After the Ainol NOVO8 dream turned out to be a horrible nightmare, I am desperately in need of a decent tablet to test, and PIPO M9 arrived just right on time!
◇10.1 inch 16M-color super IPS display at WXGA resolution (1280X800 pixels)
◇Rockchip RK3188 SoC., quad core 1.8Cortex-A9 processor, Mali-400MP4 GPU, 2GB memory
◇Stock Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (Already upgraded to Android 4.2)
◇16GB of built-in-storage
◇2MP front facing camera; 5.0MP rear-facing AF camera with LED flash
◇MicroSD card slot
◇Standard 3.5mm audio jack
◇1080p video playback
◇7800mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery
PIPO has never been mingy with the bundled fittings, you will find these things in the retail package:
The front is dominated by the 10-inch touch screen and black glossy bezel, rimmed in gray plastic. You will find a 2MP front-facing camera in the middle above the display (vertical mode). The bezel of the M9 is relatively small compared to other 10.1 inchers such as the Cube U30GT2 and the Ployer MOMO20.
When it comes to ports and slots, PIPO has never been, and doesn’t plan to be the pioneers of minimalism, you will find a micro SD card slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 2.5mm charging port, a mini HDMI port, and not one, but two Micro USB ports (one as slave and one as host) along the top edge of the device, which also plays host to a power/standby button as well as a home button. I personally would have preferred to find the physical volume controls instead of the home button, but somehow PIPO has decided we should use the status bar on bottom of the screen to control the volume.
Again, where feel is concerned, The PIPO M9 is just right on the ball. The back sports a brushed aluminum finish, which gives the device a feel of expensiveness. And the two sides are plastic, offering the slate a nice and solid grip. A 5MP AF camera is located in the top middle of the aluminum back, along with an LED flash.
Unlike the M8, The M9’s speakers are on the back of the tablet and are in danger of being covered by our thumbs. I didn’t like this arrangement at first, as I am clearly more of a fan of the front-facing speakers of the M8. But when I found out that the sound the M9 produced was absolutely the best among all Chinese tablets, I finally found peace with it.
The tablet is fairly light and comfortable to hold and while most part of it does feel like plastic, it doesn't feel unpleasantly plasticky or cheap. Its 10mm thickness doesn’t help it win a beauty contest, but actually gives it a feel of sturdiness.
As the primary point for interaction, having a good screen on a tablet is critical. The 10.1-inch IPS+ display on the M9 is plenty bright and offers decent visibility outdoors. The full brightness of can reach 500 nits, which outshines the fourth-generation iPad (400 nits), as well as the tablet category average (287 nits).
Unfortunately, the 1280 x 800-pixel panel on this slate has a lower resolution than similarly priced tablets. The CUBE U30GT2 has a resolution of 1920 x 1200, not to mention the Onda V973’s Retina resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. But I am not that big on pixel density, as none of the Chinese tablets with retina display gives satisfactory performance at the moment, I’d rather wait a little longer. The tablet's viewing angles were fair, but reflections got in the way when viewing the panel off axis.
Color saturation and contrast ratios of the 10.1 inch Hann Star display are decent, but not as eye-watering as the 9.4 inch LG display sported by the PIPO M8.
I greatly appreciate that the M9's stereo speakers. Although it does not create the effects in which the sound is coming directly at me in watching movies or listening to music (which the M8 is able to do), I still like its excellent volume, which is even higher than the two HP notebook PCs of mine!