Update August, 24 2011: If you are attempting to root your tablet please check out the latest Uberoid mod instead of the one listed in this review. You can read about my experiences with the update on this blog entry along with links to the latest mod.
Original Article:This is my review of a MID 80003W android tablet purchased from Geeks.com and my experiences rooting it. It's a no name MID (Mobile Internet Device) that comes up as model Wondermedia WM8650 when I check the device's about screen.
The device was of particular interest because it boasted 3G, 8" screen, and Android 2.2. Unfortunately I struck out on all three features. The 3G connectivity wasn't compatible with my AT&T SIM card because it doesn't have a SIM slot. The device does have a 8" screen but it is a low quality resistive surface which is more compatible with finger taps and a stylus instead of finger presses that a quality capacitive screen can sense. The tablet does have Android 2.2 but it was loaded with an unlicensed Android OS and filled with sketchy Chinese apps. Apparently an unlicensed OS can't access the official Android Market. The user interface was slow and applications were very unsettling. For a more comprehensive review check out this OSnews article on the device.
Two features that are usually standard were surprisingly missing; a USB interface for connection to a computer and a head phone jack!
There isn't anything I can do about the 3G and screen but rooting the device turned it into a half usable tablet. Unfortunately there is a lack of clear directions on rooting it and what ROM to use so below is the procedure I followed. You'll need a micro SD card, Windows computer, and several downloads.
- Download Uberoid_WM8650_2.2_v1.2.2_NL_v20110414-HcH Uberoid ROM from TechKnow.
Note: To access the download you must be logged into the TechKnow forum. Free registration.
- Download SD Formatter and install it on a windows.
- Connect the SD card and use the SD formatter to create an empty FAT32 volume.
- Unzip the Uberoid download and copy the files onto the SD card. The wmt_scriptcmd file and FirmwareInstall folder should be on the root of the card.
- With the android tablet turned off, insert the SD card, and turn it back on.
- During startup the android tablet will read the SD card and install the firmware. It took about 4 minutes for the process to complete before the device rebooted into the new OS. Watch the screen because the SD card must be ejected when the firmware installation completes or the upgrade will run again after the device restarts.
- The final step was to blunder my way through the menu to calibrate the screen.
Overall the process was straightforward and worthwhile. The device now runs faster and user interactions are more fluent. The sketchy Chinese apps are gone and the official Android Market is available.