by March 1, 2012 0 comments

Aakash UbiSlate

Price: Rs 2,999
Pros: Price
Cons: Unresponsive touchscreen, limited content/apps (no Android Market)

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India’s much-hyped $35 tablet was finally launched in October, at the list price of Rs 2,999. The Aakash is a bid to bridge the digital divide for India’s students. At that price, the tablet is worth trying out. It has the basics you’d expect to see in a tablet -connectivity, a web browser and media players, PDF readers, downloadable apps. There’s even two USB ports, a rarity in tablets and a micro-SD card slot, and a 3G version is also planned. The Aakash is a really light tablet, weighing just 350 gm, with a 7-inch display and an almost pocket-able form factor. Its surprise feature is two USB ports, apart from a micro-SD card slot. It supports external memory up to 32GB. Moreover, the current version doesn’t have access to the Android market place, which really limits its use. There’s a GetJar option to load apps, which is a poor substitute. However, the commercial version of Aakash UbiSlate will support Android Market, according to DataWind CEO.

Bottomline: A tablet you could consider buying purely due to its low price, but as of sending this review to press, it was sold out till March 12th. If you want to try your luck at getting it, then plz book it from Datawind’s website.

Apple iPad 2

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Price: Rs 46,990
Pros: Multi-tasking touch, 64GB memory, 3G
Cons: No USB or VGA port, Accepts only micro-SIMs.

The iPad 2 is much thinner and lighter than the first edition by the pioneer of tablets. Weighing a mere 607 gms, and nearly half as slim as the original iPad, the iPad 2 is definitely much easier and convenient to carry around. It has 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 512 MB RAM, and iOS 4 installed on it. iPad 2 has a 9.7-inch screen with a resolution of 1024x768p, which just like all Apple product screens, is bright and a pleasure to work on. The responsiveness of the touch screen remains as good as ever. Wi-Fi works great. Sound output from the iPad 2 is loud and clear, but it lacks HDMI and USB ports. We also missed having a VGA out port. The 3G edition of the iPad 2 only accepts a micro-SIM card, which is not available in India. The iPad 2 has 2 cameras –one at the rear that also supports HD upto 30 fps and the one on the front for video conferencing, which is a VGA camera.

Bottomline: The number of applications available on Apple’s store gives it the versatility to cater to a lot of requirements, the price is on the higher side though.

Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101

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Price: Rs 36,999
Pros: Keyboard attached, Good battery life, 5MP rear Camera, beautiful design
Cons: High Price, No 3G

The Eee Pad Slider hopes to provide its users the best of both tablet and netbook. The input options and the keyboard are designed to extend the tablet functionality to that of a netbook. The Slider SL101 sports a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 IPS LCD panel which is bright and color-rich. The display has 10 Fingers Multi-Touch Support and comprises of Scratch Resistant Corning Gorilla glass. The tablet is heavy at 960 gms which is more than other standalone tablets. But considering the fact that it comes with a built-in physical keyboard, this weight is manageable. The slider works on the Android 3.1 Honeycomb version which is upgradeable to Android 4.0. The slider is powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra-2 1GHz dual-core GPU, paired with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of flash storage, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth and GPS. Ports into the chassis are a Micro SD card slot, mini HDMI input, a USB port and a headphone 3.5mm jack port. The USB port can be used to connect a USB dongle for Internet usage. The slider has 2 cameras; a rear (5MP) and a front cam (1.2 MP) for video chats. The quality of the rear cam is decent. This camera is fine when using the slider in the tablet mode. However, when the tab slides to reveal the keyboard, the cam is now at the base of keyboard and is not really easy to use.

Bottomline: A good choice for people who miss a real physical keyboard in a tablet. Lack of 3G in this model may put some people off.

BlackBerry Playbook Tablet

Price: Rs 27,990
Pros: Responsive touchscreen, great camera, light weight
Cons: No 3G, No local Email Client

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The Playbook has superior cameras, but is pitted by the Apple tablet for its small display and lack of SIM support. Playbook is very compact with matte finish on the back side, making it easy to grip and is immune to smudges. The front panel has a 7 inch multi-touch screen with speakers on both sides and a 3MP front camera for video chatting. The backside features a 5MP camera. The tablet has a micro USB slot, HDMI slot, 3.5 mm universal jack, switch button and dedicated sound keys. With a screen resolution of 1024×600 pixels, it displays crisp videos, images and web pages. It boasts of RIM’s powerful new tablet OS and runs on 1 GHz dual core processor and 1 GB RAM. Blackberry’s App World is the marketplace to buy or freely download apps for the Playbook. One good thing we found about the BlackBerry’s App world is that registration doesn’t require you to enter your credit card details, which unfortunately happens to be the case for the iPad 2.

Bottomline: The Playbook comes with good things like multi-tasking, the new Blackberry OS, and ultra-portable form factor, but fails to impress on the email and connectivity front.


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Price: Rs 10,990
Pros: Low Cost, light weight
Cons: Touchscreen response is not good, no rear camera, no Android market

HCL Me weighs 391 grams and is comfortable to hold. It has a microSD slot, a mini HDMI port, mini USB 2.0 slot and 3.5 mm audio jack which are present on the right hand side just below the home button. With a screen size of 7″, the tablet comes with Andoid 2.3 with 512 MB DDR2 RAM and 1 GHz processor that give a decent performance along with its capacitive touch. For connectivity, it has Wi-Fi but no SIM slot for a 3G connection. It however supports a USB dongle for 3G. The HCL tablet doesn’t provide access to the Android Marketplace. Instead, HCL has its own Me Apps store containing around 10,000 apps. However, there are other tablets like Lenovo ThinkPad which also has their own market contains apps specific to their tablets. In addition, they also have integrated Android markets. The tablet only has a 2.0 MP front camera but no rear camera which sounds strange for a tablet.

Bottomline: You can’t compare this tablet with the likes of iPad, Playbook, etc, but then it also comes at a third of their price.

Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet

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Price: Rs 47,871
Pros: Storage space, Lenovo App store, good performance, good camera
Cons: High Price

The 10.1-inch matte screen is brighter than expected and the 1280×800 resolution on the Tablet offered wide viewing angles and sharp images. The keyboard retains the tactility and firmness but the only problem is the absence of function keys. The capacitive touchscreen makes doing multi-touch gestures a breeze with it being responsive to even light taps. Like the Lenovo IdeaPad K1, this tablet has the Lenovo Launcher widget on its home screen. The Launcher has five “zones” — Watch (default launches mSpot movies), Email (Gmail), Listen (Slacker), Read (Zinio magazine reader), and Web browser. The ThinkPad Tablet’s most compelling feature is its optional active stylus. It costs an additional Rs 1500, but is definitely worth the investment. Powered by N-trig’s duo sense technology, the pressure-sensitive, single-button stylus allows you to hand-write notes, draw pictures, or simply tap your way around the operating system without using your finger. The tablet includes Lenovo’s App Shop in addition to Google’s Android Market. All apps in the App Shop have been carefully vetted by Lenovo, and enterprises can limit what apps their employees can download from the App Shop.

Bottomline: If you’re looking for a ‘tablet’ with a keyboard and performance of a high powered laptop, then look no further.


Milagrow TabTop PC

Price: Rs 29,990
Pros: Hardware, 3G, free apps
Cons: Touch response is not good, No GPS

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The tabTop PC has ingredients that are as good as a netbook–DDR3 1 GB RAM, 1.2 GHz processor and multiple connectivity ports. Plus, it’s based on the Android 2.3.1 Gingerbread OS, and has been customized for content creation with ease as a laptop offers. In fact, it comes with 50 pre-installed apps for specific industries and none of these apps are freely downloadable from the Android market. The TabTop has an 8-inch multi-touch display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. It also sports a 2 MP rear camera and a VGA camera on the front. It has an impressive line-up of ports, including an HDMI port, USB 2.0 interface, USB host, line out, microSD card slot and a SIM card slot. The device supports both 3G and WiFi.

Bottomline: Given the specs, features, and app bundle, the TabTop sounds like an exciting deal if you’re looking for a tablet that can cater to your industry’s specific needs.

Motorola Xoom

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Price: Rs 29,990
Pros: Good battery life, 5MP rear Camera, multi-touch screen gestures
Cons: Accepts 4G SIM

Sporting a 10.1-inch screen, front and rear cameras, HDMI output, a dual-core processor, and Google’s tablet-optimized version of Android 3.0, the Motorola Xoom has entered into the tablet war. The keyboard supports multitouch for speedy typing, voice input, dedicated tab and emotion keys. On the bottom of the Xoom, you’ll find connections for Micro-USB, Micro-HDMI, a socket for the included power adapter, and a pinhole microphone. Xoom includes a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front camera for video-conferencing with dual-LED flash. The 1GHz, NVIDIA Tegra 2-based slate boasts a sizable 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 32GB of internal storage. We tested its battery life it scores better than Sony and Lenovo Tablet.

Bottomline: Motorola Xoom tablet gives a good battery backup and interesting features but lacks in supporting 3G SIM card.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 750

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Price: Rs 32,000
Pros: High Resolution, Good camera quality
Cons: None

The tablet looks stylish and attractive. Samsung has made this slate incredibly thin yet feature-rich. The tablet has a microSD slot, 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a SIM slot. It has a 3 MP camera, which includes LED flash, on the back and a 2 MP camera for video calling. Samsung Tab 750 has a larger 10.1 inches PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen with 1280x800p compared to iPad 2’s 9.7 inches, LED-backlit IPS TFT, capacitive screen with 1024x768p. Another major feature is the inclusion of better quality cameras in the Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy Tab has a 3 megapixel camera for the front and a 2 megapixel camera for the rear. The tablet runs on a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra-2 processor. It has connectivity options like 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and USB.

Bottomline: A sleek, elegant and lightweight tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 gets as close to the iPad 2 as any other Android tablet.

Sony Tablet S

Price: Rs 26,990
Pros: Built-in Universal remote control, 5MP rear camera
Cons: Poor front camera, 6+ hrs charging time.

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Sony Tablet S is a graphic rich 1.2 GHz Nvidia Tegra2 dual core processor Wi-Fi tablet which runs on the Android 3.2 OS. It comes with 16GB of internal storage expandable by 32GB SD card. This is the first PlayStation certified tablet so you can play games straight out of the box. There are two cameras; a front facing 0.3MP camera and a 5.0 megapixel rear camera, which is good enough for taking pictures. This is an entertainment tablet with a built in universal remote to control your TV, stereo, Blu ray DVD or cable box. Plus it has integrated DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) functionality, so that you can wirelessly stream video, music and photos to large-screen TVs or home entertainment receivers.

Bottomline: The tablet from Sony is the first PlayStation certified one. Has all the exciting features, but if you are looking for a 3G tab then this is not for you.

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