I have always been an iPad guy, but unfortunately have become priced out of the lineup. With kids and a mortgage, I just cannot afford the technology. I jumped at the chance to review the RCA Mercury Pro seven inch tablet which retails for only $79.99. Is this super affordable tablet worth looking at for a casual user?
I am in no way a power user when it comes to tablets. Maybe I am old fashioned, but using a tablet for work or any kind of computer style use has never really worked for me. There are people who are able to use a tablet with plenty of productivity, but I prefer a laptop or desktop option. I preface this review with this information so you understand I will be using the Mercury Pro for entertainment, media, and casual web browsing. At $79.99 that is probably all that should be expected.
The RCA Mercury Pro tablet comes in an included keyboard case. The keyboard works perfectly, but is not what I would consider attractive. The case makes the device quite thick and is made from plastic. Despite the size, the keyboard is relatively light. While in use, the keyboard will only open to just above a 90 degree angle, so the height of where it is sitting might have to be adjusted to see the screen better. The case does protect the tablet and charges while the tablet is being charged. It does work!
The tablet itself is also made of plastic. Being an iPad user, this does feel really cheap. Some might like the light weight of the tablet, but I found it to feel flimsy and of lower quality. This thing is also thick. After using Apple products primarily, it felt super huge in my hands. With all of this said, these design elements are exactly what makes the tablet only $79.99, so keep that in mind.
Android 5.0, Lollipop is the operating system that powers the Mercury Pro. While I am not well versed in different Android OS versions, Lollipop seems to work well and fits the device well. It sports 1GB or Ram and runs a quad core chip and promises six hours of battery life. 8GB of storage comes on the device which can be expanded using up to a 32GB micro SD card. While storing a ton of music and movies may not be in the cards, the ability to add memory is a great feature. The screen resolution is 1024 x 600 and is ok for viewing the web and videos. A front facing 1M pixel and rear facing 2M pixel cameras are included, but I would not use the Mercury Pro as a photography device.
Now that you have seen the specs and my initial take, albeit while comparing to a much more expensive line of devices, how well does the tablet work and who is this thing made for? Aside from the getting used to using Android, I can say the tablet performs quite well. I did not test any work related or power computing tasks, but general web browsing and media consumption. The memory and OS have been designed to work well together and I experienced little lag or annoying freezing. The tablet seemed to work about as fast as my wifi would let it.
This device would be a great introduction device to kids. It has enough power to play games and let them watch videos and could also be used to search the web for homework related items. I would not recommend it be used as a power tool to replace a computer or more powerful tablet for serious work. I can also see this as a great device for older people who simply want an easy way to surf the web and check email. The tablet can easily perform any of these tasks and the price point makes it a great option.
I have actually found a great use for the RCA Mercury Pro at my home. We recently remodeled part of our house into a den and home bar that we use for entertaining. This tablet has become my bar media streaming device. I can set it up behind the bar and stream music to my bluetooth speaker system and it is always available to look up a correct answer if there is a debate on anything. It works perfect for this and at a great price!
The RCA Mercury Pro seven inch Android tablet is a decent device considering the $79.99 price tag. If a thin, sleek designed device is what you are looking for, you will have to jump to a much higher price range. Whether a starter device for young kids, basic device for older people, or a bar media device, the cheap price makes this tablet worth taking a look at.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit.
What I Like: Perfect device to stream music and execute basic web browsing.
What Can Be Improved: This is not an elegant device and made with a plastic back.