FNF iFive X2 - Review - Retina Done Right! (At last...)

The Apple iPad 3rd and 4th generation have a 9.7" 4:3 Panel with a (ludicrous...) display resolution of 2048x1536. This equates to a PPI (pixels-per-inch) rating of about 264. The term that Apple has coined for this magic number is "retina". In short, the idea is that if the screen is at such a distance from your face (2 ft ?) the human eye cannot see the individual pixels because there are so many of them crammed into such a small space that they end up being minuscule and all just blend together to make an excellent image. This doesn't just sound good in theory though, devices with higher PPI screens do indeed look much better to the eye. Especially when it comes to rendering "small detail". For example, less than 9pt font can start looking a bit rough on a lower PPI screen, but on a Retina display it is crisp and clean because there are more pixels which means more detail can be rendered. This also means that ultra-detailed hi-resolution images and video can and often does look much better. So, retina displays are pretty cool. They are also...

1. Expensive

2. Demanding on resources...

The last bit means that if you don't have a kick-arse processor driving your tablet display, you are going to inevitably see stuttering and lag in device performance. Higher-resolution means more work for the processor to render all those pretty graphics.

IMHO the RK3188 processor is the first processor out of China that will allow Chinese devices to do adequately push retina quality displays. But just barely and only recently has the firmware for the RK3188 (and the android operating system) been improved enough to allow for this.

So that brings us to the FNF iFive X2. This device features an RK3188 processor and a 8.9" Widescreen with a resolution of 1920x1200 which = 254 PPI which is the equivalent of a retina display.

So this review is going to be a bit unique on my part as I will be focusing more heavily on overall usage performance and particularly graphics performance on the X2. The RK3188 features a Mali 400 Quad-Core GPU which definitely has a good bit of grunt to throw around and does very well at resolutions of 1280x800 or less. I personally think that 1920x1200 is the "top-end" for this chipset where you still have a "balanced" enough tablet that it is fully capable of not just internet and email but of more intensive tasks such as gaming.

FNF as a brand has been recently introduced to me and I have been really thrilled with the two devices I have seen so far. The Mini3 from FNF is the finest example of not just Chinese tablet design, but tablet design across the board. The X2 is also phenomenally well made, if not as strikingly beautiful as the Mini3. But I will save that for the next section of this review.