The Insignia Flex’s long-lost brothers

I had a chance to take a look at the Insignia Flex tablet, Best Buy’s $249 house-brand Android tablet. If you need a basic dual-core tablet that’s reasonably well-built, it’s not bad. I found it responsive and usable–there just wasn’t anything flashy about it. The two things I found I didn’t like were that the settings control panel didn’t let you change much, and it has a 4:3-perspective 1024×768 screen, which is unusual in this world of 16:9 tablets. I’m afraid the old-school resolution might eventually be a problem. And there’s no Cyanogenmod 9 or 10 for it.

But if you need a value tablet in the 9-10 inch range, I have a suggestion for you. Read more

Hot-rod Cyanogenmod 7.2

Whatever you do, don’t call this post Optimizing Android 2.3 for Games, Graphics and Multimedia. I’ll kick your… nevermind.

But of course the first thing I wanted after I installed Cyanogenmod 7.2–which is based on Android 2.3.7–on my Nook Color was to make it run smoother and faster. What else would I want? So here’s some stuff I did, since adding three CPU cores obviously isn’t an option.

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How I turned my Nook Color into a Cyanogenmod 7.2 Android tablet

So, after most of a year, I finally revisited Cyanogenmod 7.2 on my Nook Color. Competent tablets are available for around $100 now, so perhaps this is less interesting now, but I had a Nook Color, and figured I might as well try it out before spending money on something else.

I was never happy running it from an SD card–it was way too laggy and sluggish–but Cyanogenmod 7.2 is competent when installed on its internal memory, at least for the things I most want to use a tablet for–light web browsing, reading e-mail, watching SD video, and reading PDFs–and it leaves the SD card slot open for storing the media I want to consume. Read more

I may have found a few-compromises 7-inch tablet

So I was tempted when I saw a refurbished Acer Iconia 7-inch tablet for $151. Its specs are outmoded but respectable–dual core 1 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB of storage, and a microSD slot. And Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is available for it.

But there’s something better around the corner. I say few-compromises, because I haven’t seen a no-compromises 7-inch tablet yet. The 7-inch sector is all about value.

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Cyanogenmod 7 on a Nook Color

I should not have said yesterday it would take 38 minutes or less to turn my Nook Color into a Cyanogenmod-powered tablet. Big mistake.

I have it running now, more or less. It’s nice. Sluggish at times, but once it’s set up it seems to do better. Time can make it better. Getting started is the big thing. Baby steps. Baby steps.

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