Cream Sandwich) together with the Cortex A8 1.2 GHz processor (supported with a Mali-400 dual core graphics processor) the Scroll Engage provides a pretty good level of performance for its price.
The firmware on the Scroll range can be upgraded via downloads available on the StorageOptions website – the version installed on the device we have on review is Android 4.0.3 although there are currently no updates listed for the Engage.
Scroll Engage micro SD storage
The micro SD card slot is one of the stand out features of the Scroll Engage tablet which can dramatically increase the amount of storage available on the device and can provide a mechanism for an backing up valuable media.
Images, video, audio, and apps can be copied to a micro SD card from a desktop computer using a micro SD adaptor. Once installed in a computer the storage card appears as a drive/folder and files can be copied using traditional drag and drop.
For testing we used a SanDisk 8 GB micro SD HC card. The storage card clicks into a slot on the short side of the Scroll Engage and, once mounted, displays as an icon in the taskbar and contents can be automatically accessed from appropriate applications (for example the music player and video player).
We tried a range of file types from music to audio books and PNG and JPG files and they all seemed to work just fine.
The included micro USB host port is a clever little inclusion that further extends the capacity of the Scroll Engage allowing it to be used with a number of USB add-ons including keyboards and flash drives. An adaptor cable is included in the box to allow the connection of supported devices with full size USB.
Scroll Engage eBook Reader
Google Play Books would be an ideal choice for accessing eBooks on the Scroll Engage however due to licensing restrictions the Google App Store is off limits. Fortunately, there are alternatives including the pre-installed ebook reader ‘Aldiko’ and the Amazon Kindle app. As far as I am aware there are no such restrictions on the Amazon Appstore.
The pre-installed ebook reader on the Scroll Engage is “Aldiko Book Reader 2.0” which has a similar look and feel to the iBooks application on the iPad.
Across the top of the Aldiko application are icons for home, store, and search. The Home icon provides access to Shelf View, Store, List view, My catalogs, SD card, and Last read.
The reading section of the app is neatly laid and maximises screen space for reading whilst still providing access to features including Day/Night (changes from black text on white background to white text on black background), Go to (table of contents, bookmarks, add bookmark, and page number), Settings (text size, brightness, orientation, screen timeout, and text alignment).
The Amazon Kindle app runs nicely on the Scroll Engage providing access to all the eBooks you have available.
The Kindle app shows the library which lists the reading material available and each title can be downloaded locally to the device for reading. Access to the Kindle store is provided together with a search function and in-reading options for brightness, text size, and a slider bar for navigating through the current title.
Scroll Engage Video Output
The Scroll Engage has a neat feature for “Full HD 1080p and 3D” output utilising a mini-HDMI port to push high definition video to an external device.
We tested this on a Samsung D8000 3D television and found the result to be quite satisfactory although to say 3D applications are pretty thin on the ground would be an understatement – there are the traditional “3D” games and applications but we couldn’t find any side-by-side 3D applications. For testing the 3D we mostly relied on 3D side-by-side videos available on YouTube and they played through the Scroll Engage as side-by-side and the television handled the 3D side of things.
According to the StorageOptions website video formats supported on the Scroll Engage include “Full HD 1080P supports AVI, H.264, MPEG2, MPEG4, MKV, MP4” so you could produce your own 3D and output it using the Scroll Engage.
The Scroll Engage provides a number of features for eBook reading, including the Kindle app and Aldiko book reader, whilst the extended storage provided through the micro SD card slot is a useful addition.
Video output is a nice feature, and could prove handy for demos, group tasks, and sharing the family holiday photo snaps – although we can’t see the particular 3D feature being used regularly until more 3D applications are made available.
For more information head over to StorageOptions: Scroll Engage | Buy Scroll Engage from Amazon.