Yesterday, the VP of my company stops by my desk and shows off the tablet that he picked up during his trip to China. I glanced at it and said, “Oh, it’s an iPad 2.” The VP said, “Yeah, I picked it up for around $180. Here, why don’t you try it out?”
Right away, I noticed something wrong with this “iPad 2.” The feel of the tablet felt rather fragile and cheap. The markings on the back of the “iPad 2″ had the Apple logo and the typical markings, except… the label said it was a 128 GB version (which doesn’t exist) and a Google Android OS copyright.
Doing some online research, this fake “iPad 2″ is actually a Grefu M97 tablet. Booting it up, I was greeted with the green Google Android robot. Once loaded, the desktop layout was reminiscent from a old version of Android. The performance was slow, and touch capacitive was extremely poor; I had to apply greater pressure than usual for it to register my actions. I was a bit cautious, as the screen was made of cheap plastic and made a slight crackle noise whenever I pressed on it. The battery life was also rather poor, as the battery only seemed to last for a few hours.
Upon checking the system settings on this fake iPad 2, it said it was running Froyo 2.2 (which is almost three years old at this point). With this $180 fake iPad 2 claiming it had 128 GB storage, I checked to see if it had any validity. Of course, that claim too was false, as it actually only had 4 GB of internal storage.
The VP asked me to see if there was any way to improve the usage experience of the fake iPad 2. As this tablet only had access to some third party app market (which barely had any usable apps) and no access to the real Google Market, rooting was the only option. Unfortunately, rooting this tablet is proving to be a bit difficult, as there is barely any information on this device to begin with. We’ll see how this goes.
Shortly after I posted this, the screen on the Grefu M97 cracked, as I had feared. As the screen was made of some cheap plastic, it just couldn’t handle all the touch pressure. Let this be a lesson in why counterfeit electronics should be avoided, no matter how tempting the price is.