Ouch. Consumer Reports sent over a report stating that customers should avoid the Monster M7 tablet sold exclusively at Walmart. All three purchased samples have had trouble staying active during continuous-use battery testing. Lockups also reportedly happen anytime from within an hour to several hours of use while surfing the web, and while just sitting idle. "Lockup" is defined as a frozen or blank screen while the backlight stays on.
"We were able to perform a hard shutdown and restart to clear the problem until it happened again," the report states.
The device seems ideal for the holidays, a $150 tablet with a 7-inch 1280 x 800 screen backed by a dual-core SoC clocked at 1.5 GHz and 1 GB of DDR3 memory. The device also has 16 GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot for additional storage, a 5MP camera on the back and a 2MP camera on the front. There's also Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, GPS, stereo speakers and a battery promising up to 8 hours of use.
The new 7-inch tablet is based on Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" and provides full access to Google Play, meaning this isn't a (highly) forked platform depending on an exclusive Monster App Store. Pre-installed apps include Gmail, Google Maps, Google Voice, Google Books, YouTube, Google Drive, Google, Google Earth, Google Finance, Twitter and Facebook. Walmart's video service, Vudu, will also be pre-installed.
"Interestingly, the exclusive retailer (Wal-Mart) didn't list Monster among the list of tablet manufacturers in their product browser when we checked recently, though we were able to find it with a search," the report continues. "What's more, the tablet was completely missing from the manufacturer's main website (monsterproducts.com), and was listed instead on a dedicated site (mymonstertablet.com) for this product. That website was incomplete, having sales information but only 'coming soon' pages for 'Press' and 'FAQ' links, as well as for the announced 10-inch M10 tablet."
"The web page for System Update requests for the tablet was also completely missing when we checked," the report adds. "When we called the tech support number given on the website, the agent assured us that the tablet wouldn't need a System Update for at least another eight months. That struck us as odd, since the tablet came with only Android 4.1, while all other new tablets except a few low-end models are shipping with 4.2 or 4.3, and 4.4 is about to be released."
Consumer Reports is calling this tablet a "Don't Buy," which is a shame given that Monster is known for its high-end audio products; you expect the same quality with its new tablet line. The group will keep an eye on this tablet and Monster to see if any updates are released to address the issues reported above. Consumer Reports did not mention the 10.1 inch M10 model.
"It may have gotten Shaq's endorsement, but not ours," Consumer Reports stated.