Cube U30GT2 quad-core tablet gets firmware update, custom ROM treatment

The Cube U30GT2 is a 10 inch tablet with a Rockchip RK3188 quad-core processor and a 1920 x 1200 pixel display. It ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and seems to function pretty well — although in my initial tests, I found the WiFi range wasn’t very good.

Fortunately Cube has released a firmware update, and among other things software version 1.03 seems to improve WiFi performance a bit. And if that isn’t good enough for you, the first custom ROMs for this tablet are also now available.

Cube U30GT2 with root

To be honest, there doesn’t appear to be a huge difference between the two custom ROMs available so far. Both are based on the 1.03 firmware, and both include root access and a few other tweaks. (You can also just root the Cube U30GT2 without installing a custom ROM if you’d rather do that.

Both of these custom ROMs will also wipe any data on your device, (as will installing the official firmware update), so make sure to remove any microSD cards and backup any apps or data you can before you start.

Here are the two options available for custom ROM flashers as of

ArcTablet Cube U30GT2 custom firmware

The folks at ArcTablet have tweaked the Cube tablet’s software by setting the default language to English, removing most Chinese apps from the system image, and fixing the Google Play Store so that most apps show as compatible with this tablet.

I didn’t exactly have problems finding compatible apps using the stock firmware — most of the apps I searched for were already available.

The ArcTablet ROM also comes pre-rooted and features SuperSU 1.25.

Cube U30GT2 900supersport 1.1 ROM

FreakTab forum member 900supersport has created a custom ROM which makes many of the same changes.

It’s pre-rooted and features busybox and init.d. This ROM also features UK English as the default language, and offers Google Play Store fixes. By removing some Chinese apps and other bloat, there’s now

Installing a Cube U30GT2 firmware update/custom ROM

You can install the official software update or the ArcTablet ROM by using the Rockchip Batch Tool 1.6 with support for devices featuring the Rockchip RK3188 ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core processor.

The tool is designed to work on a PC running Windows 2000 or later.

You can download the Rockchip Batch Tool from GeekBuying. Once you’ve done that, decompress the file using 7-zip or a similar utility. You may need to enter the password “GEEKBUYING.COM” when you do that.

ArcTablet also has a download link for the Rockchip RK3188 tool, with no password required.

rkbatch

Installing stock ROM update or ArcTablet ROM

Next, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your tablet.
  2. Remove any microSD cards.
  3. Make sure the tablet’s not plugged into your PC.
  4. Press and hold the volume+ button and power buttons on the tablet while plugging the tablet into a PC with a USB cable.
  5. Do not lift your fingers from those buttons until your computer detects new hardware.
  6. If prompted to install a driver, navigate to the Rockchip Batch Tool folder and look in the RockusbDriver folder for the appropriate driver for your PC.
  7. If you’re not prompted, you may need to go into the Device Manager, look for an unknown device, and install the driver manually by using the “have disk” option.
  8. Once the driver’s installed properly, you can run the RKBatchTool.exe program. You’ll know everything’s working properly if the box marked “1″ under “Connected Devices” is green.
  9. Click the … icon next to FW Path to find the appropriate .img file.
  10. Click the “upgrade” button.

After that, the program should send data to your tablet and a few minutes later it will reboot into Android.

updating

The trickiest part may be installing the drivers and connecting your tablet. I had a lot of trouble getting my PC to recognize the Cube U30GT2.

Here something I discovered which may help: The screen won’t turn at all when you press and hold the power and volume+ buttons. You won’t see an Android logo, a Cube logo, or anything else.

That can make it tough to tell if you’re doing things right… but if you start to see any sort of logo, you’re going to have to shut down the tablet and try again.

I also had a number of problems getting the drivers to install properly. You may have to go through steps 6 or 7 multiple times before things work. Or maybe that’s just me.

Installing 900supersport ROM

If you’re using the 900supersport ROM you’ll still need to install the RockUSB drivers following the first few steps listed above. But instead of using the RKBatchTool.exe to start the upgrade process, you use the RKAndroidTool which 900supersport bundles with his ROM.

It will load all the components of this ROM (including the system, boot, and recovery partitions) and all you have to do is hit the Flash ROM button to get started.

rktool

Thanks again to Geekbuying for providing me with a Cube U30GT2 tablet to test. Geekbuying also sent a tablet to 900supersport to help with development of custom ROMs.

You can buy the Cube U30GT2 from Geekbuying for $269.

 

 

  • Philip Jessup

    Mine is in the mail. I hope jelly bean 4.2 comes out soon. Great with the mods already.

  • http://twitter.com/strauzo strauzo

    Againg problem on wifi ? All rk3066 devices have problem on wifi, now also the rk3188 ? For me no more rockchip devices.

    • http://nortonpeabody.blogspot.com/ Norton Peabody

      My Rockchip RK3066 powered Probox2 has excellent wifi reception and functionality…..

  • matt

    This is software problem… Wifi analyzer shows good reception but when reception is lower (-60,-70 dBi) U30gt2 loses connection and only reset helps… Somebody pls can check this and fix software?

  • matt

    This is software problem… Wifi analyzer shows good reception but when reception is lower (-60,-70 dBi) U30gt2 loses connection. Only reset helps. On Cube site they answer to me : it’s normal :((

  • http://bloggink.com/lionelwise/2013/04/01/determine-the-advantages-of-having-bespoke-software-developed-for-your-business/ LionelWise

    You providing a good information.I have already try to install it but every time its get some error.Do it one next time as you provide step and will check that working or not.

  • G_A

    Have the manufacturers decided to release the source code for the new range of Rockchip powered devices, or is it still easy for a single of the many thousand linux kernel contributors to get a total import ban on any of these RK-based tablets in any civilized country on a whim?

  • H2O

    I’ve tried with two laptops now and neither of them seems to recognize the tablet. No detected hardware prompted or found in device manager. USB Debugging is enable. Can there that my USB-port is faulty?

  • H2O

    Turned out my usb cable was faulty, not my usb-port. So now I can connect to my laptops with another usb cable.

    I followed your instruction, but could not install drivers on xp. Tried several times. then I switched your instruction steps and suddenly everything became so easy.

    Next, follow these steps:

    1.Shut down your tablet.

    2.Remove any microSD cards.

    3.Make sure the tablet’s not plugged into your PC.

    4.Press and hold the volume+ button on the tablet while plugging the tablet into a PC with a USB cable.

    5.Do not lift your fingers from those buttons until your computer detects new hardware.

    Change from your instruction in step 6:
    6.Run the RKBatchTool.exe program. Push the “Switch” button. Then the pc prompted once more “Found new hardware”. Then choose install from a list.Type or paste in the directory of folder for rockchip usb driver for your windows (mine is for xp), and pc will install automatically. The connected device on RKBatchTool.exe program will now turn green on “1″.

    7.Click the … icon next to FW Path to find the appropriate .img file.
    8.Click the “upgrade” button.

    After that, the program should send data to your tablet and a few minutes later it will reboot into Android.

    I have windows xp. Don’t know if these steps work the same for other windows versions.

    • http://twitter.com/EinoAnttila Eino Anttila

      Thanks for the info. Do you mean “Press and hold the volume+ AND the power button on the tablet while plugging the tablet into a PC with a USB cable.” or when do you press the power button, and do you hold it too?

      I mean, you and the article are not mentioning the power button, but you mention “those buttons” on the next part here:

      5.Do not lift your fingers from those buttons until your computer detects new hardware.

      Very confusing. I can’t get this working on my Windows 8 laptop. It did recognise something the first time I tried, but I was looking away the moment the loading bar disappeared and not it’s not appearing again, nor is any kind of device appearing or the Rockchip tool recognising anything.

      Any tips?

      • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

        a) Yep, you’re right. Step 4 should have said volume+ and power. I’ve updated the article.

        b) The whole process is tricky… it took me many attempts over several days to get it right. I’ve included all the troubleshooting tips I can come up with in this post — but the most important is that you’re not waiting for your tablet to boot into recovery mode with a different image on the screen. The screen should be off the whole time, so it’ll look like the tablet’s not even on.

        c) I can’t really comment on your experience and whether you got a bad unit or not, because “lagginess” can be pretty subjective. In my experience, the Nexus 7 is a pretty fast tablet and the Cube U30GT2 is at least as fast.

        But performance may vary depending on what it is you’re trying to do… and how exactly you’re measuring performance. Is it by how fast the screen turns on or off, how fast the screen rotates, how quickly you can scroll between screens, how long it takes to launch apps, how well games or videos run, etc?

        Some of those things may be measure hardware performance measures, some might have more to do with the UI… some are related to the processor, others to touch or motion sensors, etc…

        As someone who has tested a fair number of tablets, I can say the Cube U30GT is among the fastest.

        But the software isn’t perfect… My biggest problem has been WiFi reception. I installed the 900supersport ROM and that’s helped… but only a little bit. I’ve also had the tablet randomly reboot a few times since switching to that ROM, and I can’t say if it’s a hardware issue or a problem with this particular ROM.

        For an inexpensive Chinese tablet, I’m pretty impressed… but this isn’t necessarily the best product for everybody.

        I’m actually part-way through my full review, which should be ready within a few days.

      • http://twitter.com/EinoAnttila Eino Anttila

        Okay, thanks for the info.

        My tablet is just plain super slow. Everything opens forever, and when they finally do, they’re more like a dia-show than anything close to bearable. Pressing each and every button on the tablet takes forever to respond. Tried playing a bit of Subway Surfers which is perfectly smooth on the Nexus 7 (of course, it’s NOT an intensive game) but it’s also really considerably slow/jarry on my Cube Pea 2. Tried watching some 1080p video on YouTube but the 1080 stuff doesn’t even show up, only a blank screen with a basically crashed browser. Tried all browsers on Android basically.

        I’m beginning to think the tablet is purely broken in a sense if your Pie 2s are faster than Nexus 7 (which is my opinion is quite slow too but nowhere near as slow, it’s still at least somewhat usable).

        I’m used to my Windows Phone Lumia 920 which NEVER lags. Everything happens in an instant, there’s never any jarring in scrolling and you barely notice any loading times, ever.

        With both the Nexus 7 and especially now the Cube Pea 2 which is why I bought the device, is that even Facebook is jarry and laggy as hell and I best not say anything about basic browsing experience. But is my Cube Pea 2 broken or “a Monday unit” then?

        About the wireless: mine is just as bad. Just going to the bathroom reading a website with the Pea 2 can cast the wireless connection off and first time I noticed this was right away cause I was at a studio office where the wireless is about 10-20 meters away and on another room. Works flawlessly on the Nexus 7 and on iPads, MacBooks, etc etc.

        Does the firmware patch upgrade the overall performance of the Pie 2 at all? If not, I’d better off sending the tablet back rather than wasting time trying to upgrade the firmware.

      • H2O

        Hi, if you just got your tablet recently, then probably it already got upgraded to the latest firmware. You don’t need to upgrade it. You can check that by entering: Settings> About tablet>Build number V.1.03.

        If the build number is V1.03, then your tablet is already pre-installed with the latest firmware. No need to upgrade it.

        I have no problems running HD-videos on mine. Sounds like you need to contact customer support and ask to send it back

      • http://twitter.com/EinoAnttila Eino Anttila

        Oh yes, you’re actually correct, the build number says V1.03. The tablet came crashing down today on overall performance, basically I couldn’t do anything anymore. Random total freezes on anygiven situations all the time where I could do nothing except shut the tablet down and hope it comes back alive again (not a simple task either, it seems). I tried resetting the whole tablet now as a last resort. I lost the HD videos that were on the tablet though so can’t test how the video playback rolls now, but it does actually seem a tiny bit faster than what it was when it shipped to me or I’m just dreaming and hoping for the best a tad bit too hard. Let’s see, I’ll keep you informed just so you’ll know how it can be.

        One thing, can you try playing Real Racing 3, Asphalt 7 or Subway Surfers to see if they’re smooth or even somewhat smooth?

      • H2O

        Okay, sure. I will try these games and then get back to you…

      • http://twitter.com/EinoAnttila Eino Anttila

        Cool beans. I’ll tryout Subway Surfers now too, I’m too afraid to install big games right away cause now I seems to be that the tablet rolls it’s way around quite okay, which is nice. No idea what they had done to the tablet pre-postage, I did have an “English” install that I selected when buying the tablet, no idea if that was it that slowed the tablet down. Now I just selected the language to be English just normally from the language settings. Remembered where it was, even if the tablet was in Chinese after the reset. Tip for you guys too, to remember where the language selection is if you ever need to reset the tablet.

        I’ll keep you posted how the tablet performs after a while of usage, if it totally slows down again.

      • http://twitter.com/EinoAnttila Eino Anttila

        Oh wow, the resetting really made a huge difference. It’s like, the tablet came to life and now works like it should and should’ve from the get-go. Even Subway Surfers works okay now, not as smooth as on Nexus 7 but still playable. Certainly wasn’t before. Flipboard and Google Currents are certainly usable too now, weren’t before at all basically.

        ProTip: if your Cube Pie 2 works hella slow, just reset it.

        Now I’m just afraid it’ll become slow again if I install much of anything.

      • H2O

        Hi, I see Brad has replied here. Yes, press and hold both volume+ and power.

        1.What I do is to plug the usb cable first to the laptop, but not yet to the tablet. Then I press and hold both volume+ and power, and then connect/plug the usb cable to the tablet while I still hold both volume+ and power. Still hold and wait for a few seconds. Then I release these buttons, the tablet then will boot and turn on.

        2.Then the laptop prompts: “Find new hardware”.

        3.Then I turn on RKBatchTool.exe. If you see on the area: “Connected Devices” a rosy colour (not green) on number 1. Then your tablet is recognized by laptop, but driver still not installed.

        (But if you don’t see this rosy colour, then you have to start from step 1 again.)

        4.Push the “Switch” button. Then the laptop prompted once more “Found new hardware”. Then choose install from the directory of folder for rockchip usb driver for your windows, and laptop will install automatically. The connected device on RKBatchTool.exe program will now turn green on “1″.

        My tablet is not laggy as you mention, but wireless is not as strong as I wish. Probably weaker than on the IPADs (maybe others have a different experience), and my software is already updated. You can download anything HD to your SD-card and run to test if there’s something wrong with your graphics card. Or there are some HD music videos (korean) pre-installed on the tablet which you can run. It has brilliant HD view on mine. Probably weak wireless signals make it impossible to view anything HD on youtube or other websites smoothly…so there’s the disappointment.

        But otherwise there’s no lag just surfing, running applications, downloading , viewing videos, among other things etc…

      • http://twitter.com/EinoAnttila Eino Anttila

        Alright, I actually tested watching the 1080p girlband music video preloaded on the tablet. Random 2 second stops throughout the whole video playback. This seems to be the case with the tablet all in all, it’s sort of “stopping” here and there and overall just having a very jarry playback. When it works, it works alright, but more often than not it doesn’t really play well.

        Any tips on what could do that or if the tablet is just broken?

      • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

        Sounds broken to me. I’d see if I could return/exchange it if I were you

  • Eli

    I have a cube U30GT 2, brand new it has the latest updates as well just have couple of weeks with it but, already having problems with it its not slow but when I try opening or already using an app or anything it freezes for a bit and then tells me that the certain app is not responding if I was t to wait for it or close it I choose wait and after a few second it response OK but, it does this alot , the other big issue is the battery icon says its fully charged so I unplug it and after a few seconds it shuts down so I plug it again and the battery icon says its 100% charged but, I can only use the tablet plugged to the outlet because it continually happens over and over again and again shuts down if I’m not plugged in. Do you know whats happening or what I can do about it ?

    • Chief

      I had the same problem but only difference was that my tablet will instantly shut off when I unplug from the wall when it said battery fully charged. So, I opened the tablet using Torx T-3 screw driver and found that the +wire of the battery had broken off from the main board. I soldered it and now it is working with the battery alone for many hours. It is ctually a known problem with this tablet. Poor quality control at Cube factories.
      I hope this helps.

  • Marcus

    Just 3 days using and the battery died and programs are not working. Dont buy this Pierce of garbage.

  • dusko1234

    HI , I installed this firmware ver. 1.03 on my U9GTV , by my camera dont work – “softvare not instaled”, could you help me how install softvare for tablet camera thank you a lot.
    d.

  • Derek

    I have problems with automatic updates of my apps. Most of the apps will not automatically update although they are set to do so. It comes up with an “error while downloading” message. I think that may be why it freezes at times for a short while and, causes it to run slow at the time. Its as though I have to wait sometimes for which seems ages for it to finish trying to update but failing.
    It is Android version 4.1.1
    Build number RK30_ANDROID4.1.1-SDK. V1.11
    Firmware version says (TRU30_RT5631_CT365_FT5606_GT828_RK903_OV2659BF_GC2035BF_RK30HDMI_OTG@121227)_(M_CN@121128)_V411.01_TL12
    Can anyone help me please and tell me what I need to do to sort it? Many thanks.

  • Fi

    I had my tablet for the past 3 months and it’s giving me trouble. Seller suggested to factory reset it and till there it was ok until I switched it on and got everything in Chinese but managed to change language by going through the review above :-) Then I noticed that my keyboard is not installed any more and would only use voice recognition which is not working either :-( I can’t use it at the moment and been like this for a couple of days now. I can’t even surf the Internet as I can’t input the password for my wi-fi. I connected it to my laptop to see if I can download the keyboard from Google Playstore since it’s not installed anymore (checked the Language and Input already) and save it on the tablet but got nowhere. Any help please? As it seems that I can’t get anywhere and can’t use it anymore.