You get what you pay for, but everything devices specs... some of them are better than others and well worth buying for a cheap price, but be prepared for no software updates, lags and god knows what else...
The cheap ones on trademe are the same ones you can import on the internet but at inflated prices, or they are similar price but even nastier. If you want a cheap tablet you should look at Nexus 7 and if that is too expensive then look on ebay or somewhere like dinodirect.
HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.
when i said usable i meant - does the touch screen work well - is the processor fast enough (single vs dual core) - is there enough RAM (1GB+) - does the battery last many hours - screen resolution/brightness - etc
Sounds to me like none of those people have actually bought one. "everyone knows" that most of what everyone knows is heresay and wrong. I'm into my second tablet (and 3rd phone) and highly recommend the experience.
For context: my first tablet came with android 2.1, my last one came with 4.1.1, my first phone was 1.5, current is running 4.2.2, I know my androids and spent far too much time updating them. In the old days you definitely "got what you paid for" but that was as much a criticism of the state of Android as anything else. Early android was incomplete, integration with the h/w was incomplete, the whole thing was a journey, not just a purchase. Another poster said "check that there is support on xda developers first" - until last year I would have said that was very good advice, I did & extensively used it on both my tablets and phones. But since android 4.1 the game has changed dramatically. I'm now running stock android on both tablet & phone and just loving the ease of use - and the relaxing as I dont have to be a syadmin to my devices any more. And the chinese factories have had to raise their game on the h/w just as much as the s/w just to survive in the market, thats no longer something to be too worried about. My latest tablet is such a sexy beast, h/w and s/w, yet cost me $180 to my door - call it 1/5th what a name brand samsung or asus or ipad would be for the same h/w & s/w capability. Will I have problems updating it to android 4.2? I have absolutely no doubts at all. Already I have 5 rom updates saved on my laptop ready for the day, and with them lots of notes from people that had troubles and bricked it. But you know what? I have absolutely no intention of doing it! It does everything I need and more, still, almost a year on. oh - I forgot one thing, it didnt come with a case, I had to find one from somewhere else. But eve that was a hoot - it cost me $3.95 (thats not a typo) - and that included postage from HK. Incredible. Compare that to a case for a samsung or asus or ipad at $50 or $70 or something like I did before doing that. You're still only getting what you pay for but at $180 its worth playing the game just for the fun of it. Here's what I'm looking at getting next, again just for the hell of it. Like Trademe, read the reviews - and just dont take it too seriously. www.aliexpress.com/store/group/Android-Mini-PC-TV-Stick/803232_211686097.html
The 2 HDMI sticks I have tried dont have the UI go to the edges of the screen, and also dont seem to let the output refresh rate be changed, It does 60Hz so most stuff is fine, but some 24FPS stuff seems to play totally horrid, and 50Hz content like pal sourced tv shows are unwatchablely juddery.
Cheap logitech kbd and mouse and they are great media centers, and the latest plex for android seems pretty well behaved on the one in the bedroom. Certainly craps all over the inbuilt smart tv stuff for usability and functionality, but not there as far as image quality yet.
I'm looking at some of those tv sticks because (a) my tablet does movies to my Sony TV at 1080 just fine and (b) half those sticks are running the same chipset as my tablet, some are even saying android 4.1, so ... they should work? how bad can they be :-) It seems a cheap (and of course fun) way to try to convert my TV to an internet tv. There are things to look for, like power - I dont want to use a power brick, so I want one that plugs into the hdmi port but can run off a short cable that itself is plugged into to a tv usb port (my tv doesnt deliver power on hdmi but even so I havent seen any of these sticks that pull from there either). And I want one that works well enough on wifi that it does the internet bit to my lan. But what I've read says I'm still pushing boundaries, some have poor wifi, some overheat if you work them (1080 move would definitely work them), etc so I'm in no rush, will probably wait for the next generation. Another note - I got my tablet from dhgate.com not that previous link. They act as broker to the place you buy from, they only pay the vendor when you tell them it arrived ok, it worked easily enough but I had no problems with delivery or quality so didnt have to test it really.