Tuesday, March 19, 2013

UHURU - Review, Hands-on

OS - Windows 8 Single Language
Processor - Intel i5 Ivy Bridge
Memory - 4GB
HDD - 64GB SATA Drive
Display - 11' Capacitive Touch Screen
Bluetooth - Yes
Wireless - Yes
USB - USB 2.0 slot, 2 USB 3.0 slots
RJ45 Network Slot
Camera - 2.0MP, 1.3MP Secondary Cam

Uhuru is Rlg Communications Limited's newest product on the market - a Hybrid PC (Laptop convertible tablet). With all the suspense filled advertisements over the past few months, Uhuru is here and we know what it is. With two units combining to (try) give you the best of both worlds, you really couldn't ask for more. Or, could you? Read on and judge for yourselves.


Microsoft Windows 8 Single Language edition
Microsoft Office 2010
And a few 'Microsoft Modern UI' apps - Finance, Weather, News, Sports, Skydrive, Maps, etc

The design of the Uhuru is not the best, as compact as it seems to look. I found it a bit awkward that the speakers were located behind the tablet/display. As such, the sound moves away from the user. It could have done with at least an extra speaker on the keyboard side for when its docked.
Keyboard is well spaced out and quite comfortable to use. One might however most of the time prefer to use the touch screen over the touch pad. The touch pad buttons are way too hard to click.

The main feature of the Uhuru is its tablet-laptop capability. With an extra battery in the display unit, the detachable screen serves good as a tablet barring its weight. Everyone who saw this unit I got was quit impressed until they actually lifted it. At least I know a friend who returned his because he wasn't too impressed with the weight.

The addition of cellular connectivity is a plus for the Uhuru. Very handy for anytime internet connectivity.

The keyboard/dock connectivity options is also great. It features 2 USB 2.0 ports, RJ45 network cable port. The tablet unit itself also has that one and only required Windows button below the screen, and additional volume rocker, screen orientation button, a USB slots, power button and HDMI port on the sides.

What is not worth mentioning though is the fact that the Uhuru has cameras. The 1.3MP front facing camera is ok to mention for video chat. The back 2.0MP camera though is just a no-brainer. As much as I do not see the reason for 10 inches and above tablets having a back camera, if it has one, it has to be good for what it's meant for - taking photos. Not so with the Uhuru. Enough said.

Audio on the Uhuru is another one of its flaws. By far, not the best sound quality you might have hoped for. As low as these speakers sound, they are also located behind the screen (yes, no speakers on the keyboard/dock unit) meaning they play away from you. How hard it was explaining to the owner of this unit that was how high he could have it play a video.

The touch display though is quite responsive and fun to use. As a laptop sitting at arm's length  it is good to look but any closer use as a tablet and you can count every pixel (exaggerated but you know what I mean).

64GB of storage is the only available model hopefully for now. That should be enough for very average use. Wish it came in other storage options as well.

Power was ok and lasted a good while when undocked. The extra battery in the keyboard/dock unit is also good to have. Other reviews have mentioned that the tablet unit is not possible to charge without docking it. I found that to be untrue as the unit has another charging port which allows it to be charged just as any other tablet.

Yes the Uhuru is made (or assembled) in Ghana and we can be proud of that. However, for 1950GHC, I don't think the tech savvy person in me would allow patriotism to make me live with dodgy display quality, weight, very low storage, lower quality camera, etc. Yes, this is an honest review, not a rant of what's not to like about this little piece of technology. What I would want in the next iteration of the Uhuru (if it will come) is more storage options, reduced weight, no or better back camera for the same price. An additional innovative feature will be something I have not seen any manufacturer done already - extra storage disk in the keyboard/dock unit to serve as external storage.

You can leave a comment to agree or disagree with me. What do you think of the Uhuru? Do you own one? Do you like it? Was it worth your cedis? Would you buy one if you had the cedis?

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