Monster, best known for their high quality headphones and cord products, has entered the budget tablet market with the. The M7 is currently available exclusively through Walmart. It’s MSRP is $149 but is on sale for $99.99. At just under $100, can Monster provide a worthy tablet in a flooded market?
The M7 is a sturdy built 7″ tablet measuring in at 7.9″ W x 5.01″ L and .38″ thick and weighs in at almost 13 ounces. The tablet feels solid and well made while in the hand, which is often not the case with budget tablets. The M7 has a no-slip rubbery back that is available in eight colors and is designed to be paired with Monster’s N-Tune headphones. As you can see from the video and photos, the tablet is quite attractive and stylish, especially for the price. A power button and volume rocker are included on one side, and the bottom houses all of the ports.
The M7 sports a 7″ 1280 x 800 high-definition 16:10 capacitive multi-touch screen. The screen resolution is awesome on this size device. The home screen, app screens and internet look great, but it really shines while watching videos. I was quite impressed watching a few television shows and YouTube videos. As Dan points out in his hands-on video (below), there is a slight curve to keep sound from being muffled when laying the tablet flat, but there is not really any stereo separation since they are so close together. The speakers are better than most tablets I have used, and they provided plenty of clear volume to make media consumption enjoyable.
The guts of the M7 includes a 1.5 GHz Dual Core Processor with 1 GB of RAM. The 16 GB hard drive should be sufficient for most users, and there is also a Micro SD card expansion slot. Since I currently mostly use cloud services and stream most of my music, the included 16 GB of RAM is plenty. This hardware is running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) complete with Google Play and the standard Google applications. There are some included apps from Monster and a Walmart app — none can be deleted. The Monster applications are mostly music related, and there is an app to control Monster plugs to remotely turn appliances on and off. While the apps are unable to be removed, I did not find any of them obtrusive or a problem.
I did experience some lag and general sluggishness with the M7, but probably not enough to be a deal breaker at $100. My wife still uses our 1st gen iPad, and she did not notice the slowness of the processor. If you use a much faster tablet, the M7’s response will feel slow.
Monster does include front and rear facing cameras, which is impressive for a budget offering. The front camera is 2MP, and the rear is 5MP. Even though I use my iPhone to take some amazing photos, I rarely use the cameras on my iPad or any other tablet; the M7 cameras get the job done, but they are far from impressive.
The battery is rated at 8 hours of use, which I think is a little far-fetched if the tablet is really being used. Of course, I find this issue with almost any device, so the battery is sufficient for my use patterns. The M7 comes with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and it was easily and quickly added to all of my WiFi hot spots. I quickly connected the tablet to Bluetooth headphones and speakers using the included Bluetooth 4.0. I was also able to connect easily to my Google TV box to stream content. If you do not have a wireless option to connect the M7 to a television, the HDMI out port will enable users to see what they are watching on the big screen.
All in all, the Monster M7 tablet is a great device given the price. Rarely will a sub-$100 tablet be usable for work or other high use jobs, but as a media device and basic tablet functions, this is a great option. I was slightly annoyed by some of the lag, but as long as there were not too many apps running at one time, it certainly was a positive user experience. If you plan on reading a book, watching some videos, checking email and surfing the web, the M7 is a perfect device for you. The hardware is well made, and it looks great with color options; you would be hard pressed to find anything of higher quality for $99. The Monster M7 Tablet is the perfect device for kids or as a secondary tablet used for media.
Here’s Dan’s hands-on video
MSRP: $149.00 but on sale for $99.99 at Walmart
What I like: Stylish and well made. Great screen resolution at a super affordable price.
What can be improved: There is some issues with slow performance and lag.
Source: Manufacturer provided sample