Pros: Easy to set up, inexpensive, excellent picture, good sound, easy to scan for channels.
Cons: Must recharge after 2 hours of use, cannot recharge via cigarette lighter w/o invertor.
This is a great little tv for the price. I paid $114 for it via QVC. The reviews there were mixed, so I wasn't expecting much, however the Q has a wonderful return policy so I thought I would give it a try, I was quite pleasantly surprised with the unit.
The AXN-701 comes with:
7" ATSC/NTSC tv
* Remote Control (uses a flat round battery, similar to ones in garage door remote controls)
* AV Cable (red, white, and yellow plugs)
* AC to DC adapter
* Car Cigarette Lighter Adapter (for playing only, can not recharge via that adapter)
* 2 External Antennas (one is attached to the unit, the other one you attach for stronger reception)
* L shaped Connector (used to attach the additional antenna or for cable attachment
* Instruction Guide
The unit does not come charged, so once you receive it the first thing you will need to do is charge it for battery operation. The manual states that it takes 4 hours to fully charge the battery. I do not know because I set mine to charge and then went to bed. When I woke up the next morning it was charged.
Also the manual states that it will run on battery for 100 minutes, but I have been able to get 150 minutes (2 1/2 hrs) of play time before charging was required. However as with most rechargeable devices, this will probably diminish over time, if so I will come back and update this review. I think the amount of battery life will depend on screen brightness and amount of effort the TV needs to get a signal.
I played the TV via battery power, cigarette lighter power and ac power and found the picture to be beautiful and clear in all settings. Using auto scan is easy and the best way to pick up channels, however you can also add channels manually if so desired. The instruction book does a good job of explaining how to do this and is well laid out for a such a small guide (12 pages).
One of the things that I discovered, and the main reason I wanted to write this review was that you get more channels using the corded external antenna (that you have to attach via cord) vs the one already attached on the tv. I found the attached one to be useless indoors catching only the three PBS channels. Yet when I attached the corded external antenna (which has a magnetic base so don't sit it on your laptop, watch, etc.) it caught every channel in my area ( about 30) including the major networks and their multiple streams without problem.
I also discovered if I place the corded external antenna on top of the fridge in my kitchen I was not only able to capture all of the digital broadcasts, but three low powered analog stations that are still broadcasting in the area. Apparently local low powered stations weren't forced to make the dtv switch... yet.
One thing to note is that it won't just 'automatically' bring thses stations in when you make a move of the antenna. Once you move the antenna, make sure you do another channel scan to catch any additional channels. The user guide will explain how to scan and add channels without removing any channels previously found. You can scan from the unit or from the remote.
Speaking of the remote its a little strange. You can't power on (or off) the TV from the remote nor adjust the volume with it. Those things you must do on the TV itself, which is sort of annoying. But channel changes and menu items you can do from the remote.
I mentioned in the title of the review that the TV is great with one exception. Well that exception is the lack of battery life. If it had a longer battery life or could use AA batteries I would give it a higher rating. I live in hurricane territory, last year after Hurricane Gustav we had to go eight days without power. My older analog Axiom TV ran on AA batteries which I always keep plenty on hand so I was never without TV the entire time. This TV can only be charged via AC power (wall outlet type), it will not charge when you use the Car Cigarette Lighter Adapter that comes with it.
So the only way to charge it during emergencies will be via a power inverter attached to the car lighter or via an emergency power pack that I can plug it into. Fortunately I do have a power inverter, but it will be a pain to go out to the car every couple of hours to recharge it. Also when the entire city is without power it is pitch black outside, being female I don't look forward going out to my car at night in those conditions (my garage is detached) so I will probably just do without TV at night, or save my juice during the day so I can have two hours of TV at night.
Eventually I will probably get a power station or an O2 Cool battery power pack to extend play time without having to go out to the car at night. In the interim this can get me through this year's hurricane season with my invertor attached to the car. But that is my one issue with this and all of the portable LCDs currently out, they can't run on alkaline batteries or be recharged during a power outage with out adding some other device or devices into the mix. Hopefully this is something that will be improved upon by the manufacturers in the future (if possible).
Again, the picture is sharp and clear on this TV, way better than my old 4.5 inch analog axiom which I had for many years (I'm thinking 8 - 10 years) and worked perfectly up until the DTV switch. I hope this one will last as long as that one did and service me as well. Some features this TV has that my old analog axiom didn't are clock, onscreen display of station name and number (that comes with the digital broadcast), closed captioning and Zoom. Zoom switches the display between Auto, wide, zoom and cinema display modes. As with my old analog version there is a headphone jack for private listening, but you need to provide your own headphones.
It is my understanding Axiom is coming out with a 9 inch version this month (august 2009) I don't know if the battery life will be longer or shorter, but it will be worth looking at for the larger picture size. The 7 inch suit my needs perfectly, but I'm sure a family would want as large of screen as they can get for an emergency if they will have more than one person watching at a time.
Also for those with small kitchens, this would make the perfect kitchen TV with or without cable. Depending on your location from the broadcast towers you might need a stronger antenna, but as I mentioned I was able to get my best reception in the kitchen with the corded antenna on top of the fridge, so that would be worth trying.
Finally you can attach this tv to a video camera, portable dvd player, etc to use as a second monitor and they provide the cables for that, so it would be good to use while traveling.