Hannspree mainly makes screens, so our first thoughts when hearing that the monitor maker was to launch an Android tablet was that they were likely to get the display right. It's rather shiny, but is solid and scratch-resistant and strikes a good balance between colour saturation and brightness. It's neither multi-touch, nor as responsive as we'd like - a surprise given the up-to-the-minute 1GHz Coretex A9 processor that Hannspree has fitted inside this 10.1in tablet. This is accompanied by 512MB of DDR2 RAM and 16GB of internal memory.
The Hannspree Hannspad runs Froyo - a fairly advanced version of the Android mobile OS, but really built for smartphones. The Honeycomb version of Android which is designed specifically for tablets is so far only available on the Motorola Xoom and the Acer Iconia A500, although many other devices based on Android 3.0 will be out this summer.
Hannspree Hannspad: Performance
Although far from nimble in comparison with the Xoom, the Hannspree Hannspad is better than some Android 2.2 devices we've tried. Many are hobbled to a far greater degree than this model by the platform. We had no problem playing Angry Birds - a must on any tablet or smartphone these days - and there's a reasonable pinch-to-zoom so you can see what you're aiming at.
Playing video on the Hannspree Hannspad was an entirely different matter. Two video playing apps were installed on the review sample we tried, one called ES Video Player and the other simply Video Player. The 1080p sample footage about dolphins was noticeably jerky, while artefacts spoilt the intro and action scenes to Bond's Die Another Day. Nor was there much depth to the sound - a crying shame given the timbre of some of those Bond theme tunes.
More importantly, the viewing angles and reflectiveness of the Hannspad made it an uncomfortable experience. Unless you constantly hold the tablet just so, the action all but disappears from the vertical plane. Horizontal viewing angles are not as restrictive, but you're more likely to find your arm sagging and the tablet hanging backwards as you hold the device.
Hannspree Hannspad: Interface
The Hannspree Hannspad's TapUI interface is not dreadful, but again, far less appealing than that on the likes of the iPad or the Motorola Xoom. There's a cartoon-like overlay that does nothing to make the Hannspad seem like a smart and desirable object of envy. The features that the menu items here take you to are rather sluggish - lose this overlay and we'd probably have a better impression of a far from badly specified device.
The other element worthy of note, connectivity. Not helped by the news feeder being several weeks behind the times, it's probably best sidestepped in favour of a visit to a trusted news source. The 802.11b, g and n Wi-Fi means you should be able to enjoy a fast connection, but rich media on websites and audio streaming didn't really work for us.
Ignoring the less than professional TapUI interface, there's a calendar with to-do and appointment entries plus the option to import external calendars. It defaulted to 1 January 2009 every time we restarted the Hannspad, though. Proper account synching may take time to set up on the Motorola and the Acer, but both work far better than this.
Other standard apps that reside along the bottom of the screen include weather, a web browser, clock, email, music, photos and video. A slight curiosity is the inclusion of a grocery list. Click on the More button to unearth a secondary row of apps including the Libreka! e-book reader (complete with a copy of Robinson Crusoe from the Gutenberg repository), calculator, search, settings and so on.
Hannspree has taken a similar tack to Creative on the Ziio and PC World with its budget Advent Vega tablet and chosen to provide a limited app store. There's sense in this as it means you don't end up downloading apps that won't work on the hardware you've got, but it also means your choice of downloads is very thin.