The Lume Pad's Biggest Weakness

I actually like the Lume Pad although I often feel blocked at every turn when trying to use it for various things.

The Lume Pad’s biggest weakness isn’t actually the weak hardware: the specs are actually pretty OK if you aren’t trying to do crazy stuff like emulate the Nintendo 3DS. I paid $300 for mine and that made me suspect that Leia is selling it at a loss. I’d have been OK with paying a little more to get a few more features.

No, the biggest problem with the Lume Pad is the lack of a micro SD card slot. (and exFAT support on the software side to go with it) The whole device feels really crippled without this. Try to store any 3D movies at all (ripped from your 3D blu rays) on the device and you’ll quickly run out of space. Try to use an external micro SD card reader to carry more with you and you’ll run into the stupid FAT32 file size limit of 4GB per file, forcing you to split your movies into 3.99 GB chunks, or compress them to hell.

Yes, I know you can stream over wifi and I have been using that, but that’s no good for car trips. For me, discovering that I can’t really store my 3D movies on the device and watch them without the Internet was a serious, “You had one job” moment for the Lume Pad that I was/am pretty mad about.

The fact that the Lume Pad was merely following a larger industry trend of taking away the micro SD card from flagship Android devices is no excuse because there is no excuse for that blatantly anti-consumer industry trend. I start seeing red whenever I think about whoever made that decision, starting with Apple. At least it still had the audio jack.

It is advisable to never store any files you want to keep on the Lume Pad because if their software screws up (as all software from all companies eventually does) then there is no way to recover your data on this device. That, by itself, justifies the need for micro SD cards in Android devices, so that you can just pop the card out and there’s all your data. Besides, they’re dirt cheap and getting cheaper and better all the time!

For a slightly different topic, here’s the second biggest weakness: One other thing the Red Hydrogen One and Lume Pad generation of devices didn’t have that I’d have liked to get from Leia would have been some way for fully open source apps to provide 3D content in a vendor-neutral way, similar to what Facebook has done with OpenXR. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a passionate hater of Facebook but even I couldn’t complain when they retired their proprietary Oculus APIs in favor of OpenXR. I’d want the vendor-neutral API to include a way to run stereoscopic 3D apps like those made for the Lume Pad on VR devices as well. The same APKs. The app shouldn’t be able to even tell if it’s on a real Lume Pad or if it’s on a virtual 3D screen in VR or AR because the API should be the same. Developers want to write their code once and have it just work across all devices forever, not spend God only knows how long tweaking it for every quirk of every proprietary platform. It should just work.

(later edit) Third biggest weakness: Seems like you should be able to use the Lume Pad as a 3D monitor for your gaming PC (running SBS 3D gaming content with VorpX or SuperDepth3D or other similar apps) but I’m not aware of that being possible. Please let me know if anyone has figured out a way to do that. Obviously, gaming has a low tolerance for latency.

Hi Ben,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here! We hear you and appreciate you taking the time to leave this thoughtful feedback.



Thanks, it’s nice to know that somebody from a company actually listens even if you can’t implement every suggestion.

Another point in the Lume Pad’s favor that I forgot to mention: I like the size. It’s nice and big. Works great as just a regular plain old 2D Android tablet (other than the missing micro SD card slot mentioned above) and the battery life is pretty good too. The Lume Pad had good Android tablet fundamentals (other than the micro SD card slot missing) and you shouldn’t sacrifice or drop that in future devices. It isn’t necessarily all about the 3D: people have to use these things for regular stuff too.

I was suspicious of the official silicon protective case at first but it has exceeded my expectations in protecting the tablet pretty well and will stand it up OK on a flat surface, although I still will use a tablet pillow sometimes. Also, perhaps unintentionally, attaching the Docooler ipega PG-9083 BT Gamepad Wireless Retractable Game Controller has worked well without needing to take the Lume Pad out of the silicon protective case. It’d be a bad idea to make a tablet with too many extra gizmos that you can’t attach that stuff to.

One thing to consider for a future product might be a Steam Deck / Pimax Portal competitor. Adding glasses free 3D to the Steam Deck form factor would be amazing. But for devices like that, cooling and good physical buttons/controls are key: getting those wrong can really kill usability in very subtle ways. So it’s tricky to get right and might work better by partnering with a larger company that’s done it successfully before.

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Great ideas, Ben! Agree with the tablet form factor. It’s so portable and the fact that you can toggle 2D and 3D is a delight. Definitely fun to take out during family parties this holiday season. Appreciate you sharing with the community! With 6 billion mobile device user around the world, it’s so inspiring to think we’re living what is possible. I like to use the word future as a verb here. We are futuring!

Regarding the lack of SD card slot, what works for me is that I just connect to my main desktop PC, with plenty of add on drive storage, or Windows netbook for travel and move the folders of images back and forth.

If you have to carry a netbook with you … then why would you need a tablet? Just use the netbook.

Having to rely on an additional external device defeats the portability of the tablet.

I’m not agree with you, nor the specs were low when it was launched, not is in any way limited for it’s specs. Is still high end specs, and will still be better than all mid range tablets of 2024 and so on.
For my experience with microSD cards on every Android deivce I tested (including the Hydrogen One), I don’t want to use anymore cards on any android device. They always become corrupted, no matter the low use you do with them, and every time it happens I lost images. And I had dozens of Android devices, every single of them become corrupted even if I only use to store a few photos (and this never happened on any other non-Android device). I’m not sure what’s the Android OS problem, but it is clear nobody should trust it.

OK well… for 3D I’d want high end, not mid range.

Your problem isn’t the Android OS. It is that you are buying fake micro SD cards. You need to get the real deal official Sandisk Extreme or other large name brand cards at full price from Amazon and not try to get away with cheap offbrands.

Also, you don’t have to use the micro SD card slot if you don’t want, but it should be there for people who need it.

The Lume have high-end specs, not mid-range

No. I bought microSD from Kingston, Samsung, and Sandisk. And as I said, if I used one of them on any other device none fails, but if I put the same card on Android it fails sooner than later.

Another possibility is that one of the apps you keep installing is malware.

But this is just you, not the entire world.

I don’t install APKs. AND I’m not the only one, my friends (which are very basic users of their smartphones, only messaging and photos) also lost photos on Android because the card was corrupted.

Unfortunately, that isn’t a guarantee. The Google Play Store has been known to distribute malware too. Google tries to police it but they don’t always succeed.

I suppose anything can become corrupted, but legitimate micro SD cards aren’t more likely to become corrupted than the onboard storage: they’re less likely. It is far more common for the software on the device to fail but the data that was on the micro SD card to be saved.

I did a fast query on a Telegram group about Android, and even the person who said never, it was yes :rofl:

I didn’t say this never happens. I said it isn’t normal and it’s usually due to having purchased a bad card. It’s happened to me and that was why.