Review: The F5CS Fusion5 XTRA V3 Tablet PC

A1CS Fusion5 #3 In This Office

For those of you that have followed me before you will know that I have been a fan of the A1CS Fusion5 Xtra tablet range for some time. Since the wife bought one of their customised import units nearly 2 years ago I have since had a Fusion5 Xtra and now they are on their third incarnation of that tablet as well and it is the best tablet purchase we have made in a long time. It was only right that there was one for me to give this tablet review as well. At just £139.99 on Amazon it is cheap as chips and it is no Samsung Galaxy Tab; but does it stand up to the rigours of a simple lady and her need for a tablet about the house.

F5CS Fusion5 Xtra V3Before we start lets highlight something really important. A1CS have changed their name to F5CS; they are the same company in Durham and as far as I have found they still maintain the same standards of customer care if you have a problem. If you are going to be buying off Amazon then be safe in the knowledge they are the same company.

Lets start with something most important; comparing the core specs of the original Fusion5 Xtra (which we reviewed here) with the new Fusion5 Xtra V3:

Fusion5 Xtra V1 Fusion5 Xtra V3
Processor AllWinner A10 (1.2GHz) Cortex A7 (1.5GHz Quad Core)
Graphics Mali 400Mhz
Display size 10.1″ screen at 1024×600
Operating System Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 Android Jelly Bean 4.1
System Memory (RAM) 1GB DDR3 2GB DDR3
Storage 16GB NAND Flash Micro SD (up to 32GB)

The F5CS Fusion5 Xtra V3
So before any illusions, the Fusion5 Xtra V3 is not a top specification iPad for those that need always on power at their fingertips to rule the world.

If you have a budget Android tablet though, the table above shows the F5CS tablet has some big gains in the specification of the tablet since the first A1CS release a couple of years ago.

In my opinion F5CS have updated the Fusion5 Xtra in the places that it is really needed such as the processor and system memory; some will prefer more than  16GB of storage but it is not essential as this is a tablet designed for surfing the net on the sofa using WI-Fi and of course the memory is expandable.

When you first boot up the tablet comes with the standard range of Android Jelly Bean applications and it comes with both the standard applications that you would expects as well as full access to the Google Play Store.

Google Accounts

Google Play Store - F5CS Fusion5 Xtra V3As with all the usual Android tablets and Google Play Store you will need to sign up to for a Google Account when you first use Play Store or simply sign in with your current one. If you have apps from a different tablet then of course you will find them in the Play Store under My Apps and “All”.

No 3G

One of the big factors to keep the Fusion5 Xtra range under £150 is that it is Wi-Fi only and does not come with a 3G adapter. For many people this will not be a problems because the at home nearly everyone has wireless Internet routers; but if you don’t then you can find that setting your mobile phone up as a mobile hotspot or using one of the millions of free Wi-Fi hotspots in cities will be just as easy.

Indeed we have found that the Fusion5 Xtra V3 is more reliable at maintaining the wireless connection than the original Fusion5 and a little better than the Fusion5 Xtra (Version 1).

Using Your Fusion5 Xtra V3

I have said before that if the tablet came with a 3G slot and Bluetooth then it would mean my laptop would be used a lot less. We are half way there and I am going to steal the tablet from the wife and take it out on the train one day for some proper testing!

New to Fusion5 Xtra – Bluetooth

One of the big improvements for the tablet is that it now comes with Bluetooth so that you can connect up a keyboard and mouse to the system. During the first few uses we found that the tablet assumed that a mouse had been connected because the touch screen would no longer respond. Whether this was a glitch or an update received Over The Air (OTA) we do not know, but it did sort itself out!

This means that the big critisism that I had of the tablet is that much better. The Xtra V3 does indeed still have the micro-USB ports that prevent you doing very much useful to them, most USB keyboards are still full sized USB and you already have the micro-SD slot

Apps and Games

DSCF0166As we already mentioned you can use the full Google Play Store and we have tried out a range of apps and game son the tablet which all play well. With the upgraded specs for te tablet you can now also use Google Chrome as your Internet browser, something which the previous incarnations struggled with and often crashing or displaying the “red border” showing developers that it struggled.

There are a few apps that we swear by in this house which will help you as well. If you have media files on a network of servers around the house then you should consider installing ES File Manager. You can access both video and document files across the network once it has connected to your drives.

Battery Life

Battery life seems to be very good – installed is a standard 6000mA battery and we have not yet had the chance to put it to the tests that we have previously on the previous editions. A battery test will come though and the plan is

  • surfing the Internet for 90 minutes
  • watching a 1 hour program on BBC iPLayer
  • Installing and un-installing a few programs
  • listening to a 1 hour radio program on the BBC

This test will obviously be what you and I would be likely to do on a regular basis!

Final Thoughts: F5CS Fusion5 Xtra V3

We love the A1CS and F5CS range of tablets. It was only by pure chance that we bought the first one and then found out how easy they were to use. This review is of course only the tip of the iceberg and as we further test we will show you so much more as a pure consumer.

If you have got this far then you might want to


as well and the more of them you buy, the more likely I am to be able to review another one in the future for the next generation of F5CS fans.

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