Maylong Universe: $100 Android Tablet Unboxing & Hands-On [VIDEO]


The Maylong M-150 Universe is a 7-inch Android Tablet that I purchased from Walgreens.com. Yup… that’s right: a 7-inch Android Tablet that I purchased from Walgreen’s and only for $100. Obviously for $100 and without any type of contract, you would assume you’re getting a total hunk of steaming bot grease- but after an initial toying with the Maylong Universe I was pleasantly surprised.

Let’s get some of the obviously bad stuff out of the way:

  • It runs Android 1.6
  • It has a resistive and not capacitive screen. You CAN use your fingers but the tablet works much better with the stylus that comes in the box
  • It does NOT have Android Market but instead a custom market developed by Maylong so the selection is pretty small
  • It doesn’t have much built in memory so you’ll need to insert a MicroSD card to do anything significant from a media, apps and games standpoint

That being said, my first thoughts of the Maylong Universe were that for only $100 and no strings attached, this thing is impressive. It might not be something I would suggest people buy, but it definitely speaks volumes about the ability for companies to leverage Android in creating ultra-affordable products that more than meet the needs of customers.

One huge downfall here is the lack of Android Market and I would be curious to know the process and licensing issues a company faces when trying to incorporate Android Market into their product. With Android Market, the Maylong Universe would instantly skyrocket in value.

One app I really liked was their built-in eBook reader. The features of it were scarce but it allowed you to download out-of-circulation books and the 7-inch form is a great size for reading.

I don’t want to go TOO in-depth because I’ll probably pursue a more full review of this device after I’ve had a lengthier experience and can provide a more complete opinion.

One thing that did bother/irritate me is that the screen of the device was already scratched and knicked up in a number of ways before I even opened the box. That’s pretty poor, and I’m guessing it’s from testing they’ve done with the stylus. Or maybe they’re just reboxing units that have been in development for quite awhile? Either way I was disappointed in that.

We’ll be giving away one of these Maylong Universe tablets as part of tomorrow’s Phan Giveaway so stay tuned and make sure to get your comment ready for entering!

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Can you install out of market apps? Is source available so roms can be made?

  2. That’s not Android. At all. It’s a Chinese knockoff OS that is made to look (a bit) like Android. If you go to China you’ll see a gazillion different phones with knockoff OSes just like this one, that rip off all the major phone OSes.

  3. Man that thing is slow.

  4. So, what would it take to root one of these? :)

  5. Thanks for the review, Rob.

    I’m looking for a cheap tablet for friends & family that want something portable, but don’t necessarily need a netbook for. Portable, easy internet access that’s better facilitated than what a cell phone might provide.

    I think a cheap tablet, like the Maylong Universe, might be the ticket.

    I can’t help but think that this thing is crippled moreso by it’s software than by it’s hardware. Can you imagine the benefits of Froyo on this device? Including the JIT alone would make a significant difference, let alone native Google Applications, and (hopefully) integrating the Android Market.

    To that end, can you see if you can boot into a recovery/bootloader mode on this device? Additionally, any chance you can sideload applications and could try some benchmarking to find out it’s capabilities?

  6. The Phandroid site came up pretty quick. For 100 bucks, guess you can’t complain too much.

  7. Nice try but no.I’ll pass.get me a 10″ honeycomb powered tablet, then i can listen to you…. 1.6,in this day and age? C’mon.

  8. I am still waiting for the one I ordered from Walgreens on October 27th. Sucks.

  9. If it had a capacitive screen It might be good just for web browsing.

  10. A true disgrace to Android. Oh boy.

    The startup visuals seem like im starting a sega genesis.. LOL!!

    roflmao @ the chinese.

  11. I too am still waiting for the one I ordered on 10/27.
    It seems like the initial batch of them that went out to Walgreens customers got decent reviews.

  12. No Market, and running 1.6? I’m not even going to bother to look at the spec. This tablet is not for me.

  13. Root, overclock, get market access? (didn’t watch video; at work…talk about slow computing!)

  14. Come everyone, you can’t even get an iPod Nano for $100.00. As a toy for a kid, or for a parent who is learning to navigate the web, this is a steal. Even just to read forums in bed, this will do for that price.
    @teardropcity have you spoken to Walgreen’s about the status of your order?

  15. do want. not a bad price. certainly better than that samsung tab.

  16. On XDA a few other people were saying their units were scratched. Turns out there was a second plastic film on the screen that needs to be peeled off.

  17. Why would they want to knock off the Android OS when it’s free and more or less open source?

    The whole point of knock offs is to not pay licensing fees.

  18. Can you side load android apps from the sd card?

  19. @Fred
    Android is OPEN. It is NOT FREE!

  20. Patiently waiting for the Archos 10.1″ with Froyo.

  21. You’re absolutely right, Fred. It’s not a knockoff. Even if there were a reason to knock off, no national retail chain would have any part of it.

  22. I have heard similar statements about scratches. One person mentioned that the problem turned out to be caused by a second layer of plastic film that they had to peel off from the screen. Just thought I would mention that.

  23. I ordered one on 10/27. I was out right lied to by several Walgreens 800 number customer service reps. They swore to me my order shipped on 11/3. I contacted UPS several times, who said they never even received it. After contacting Maylong directly, it finally shipped on 11/10, and according to UPS will be delivered tomorrow 11/16. Judging from several message boards on the topic, I was not the only one who got this type of runaround from Walgreens.
    I am eagerly awaiting to see if I get my 100 bucks worth.

  24. Ok Rob let’s hear it. Is there a second layer of film on your device?

  25. Interesting thing.
    If I’m not whong, Google only licenses Market and other Google Apps for phones :/

  26. built-in eBook reader? Dude, that’s Aldiko

  27. We got 6 of these for family xmas gifts … figured the risk was very minimal w/ a 30 day return policy and 1-year manufacturer warranty. Been waiting for an afforable tablet just for an ereader & browser. I’ve followed the 40 page thread on the xda developers site for the maylog m100, and hope to be a happy camper from what I have read (with the possible exception of build-quality issues for a number of units).

  28. that E-book reader is on the normal market. it is the one I use in my samsung Galaxy S. it actually has a ton of menu options, so i would suggest you hunt the menu down. (font size, text/background color, custom brightness, etc)

    It can import standard epub format(something the kindle app cannot do) from the SD card and also allows you to jack into custom library’s like Baen online

    I’m actually going to check out XDA and follow this, if it can get hacked and rooted, I might consider it for a reader/browser for a few of the non-tech savay family.

  29. I bought a couple of these when I went over to China about 6 months ago. One of the reboot itself every 5 minutes. The resistive touch screens are horrible but I don’t have a stylus so will try that thanks Rob.

    You can simply copy apk’s onto a SD card and install them using its file manager. Robo Defense works quite nicely on it.

  30. Had one, it really wasn’t bad until the unit would die every time I took off the charger even thought it said it was at 100%.
    I’d order another one to try if it hadn’t taken almost 4 weeks to get it.

    Yes, it had a second film on the screen and yes I could side load from an SD card.

  31. I would actually like one, 100 bucks ain’t bad at all.

  32. The reviews are certainly of the “love it/hate it” variety. I’m on the fence but I keep coming back to the argument of “I have no expectations and this would be a cool entry tablet”.

  33. Come on. Ths is a POS…nothing more.

  34. After reading this video, I had flashback of the Augen Gentouch78, which was better by the way than this thing.

  35. I’m in the “Good price for someone just getting into tablets or gadgets in general.” boat. Haven’t toyed (heh) with one but for a C-note I wouldn’t expect it to compete with an iPad, Galaxy Tab or Archos

  36. Did Rob speed up the browser test, because his voice gets a little funny there.

  37. Can you do a video review of the Maylong playing random avi or MP4 videos? I would like to watch my Kodak Zi8 videos on road trips but I have heard the Maylong cant handle MP4. Thanks!

  38. @DgDeBx yeah I did… because it actually took a really long time. Probably should have acknowledged that textually- thanks for pointing it out :)

  39. Enter me in the fan giveaway!

  40. This would be great for my 10 yr old son. All he needs is something to watch his youtube videos and browse some of his favorite sites. I’ll probably get it for him as a Christmas present, then he can stop asking to borrow my phone to watch Dragonball z clips.

  41. Is there any kind of hacking community coming together around this project? $100 might be a cheap enough price point for me to give it a go. Is it confirmed that is a REAL version of Android?

    I’d also love to be entered in the fan giveaway!

  42. Good review. Can’t wait ’till everyone gets their tabs out. We see tons of ‘Talk” about tabs but very little product on the shelves. Thanks for the review.

  43. last minute entry-
    put me in the fan giveaway!

  44. For $100 it can’t be that bad.

  45. @Bob android is FREE, the market is not.

  46. @joey sichol:
    check the xda developers website and go into the ‘general’ subforum. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=808961&page=48

  47. Good stuff!

  48. Giveaway!

  49. Got the Walgreens Android. As stated it doesn’t load from the Android Market. It loads Amazon Kindle, but not Barnes and Noble’s Nook. Loads Olive Tree Bible Reader, but not the actual bibles. Mine says that it is Android 2.2. Phone and email tech support for the device is poor. Phone support person told me to create a Gmail account and that I could download any app from Android Market there. Response from person via email took three emails to them (and two days after the last email). They said that the market on the M-150 was a 3rd party market and has thousands of apps (couldn’t find many at all). It plays videos from SD cards fairly well .


  51. Does anyone know how to root this thing so I can get 2.1 or even 2.2 on it?

    email me [email protected]

  52. There’s a give away?!?

    How do I enter?

  53. I just got one of these today and it is horrible! Slow… Slow… Slow! The app market has nothing even worth download but youtube… LAME! No angry birds or skyfire browser. The only other browser option is dolphin.
    The screen response time is slow, it has randomly already shut down on it’s own with a full battery. This thing is junk… Seriously! there are other tablets out there selling at sears that have 2.1 on them and a better and or full market.


  54. since this unit is so similar to the flytouch/epad units, that once you can root and overclock a little and use some utilities, it really speeds up the unit.

    I leave my better tablets at home and use this for traveling abroad. I can get news updates, email etc. because a 2 or 3″ cell screen just sucks when you are at an airport in Munich for a few hours. Plus if it gets stolen or broken, I really won’t be too terribly upset about it.

    If you are thinking you can use this as your only tablet, then that is just a shortcut to thinking. It is what it is- a $99 MID running donut. So stop being cheap and lazy and get yourself an Archos-Android,an iPad or Windows MID instead.
    The rest that understand the concept of inexpensive electronics and have a little tinker knowledge will have a little fun with it. You can get a debranded one of these from pandawill for 92 bucks free shipping.

    btw, Rob, the reason it looks “scratched up” is there is a second layer factory plastic film on the screen, remove it and you’ll be fine.

  55. @gad donut was released about a year ago, if you think that is old for this “day and age” there are people out there still using Win3.1x and Amiga OS lol

  56. Sign me up for the giveaway-WOW!

  57. Sign me up for the giveaway too

  58. Looking at an android tablet for my daughter and me. Found several on Sears’ website. Downside, sears charges a lot or shipping and handling.Then when you add sales tax the prices listed aren’t as good as them originally seemed. The may-long is comparable, but I am woried about the 1.6 android. It would be great form my daughter and I’d love to have one to since I am mostly interested in the eReader. So sign me up for the give-a-way! Thanks:)

  59. It is great! Love it!

  60. For me, this thing looks WELL worth the price tag. It WILL get rooted, eventually, and putting the right .apks on it should make this thing a true steal. Not all Androids are created equal. For all of Data’s flaws, he was WAY better than Lore and B4! (That is, until Data died and B4 rooted himself and copied Data’s ROM over and essentially became Data!)

  61. For $100 its probably worth taking a shot….at least for a reasonable browsing experience, or to give to that family member or friend who isn’t all super gadget geek and doesn’t need all the shock and awe of an Ipad or Galaxy Tab, or what we may see come CES in January


  63. I like how people are comparing this tablet to $500 tablets and calling it a POS. So this $100 tablet isn’t as fast or robust or as feature-rich as one that cost 5 or 6 times as much? Um, DUH! LOL.

  64. I love this tablet, more so than my ipod touch. In fact I’m writing this review from my Maylong, I did however install Android 2.1os and the new market release on mine. Which has increased my speed and battery life! My ONLY irratation is the resistive touch screen.. I highly recomend this tablet!

  65. This tablet really isn’t bad…root it, install some roms and you have access to the real Android market….for $100 you really can’t complain. I’ve found several sites through the tablets browser that let you download free movies and music. There are also several site that allow you to download apps…no need to keep pulling out your sd card everytime you want to install something…for the money it’s a great deal…but definitly root it and install custom roms

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