Friday, November 8, 2013

[Rant] Dell Latitude 10 Tablet audio quality

460-11995r1I’ve said this in my review. The audio quality and the maximum volume level of the Dell Latitude 10 Essentials tablet is horrible. I cannot watch any videos in the kitchen when my wife is frying food. There is no such issue with the iPhone. So I hardly use the tablet when there is a bit of ambient noise. Not that I don’t want to, but I just cannot. That really sucks! One of the reasons why I got this over the iPad 4 was because I wanted to enjoy videos with the 16:9 aspect ratio. Not with those black bars on the top and on the bottom. (There were other reasons too.)

I always wanted to make a video and show this to everybody. I was too lazy to do that. But now that I’m 90% sure that I’m going to get rid of the Tablet, I felt that I should do some social service and prevent anyone else from falling into the same pic. No wonder Dell is not selling this in showrooms such as Yodobashi or Biccamera. They are selling it online. We have to rely on the reviews but nobody seem to mention this issue with audio in their reviews. That’s why I am.

When I sent the tablet back to Dell to replace the broken display (here, here and here), I asked them to check if there was something wrong with this particular tablet. Hey, that’s quite possible eh? But they said it was working as expected. Dumb technicians. I’m sure they haven’t used the tablet for anything other than replacing the screens!!!

So here is a video I made comparing the audio quality of the tablet and my old iPhone 4S. Remember, the iPhone 4S came out more than a year before the Dell tablet. And it has only one speaker. It should be smaller than the two speakers on the tablet. I’m recording the video via the iPhone 5S and then further compressing the video so that YouTube doesn’t screw up the quality. In reality, the difference in audio quality is much larger. The video I’m playing back is a video posted by Linus Sebastian, a well-known internet celebrity. I watch a lot of his tech videos and other YouTube videos using the tablet. Linus also does a weekly tech show (called the WAN show) every Friday night, and for some reason, the audio levels of those videos are very low. I basically cannot watch those videos on the tablet.
Dell Latitude 10 Essentials vs iPhone 4S: audio quality and volume shootout

Edit:
One thing I forgot to tell you was that the volume issue (possibly not the audio quality issue) is not caused by the speakers. Even when I use headsets, the max volume levels are much lower on the tablet compared to my phone. Something is wrong with the audio chip. I’m sure they are cutting all the corners to make an extra dime and losing the customer base. These people never learn.
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