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In practise, the Advent Vega is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to performance.
The screen is responsive, and the Wi-Fi connection is solid. Web pages loaded just as quickly as they do on any other touchscreen device, such as the iPad.
In fact, the web browsing experience might just be the Vega's saving grace. The screen could do with being sharper – a higher resolution would have been greatly received - but the fact that it's easy to navigate around web pages makes you forget, albeit very briefly, about the device's main failings.
And the main failing of the Advent Vega, is the absence of a Home button – did we mention that yet? It's just unforgiveable.
The Home button is absolutely central to the design of the Android operating system, and without it you're reduced to clunking your way around each app, trying to work out the best way to quit out of it.
We decided to install Angry Birds, which was not easy at all. First we attempted to install it via the official site using the Vega's browser, but that failed.
The only way we could make it work is by telling the Getjar.com website that we were using a Galaxy Tab, downloading the APK file and using the Android SDK to install it, which the majority of people will obviously not want to do.
Angry Birds did install though – and it works perfectly. It's smooth, the screen is accurate and it's quick and easy to load.
Quitting the app is a more complex affair. You have to navigate your way back to the main menu and then use the tiny silver 'back' button on the top of the device to quit. This just isn't the seamless, intuitive experience that tablets were conceived for. How hard would it have been to include a Home button on the front of the device?
The media apps on offer here are extremely basic, but they work well enough. We got some HD MP4 files from our recent Flip UltraHD review to work easily enough. Playback was smooth and painless – that'll be the Tegra 2 chip working like a trooper behind the scenes.
Music also worked well, although again it's a basic app. If you want a decent music app you'll need to try and install one from somewhere else but, as we've seen, that might not be as easy as it sounds.
The Email app is extremely simple, but it works well and emails load quickly. Setting up your account is as easy as entering in your username and password and from there you're away.
And finally the onscreen keyboard is the same as for most Android devices, and consequently it's comfortable to use. Because the device is quite responsive, we were able to tap away quite quickly on the Vega without any problems whatsoever.
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