by, npanaro3  (LPL Mod Staff)

Upgrades…. We all love our upgrades. whether its an upgrade at a fast food joint for a measly $1 and change, or if it’s an upgrade for an airline ticket to first class for $1000. over base fee, or even if its just upgrading your internet speed with your cable company for just a few dollars more a month. We as a culture have come to accept these upgrades as a part of our life, even if they’re not so good for us. Most consumers work hard to scrape together enough money to pay for this rise in stature and class, that we truly appreciate so much. So, at the very least, we hope to receive, what has been promised or advertised.

Since I’ve been part of the LePan community, I have come to expect a few things from our tablet company. One of which, is, I will wait for a long time, for our upgrades from them. This is because I adore my Lepan tablet. Especially the LePan II (TC-979). From day one, I figured out, fairly quickly, that, what is promised, may take some time. So the owners of the LePan II, waited with angst, for the, forever promised, sometimes mythical, Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich! But, those with patients are for sure, to be rewarded, or so some thought. And finally, on July 15, 2012, the owners of the LePan II (TC-979) received their upgrade to the ever elusive, Ice Cream Sandwich. Though, some may say, this frozen treat, may already be starting to melt!

First, I will say this, that the sleek design of the software and the organizing abilities, comparable to launchers in the Google Play Store, are second to none. Along with the Developers options that haven’t previously been seen before, in any Android software, the overall feel and look of ICS is quite pleasant. But, once I figured out how to download the software, and after setting up my account and turning on the wifi, I along with many others, noticed a problem right from the beginning. One moment I could be surfing the internet flawlessly, and the very next second, I would be receiving a notification in the middle of my screen, saying “connection lost.” So, I would open the settings menu, and see that the wifi signal is bouncing, back and forth, from connected to saved, like a ping pong ball.  From there, naturally, I switch off, and back on, my wifi setting, in the hopes that it was a one time thing, But within five minutes, I would see that same “connection lost,” notification again. In that moment, in my heart, whether I wanted to admit it or not, I, along with, I believe, many others, knew, that this may be more of a failing grade, than an upgrade! This wifi problem, has been the same issue, reported by many others, on this forum, and from the LePan community!

Now, being the inquisitive person that I am, this problem raises a few questions with me… 1. Is LePan aware of this issue? 2. Is LePan going to do anything about this issue? 3. How long have they known about this? 4. Why are half the people who upgraded, having this problem and half are not? 5. Did LePan crumble under the pressure of customer complaints, and missed, promised dates, and just push this upgrade out before they checked their work? Which brings me to my 5th question I would like to ask LePan. Are they aware of, or are they ignoring the old saying…”Those who don’t learn from their past, are condemned to repeat it?”

First off, I would like to point out that, LePan offered a very noble gesture, and replaced an enormous amount of LePan II tablets after discovering that, the much anticipated and also, highly mythical, HDMI cable was not compatible with the V-114 firmware. and after realizing that the recent V-118 firmware didn’t even have an HDMI feature, somebody needed to step up and fix this issue. LePan did just that. If you were still under warranty, you could open a case with LePan and they would send you a brand new TC-979, with a revised version of V-118, and a fully functional HDMI feature and cable. Now, I have to say, I don’t think many companies would take a hit like this. But, LePan did! And for that, I applaud them!

But it seems to me, that, history may have repeated itself with this recent upgrade to ICS, and if this company continues to ignore this problem, or doesn’t come up with an upgrade to their upgrade, they may be forced to learn the hard way again. There are many companies out there that feel the pressure from their customers, but they don’t put out a product until it has been tested on every version of their machines. The customers will wait, as long as they are not lied to, and given broken promises, instead of, fulfilled promised dates. Though, there are band aids available to slow the bleeding caused by this ICS wifi problem, they are still just temporary, and I mean very temporary fixes, and there are only so many times you can send a replacement tablet to a customer before they say, “you know what, maybe an upgrade to an Ipad may be in my near future.” As far as my opinion goes, If they handle this wifi issue carefully, and make a statement about it, I see a smooth run, after a rocky start. But, in this ever competitive, Android, let alone, tablet market, this company could see itself at the bottom of a steep, rocky, downgrade, with the rest of the mediocre tablet companies, all because of, what was supposed to be, a delightful upgrade.


Categories: App Reviews

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