E-Fun updated tablets and adds accessories

CES 2014: Light bulbs and watches aplenty, or at least one of each

E-Fun LogoLast year when SemiAccurate ran in to E-Fun, we were impressed with the quality of their tablets. This year we knew what to expect on that front, but the watches and lightbulb were a surprise.

This year the two E-Fun tablets called the Nextbook 7 and Nextbook 8 were expected and as we hoped they were a step up from last year’s models. They are once again solidly built and unquestionably aimed at the bottom of the market with their $129 and $149 price tags. For that you get a quad-core 1.6GHz CPU from Rockchip along with a 4:3 1024*768 cap touch screen. The Nextbook 7 sports a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU of the same heritage along with a 16*9 aspect ratio 1024*600 screen.

E-Fun Nextbook 7 and 8 tablets

Heavily felt up tablets at CES

Both have SD slots, 8GB of flash, and 1GB of DDR3 main memory. One unusual feature on both versions is a micro-HDMI output, a welcome feature that is sadly uncommon in modern tablets especially at this price. Not much more to say, a bit better, a bit faster, a bit cheaper, and perfectly adequate for most non-geeks.

As with everyone else, E-Fun had a smartwatch called the NextONE on display, but unlike the rest E-Fun seems to get the concept of what the category should be. Instead of being a phone replacement that doesn’t work very well, E-Fun understands that the smartwatch is an accessory to the phone that lets you do some functions more easily than by pulling something out of your pocket.

E-Fun NextONE smartwatch

Will smartwatches be here in 2015? Place your bets now

The NextONE will pull pictures from your watch, has the usual fitness apps and trackers, and E-Fun is encouraging 3rd party app development. As with everything else in the category, the apps will determine the success or failure of this device because they are in effect the device. Call me skeptical but I don’t expect the category to matter in two years from any vendor, but one or two may survive.

Last up was a color changing LED lightbulb concept. You sync to it via bluetooth and then it changes color to the beat of the music. If you can imagine a fan-fic remake of Saturday Night Fever done around a kitchen table with a budget of <$99, this would be the perfect addition. That said if it is a decent LED bulb, and the cost of the color and Bluetooth are low enough, why not buy one? It would be worth a small premium for the occasional practical joke now and then, the rest of the time it is just a bulb.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate