The TeleRead Review: Visual Land Prestige 10 Internet Tablet

By Howard Whitman

I’ll freely admit that when it comes to tablets, I’m more familiar with the kind The Flintstones wrote on than the newfangled, touchscreen, sorta-computer-thingy ones.

Yep, I’m a technology curmudgeon—a man who didn’t start using an iPod until 2011 (although I do love it). But when it comes to tablets, iPad or otherwise, I didn’t have one, didn’t want one, and didn’t see the day when I would.

Well, call me convinced. The opportunity to “kick the tires” on Visual Land’s Prestige 10 Tablet for review has been a revelation, because this is a cracker of a unit.

The Prestige 10 has a sweet 10-inch screen (an eight-inch model, logically named the Prestige 8, is also available) and runs the Android operating system (this was, of course, my first encounter with that). FYI, this uses the latest version of Android, 4.0, which has been named Ice Cream Sandwich. I have no idea why it’s called that, but it seems to work well, and, anyway, I like ice cream sandwiches.

It has 16GB Flash memory and 1GB Ram, for those who care about such things. It has an extremely thin ½-inch design and is light and portable, weighing in at under 20 ounces. And best of all, it’s sheer fun—it offers an incredible variety of cool things to do, and at a surprisingly low price.

I tried the black model , but it’s available in five colors, including light blue, red, purple and pink.

Setup was quick and simple. Upon firing the unit up, I’d connected it to my home Wi-Fi network (just click on your network, punch in the password, and you’re done).

The first thing I tried (of course, something I’d never before tried) was to download and read an e-book. The Prestige 10 certainly made it easy. One of the many apps that come pre-loaded on the unit is Amazon Kindle, so I simply called that up and, by logging into my Amazon account, was able to download some wonderful e-books from the vast selection of public-domain books available totally free.

I opted for some spooky classics: the original Dracula (and its little-known sequel, also by Bram Stoker, Dracula’s Guest) and Frankenstein; an anthology from Edgar Allen Poe; and a ghost story. Nice. Since I’d never before read an e-book, I wanted to sample a variety of them to see how they would differ in layout, etc., when viewed on this new device. They downloaded quickly from Amazon, and then were on the tablet, easily accessed through the icons on the Kindle app screen. All I had to do at that point was touch the icon of the book I wanted to look at, and soon it was loaded.

A note about that: I learned that the uploading time depends on how well the tablet is accessing Amazon’s cloud system: At home, e-books popped up in less than a minute; in my office building, which has a sketchy record for Wi-Fi and cell signals, it could take up to five minutes or sometimes failed to sync altogether—although that’s not the tablet’s fault.

My first test subject, Frankenstein, came up nicely. The screen seemed a bit too bright at first, but that was easily adjusted through the Prestige 10’s settings app on its Utilities page. Type size was also easy to adjust, but the smaller type was just fine for my eyes. I was able to turn pages easily and quickly by just tapping the page I was on. Reading this way on the Prestige 10 was definitely comfortable and user-friendly, and I could see myself enjoying books like this on a train or plane instead of lugging around bound volumes—the main appeal of the e-book approach in the first place.

The pages available on the Prestige 10 include Home (Appstore, Kindle, Wi-Fi setup), Lifestyle (recipes, calendar, etc.), Productivity (Adobe Reader, notes, calculator), Social (Web browser, Email, Skype), Entertainment (Netflix, YouTube) and my kids’ favorite page, Games (loaded with free versions of Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Sprinkle and Scramble). There’s also an applications page where the apps I (and my son, who’s much better at this kind of thing than I am) loaded reside. (While Google Play is not currently available on the Prestige 10, the device is Amazon app store compatible. Additionally, the tablet comes installed with the GetJar and 1Mobile markets. –Ed.)

To test the unit’s video capabilities, I went to Netflix. Accessing my account was easy—just log in with your email address and password one time and you’re good to go. The movie I picked loaded quickly—faster than Netflix loads on my Blu-ray player, for the record—but the resolution was less than ideal. The picture was blocky and pixelated, not perfect, but the speed of loading and seamless play was appreciated. Also, navigating the Android version of Netflix was on the challenging side—what came up were recommended picks in a variety of categories based on my viewing preferences, but I wasn’t able to access my Instant Queue and choose from all of the titles I’ve already selected. I’ll bet there’s a way to access this list, but I didn’t see it and didn’t feel like putting in the time to locate it—of course, that’s a Netflix flaw, not a Prestige 10 one.

I’m not a gamer, but my son sure is, and he had a great time with the unit’s games, especially Angry Birds. Picture was decent—not Xbox-level, but the graphics came through well and the colors seemed true.

Navigating the Web went pretty smoothly. Transition between different sites moved quickly; no problems there. The toughest part—and I’m sure this is typical of any tablet—was operating the touch keyboard to enter URLs and text. That certainly will take some getting used to, but hey, it’s not a laptop and isn’t necessarily intended to replace one, right?

What else does the Prestige 10 do? A better question may be, “What doesn’t it do?”

It comes with most of the bells and whistles you’d expect from an iPad or another more expensive tablet: a built-in camera good for stills, video or webcam; a fully functional touchscreen; capability for playing music or video, and much more. Battery life was very impressive—the specs say it lasts for eight hours on a full charge, and a full day of usage by my son seemed to bear that out. It came with every hookup you’d ever want, enabling connection of USB devices and other formats.

I had a good ol’ time with the Prestige 10. Its varied functionality and overall smooth performance made it a great asset for passing the hours away—and getting some work done, too.

My only qualm about the unit was the screen resolution, particularly in the case of Netflix. From what I’ve seen of the iPad, the Prestige 10 does not offer the same level of performance in this regard. But who expected it to?

The Prestige 10 will sell for a fraction of the iPad’s cost. It has a $499.99 list price, but should be available at retail in the $215 to $250 range. That’s an amazing price for a versatile 10-inch tablet that offers so much.

For further information, including a full listing of model specs, a handy FAQ section for tablet newbies and downloadable (PDF) user manuals, visit

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Howard Whitman is the managing editor of Home Furnishings Business, which is published by the North American Publishing Company’s (NAPCOConsumer Technology Publishing Group. Howard is also a highly-accomplished musician, and currently plays bass for the Philadelphia-area prog rock band Shadow Merchant.


  1. “I’ll freely admit that when it comes to tablets, I’m more familiar with the kind The Flintstones wrote on than the newfangled, touchscreen, sorta-computer-thingy ones.”

    “The Prestige 10 will sell for a fraction of the iPad’s cost. It has a $499.99 list price, but should be available at retail in the $215 to $250 range. That’s an amazing price for a versatile 10-inch tablet that offers so much.”

    Hmmmm I think I’ll take a rain check on that ‘review’ then …………… thanks all the same

  2. Don’t forget, Howard, that the vast majority of TeleRead’s readers aren’t anywhere near as tech-savvy–or even as e-book-savvy–as you and some of our other regular contributors are.

    We have a lot of newbies and beginners logging onto the site–people who know little to nothing about tablets or e-readers, aside from the fact that they’d really like to own one. For those readers, the typical spec-filled and jargon-heavy review isn’t terribly useful, and we want to make sure we’re meeting those readers’ needs from time to time as well.

    Regardless of all that, though, why is it that you feel the need to be so sarcastic and outright belittling in so many of your comments? I understand that you’ve very passionate about the community we cover, but I think there is something to be said for good ol’ fashioned manners. The simple fact of the matter is that you’re not going to agree with everyone who comments here, and likewise, there are some commenters will who never agree with you.

    Don’t get me wrong: There’s nothing wrong with letting people know you disagree with their opinions. In fact, those are exactly the sorts of comments that often lead to interesting–and even valuable–discussions. But in my experience, commenters who manage to remain polite, mature and at least relatively calm are often taken much more seriously than those who write things online that they would never say in person.

    Fair enough?

  3. Wow. I find that a shocking and patronising, never mind inaccurate comment. if that is how people here see my contributions I will shove off to where people can discuss things vigorously, without getting personal.

  4. Wow Dan, you are really off-base here. Your post is patronizing and belittling. Do you see your role here as kind but firm parent ready to put us unruly children in their place?

    First off, interent message boards can be pretty rough and tumble places. Howard’s mild sarcasm does not even touch on the outer fringes of the spectrum that I would consider worthy of chastisement. I’m sorry if you are hoping for a My Little Pony, Sunday At Church always cheerful buzz. It’s just not going to happen unless you drive everybody with a critical mind away.

    Secondly, Howard has a perfectly valid point. Anybody who starts a tech review by saying “I’m such a simpleton that I know more about Flintstone’s Tablets than modern tablets” is sending up a huge red flag. My first thought is “why the heck would I want to read a review by a guy who identifies himself as ignorant of the subject?”

  5. Howard’s comments are usually among the most perceptive and well-written on this site. I specifically look forward to them.

    I’m also a bit dubious about this “review” (which starts to smell like a sales pitch towards the end), but I would like to see two-part reviews of devices: Part 1 being the tech review, and Part 2 being a review by someone who is new to that type of device.

    No matter how hard you try, familiarity with an issue distances you from what a new person will encounter (and I say this as a teacher: it’s a key problem for us). I was reminded of that in the tech space recently, when my parents (in their eighties) asked me for advice on getting into e-reading. (My Mum, in particular, has a sharp, analytic mind, and has taken to computing in the past few years like a duck to water.) I wrote what I thought was a beginner-level intro, and pointed them to a couple of my ebook articles, which I also thought were intro-level.

    They said, thanks and the articles were good, but we didn’t understand much of them.

    We need to provide information which will help new users. We need to remember that they may be completely new to technology, or to mobile computing. E-reading and mobile device use are going to grow enormously in the next few years. Let’s give new users the info they need.

  6. As a new user in the e-book market, I found Mr. Whitman’s review insightful. Whi should I pay $499 for an iPad when I can get this Visual Land product much cheaper. I’m looking for a cheap solution for the train in and out of NYC.

  7. I found the review very helpful BECAUSE it comes from the perspective of a person who is new to tablet computing.

    Not all of us want to root our devices and go totally techno. Some of us want a simple, affordable, nice quality tablet that just works…if the object is a fraction of the IPad in both price and smugnaciousness, so much the better.

  8. Here’s the problem, George. If the reviewer is ignorant of tech in general, if he has no broad based knowledge of tablets or other digital devices, then he can’t answer your question as to why you should pay $499 for an iPad.

    He doesn’t know why because he is admittedly ignorant. Maybe there are good reasons like more features, quality construction, better service, easier to read screen, resale value etc etc.

    A quick look at the tech specs for this tablet shows me that it has a 1024×600 resolution screen. That is horrifically, mind-numbingly low resolution for a 10″ device. EBooks will be a fuzzy mess if you try to read on this screen. Massive eye-strain will be expected for most users.

    Our tech challenged reviewer does mention that the screen seemed weak but doesn’t bother comparing it to any other products. How can you review an item in complete isolation from competing products? Answer, you can’t.

    If you walked into a cell phone store with your Aunt Edna who is completely ignorant of the cellphone world, would you buy the phone in the corner just because she said “Get that one, it’s got a low price.”? Would you buy the same phone that Edna is using because it is the only one she has ever used and she thinks it is “pretty good”?

    Or would you want some advice from someone who has a broad range of experience with a multitude of devices, can compare them intelligently and point you to the one that has the features you need?

  9. Hello everyone, Howard Whitman here—the writer of this review.
    Your comments are well-taken and appreciated on this end. As a professional journalist who has been writing professionally for 25+ years, it’s always welcome when your work engages people and gets them involved in a discussion—whether the tone is positive or not.
    For those who are offended by my “e-reader-ignorant” viewpoint—or the Flintstones joke at the start—my apologies. I was merely being 100% honest about MY personal background (or lack thereof) with e-readers and tablets. I am by no means technologically ignorant, or a newbie, or anything along those lines. I’ve used and reviewed lots of tech and media—you can find plenty of my work on TeleRead’s sister sites, and My point was that I was not familiar with tablets or e-readers—once again, just being honest. While the points made here about having products reviewed by experts are well-taken, I believe, as a professional editor and writer who’s written for and edited a vast number of publications over the course of my career—that sometimes it’s interesting and valuable to have a unique viewpoint on a topic—perhaps someone who’s approaching the topic with fresh eyes and a different perspective.
    My goal with my writing is to make it interesting, informative, compelling and accurate. If this review didn’t work for you, so be it. But I’d bet there are some readers out there who come to these products with the same background—or lack thereof—as me, and enjoyed reading a piece written from a viewpoint similar to theirs.
    I never said this was the best tablet out there. I said it was a good product for this price point, and I’ll stand by that, “Aunt Edna” comments notwithstanding. The point here wasn’t comparing it to other products. I’m sure you can find plenty of reviews elsewhere that do from folks you feel are better qualified than I am. I was merely relating my experience based on my expectations for what this device should deliver.
    Once again, I honestly appreciate your commentary and the dialogue that has ensued from my piece.
    Howard Whitman

  10. What a piece of crap and no support. Do not buy. I complained be their site that it was slow. After many days, they gave me a difficult set of instructions to reset. I tried but still slow. Now 2 weeks later it wont reboot when I shut it down. No phone to call no help, DO NOT BUY

  11. I bought one for my daughter and I to Skype with. The audio and video are horrible and after 4 short Skype sessions, it froze up. I have exchanged the same model three times and none of them would boot up. I called the distributor where I bought it and they said that the only ones left ere in the repair department. There is no refund or store credit because the serial number is on the box that I threw away. I must now try to deal with Visual Land directly to solve the problem. Do not buy this machine.

  12. @Ted Pursley Sounds like you had a bad wifi connection which would make the audio and video lag and look bad. You say 3 Models and none of them would boot so how did you skype with your daughter on one? Also, Did you fully charge the models the recommended time (be patient new devices need some time to fully charge properly the first time)? Also you threw the box away and that’s not a valid reason for me or others to not purchase one.

    Thanks for the review here, it helped me become more familiar with the tablet and that what counts to me. Peace.

  13. Dear Mr. Whitman,

    Thanks for writing such a direct, and heartfelt review on the VL Prestige 10. I do not agree with the comments made by other commentators who come across like you should be some kind of “expert” on the subject matter. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    For one, most model SPECIFIC reviews don’t generally go into direct comparisons with competing models so you’re right on the money in the way you presented this. Second of all, There are other sites, and reviewers who do go into details of comparing similar models, but the Prestige 10 would never be lined up side by side with an iPad anyway. Maybe in the future, Visual Land will introduce a much higher end model that could go “toe to toe” with the iPad, but for now, that’s not the case.

    Funny how the iPad/Apple fanboys (and gals) will usually come out of the wood work so to speak just to disparage any competing product whenever there is a review of an Android based device. The truth is that Android is beating Apple in the phone, and tablet wars, and that has some people on edge.

    Personally, I have no direct experience with tablets either but have a Visual Land Prestige 7L on order. I think it should be an interesting experience for me.

    Thank you again for this insightful article.

  14. I liked the review even if more tech knowledgeable people didn’t. I actually don’t like the reviews written by tech gurus. I want to hear how it worked out for the novice. I am trying to decide on a tablet for my daughter’s 10th birthday. I myself do not own one and actually just purchased my first smartphone after being really resistant for several years. It was nice to be able to understand what I was reading and i loved the comment about the ice cream sandwhich. I too have wondered about that. Not knowing much about something I’m going to purchase for the first time I like to investigate a little and came across this review. Thanks.

  15. One thing no one has mentioned is that the Prestige 10 tablet does not come pre-loaded with Google play, nor can Google play be added. The first two apps I wanted to install both required Google play, so I was totally out of luck.

  16. The way i see it is you get what you pay for if you go cheap then it will work cheap but even if you buy something in the $500 dollar range it will still freeze so nothing is perfect and the more you put on them the slower they will work but most likely you will never get something that works right anyways and people have their own opinions on everything you have yours and they have theirs so y can we just leave it at that.

  17. I had gotten my two oldest sons the visual 7L prestige. It worked OK for about 30 secs then updates like crazy your stuck frozen rams full and can’t do anything not 1 game,song nothing even if I move them to SD I’ve still have no ram space terrible lagg just needs a bigger ram storage space great. The problem I think is everything that is running auto that you can’t uninstall,change,or stop your ram is almost full at the first boot up

    Thanks. Ryan v
    PS I’m a poor family and they are pricey need help before I decide to return

  18. I loved the review. I do know my way around technical stuff. But it is always nice to read a review by a new user. If they can plainly tell me their experience with a device then I can take it from there. I understand this tablet isn’t an ipad, but as I am not capable of paying top $ for apple products I am just looking for a tablet so I don’t have to use my smartphone to check email or facebook.I have a 4 g HTC evo and it was expensive and it still locks up. Anyways thank you for the review.

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