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The Battle of Mid Range Tablets

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Adeesh Sharma
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Tablet PC is the busiest segment today with new devices getting launched each month. Features that were initially found on 20-30k tablets can now be seen in low cost tablets in the 10-15k range. Here, we review four such tablets that have features comparable to the likes of Samsung Galaxy Tab. We check their utility by testing their processing power, memory, battery back-up, database, browsing, graphics and animation efficiency.

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How We Tested

We have tested the tablets with a set of five industry-standard benchmarks, such as AnTuTu test to measure processor, hardware and data transfer performance; An3D and An3D XL to test it's graphics ability for running games and apps; Vellamo for Web Browsing; Battery Compare for testing battery back-up. We also compared their features and price and have given scores for each parameter in their individual reviews. These scores are based on a comparison with all the 9 low cost tablets we've reviewed recently.

Spice Stellar Pad Mi 1010

A sleek 10-inch tablet with a dazzling HD display. It is powered by a dual core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB RAM and has the latest Android JellyBean OS. Even though it weighs more than the iPad 3 at 667g, it doesn't feel heavy. It is solidly built, and the metallic backside looks a lot like the new iPad. The front has a high quality display latest version, where response is fast and the touch is good. It has voice search, and a secondary VGA camera for video calling. The cameras don't have much too offer in terms of quality as they are more dull and fuzzy. The display is great and good for gaming and HD video playback. It certainly doesn't have the best resolution display, still with 1280x800p its IPS based panel is a lot better than most 15k tablets.

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Price: `13,000

Key Specs: Android 4.1 Jelly bean, 1.5GHz dual core, quad core

GPU, 10 inch, 1280x800p, multi-touch, WiFi, 3G via USB, GPS,

16GB internal, 32GB external, 1GB RAM, USB 2.0, HDMI, 3.5mm,

micro SD, 0.3MP front, 3 MP rear camera, 667g

Pros: fast, good display, build quality

Cons: Ordinary camera

Write to: pcquest@cybermedia.co.in for more info.

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Spice Mi1010 has so far impressed with its features but in performance its a welcome change from the slow performing budget and mid-segemnt tablets. With its browsing speed, processing, graphics reading capabilty, it raises the standard for budget and mid-segemnt tablets. In performance tests, it's far ahead of others with an outstanding score. The scores for graphics processing and web browsing is again among the highest. Its battery backup is 6 hours but that is not unique to it, Mitashi Play BE200 gives upto 8 hours. It supports 3G via USB, which is alittle disappointing for a 13k tablet. Zen A700, which costs 10k, has a 3G SIM slot.

Bottomline: Its performance and a bigger than regular display is apt in taking some extra load of multiple running apps, a good sign for professionals who are looking for a low cost professional class tablet.

Intex iBuddy Connect

Intex iBuddy Connect is a low cost tablet with Android 4.0 ICS, 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM and Mali 400 GPU. It's slim and is one of the lightest tablets around, weighing merely 316g. Its touch response is good, navigation is fast and smooth, although the display is nothing great and suffers from poor visibility from wide angles. It is a well-equipped tablet when it comes to connectivity. There is a SIM slot for 2G network, a USB slot for 3G dongle along with WiFi. The presence of Google Play will give you access to downloadable Android apps. Intex iBuddy Connect costs just 8k, and in this range no tablet offers SIM based 3G. Zen A700 Ultratab, at 9k, is the cheapest 3G tablet. Intex iBuddy also includes a mini HDMI to connect with a bigger display, a micro SD slot to expand storage to 32GB and has dual cameras, unlike the Penta TPad. Its 2 MP rear camera and 0.3 MP front camera allow decent quality video chatting. The speaker quality is low but sufficient for video calling. Its battery is decent and gives upto 3 hours on a single charge. The tablet can be used as a netbook, as Intex is providing a leather cover with an attached keyboard for just

Rs.1500.

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Price: `7,990

Key Specs: Android 4.0, 1GHz single core, quad core GPU, 7inch, 800x480p,

multi-touch, 2G SIM, 3G via USB dongle, WiFi, 4GB internal, 32GB external,

512MB RAM, SIM slot, micro USB, micro SD, 3.5mm, mini HDMI, 0.3MP front,

2MP rear, 316g

Pros: Performance, good camera quality, light and compact, Cons: Poor speakers

Write to: pcquest@cybermedia.co.in for more info.

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Intex Buddy Connect's perfromance is definitely not one of its highpoints. Overall benchmark results make it a moderate performer with ocassional brilliance, for instance a superior score in performance places it in the top three but with moderate scores in graphics, web browsing and battery (3Hours) it fails to impress us as the Spice Stellar Mi1010 did.

Bottomline: iBuddy Connect is a compact 7-inch tablet with an ordinary

display. Its processing speed and good connectivity, however, are the saving grace and make it worth a look.

Penta T-Pad WS802C

An 8-inch multi-touch tablet with an aspect ratio of 4:3. Its display is a little unpredictable, but mostly the response is good. Even at 800x600p, the screen is plain and glossy, though it reflects a lot, especially when viewed from the sides. It comes with Android 4.0, 1.2 GHz single core processor and 1GB RAM. But with several apps running it becomes slow. The camera is clear and nice and good for video chatting. The speakers are clear and the tablet has WiFi support, 2G SIM slot, HDMI, and SD card for connectivity. This allows you to use SIM slot for 2G and you can access 3G services with a 3G USB dongle. There is a physical button for managing apps and for tweaking the settings. In fact, it has more physical buttons

than you would generally see in a tablet. There is a button for instant search as well. In the graphics test, it scores less than Intex Buddy even though it has superior RAM and processor, but does well in the browsing test. Its battery back-up is a lot better at 4 hrs and 30 mins, which is second only to the Spice Stellar tablet.

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Price: `8,299

Key Specs: OS Android 4.0, Cortex A8 1.2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB flash

memory, 8 inch LCD, 800x600p, WiFi, 2G sim slot, HDMI, micro SD card slot, 3G via dongle

Pros: Battery life, good camera, Cons: Display

Write to: pcquest@cybermedia.co.in for more info.

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It's display is not accurate, as sometimes it responds well then sometimes it slows down. It feels robust and bulky, and weighs 570g, not ideal or an 8inch tablet.

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Bottomline: It is meant for moderate use and at just Rs 8k, this tablet

has a lot to offer. However, you have better tablets available. Wishtel Ira Icon

Wishtel Ira Icon

This is a 3G tablet that runs 3G via SIM, unlike similarly-priced tablets that run 3G via a USB dongle. Other key features include dual cameras, good touch experience, Google Play, etc. However, it is overall a let down because of its performance and build quality.

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Price: `10,299

Key Specs: Android 4.0, 1.2 GHz Processor, 7-inch

multi-touch screen, 4 GB internal storage, 32 GB

microSD slot, 1 GB RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2 MP Rear

and 0.3 MP Front Camera

Pros: Good touch interface, 3G via SIM

Cons: Heavy, poor camera

Write to: pcquest@cybermedia.co.in for more info.

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It takes a long time to start and for a 7-inch tablet It's quite heavy at 600g. Of the two cameras, the front one for video chatting is poor and blurry, while the rear one is good. It's powered by single core 1.2 GHz processor and 1GB RAM. In graphics, browsing and system performance, it lags behind other tablets reviewed here. The only positive is its battery that lasts upto 4 hours, a good sign for a 10k tablet. For connectivity, it has a mini USB, mini HDMI, sim slot, WiFi and a 3.5mm jack.

Bottomline: Wishtel Ira Icon is a robust 7-inch tablet that weighs like a

10-inch tablet. It is slow and lacks the punch of Spice Stellar.

Acer Iconia B1

It is rare to see big players foray into budget tablets. Now Acer's new tablet is good news for buyers who want a decent budget tablet from a big brand. Acer Iconia B1 can be called a decent budget tablet for two reasons: the low price and second its performance. In processing and hardware tests, its scores are better than other similar tablets, most of which could only muster two-thirds of what it did. However, what goes against it is its feeble build quality, poor camera and lack of any other mode but WiFi for connectivity.

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Price: `7300

Key Specs: Android Jellybean, 1.2GHz dual core CPU,

8GB internal+32GB via micro SD, 512MB RAM,

304g, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, 7Inch capacitive touchscreen,

1024x600p, VGA front camera

Pros: Performance, price, light, highly responsive

display, Android Jellybean, Cons: build quality, only WiFi

based connectivity, poor camera

Write to: pcquest@cybermedia.co.in for more info.

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Performance of the device as well as its capacitive touch display is excellent. The 1024x600p screen resolution is amongst the highest after Spice Stellar while its touch response is fast and smooth. It doesn't hang while playing games or during video playback, despite the 512MB memory. It does well in graphics performance tests, and the combined score puts it right after the Spice Stellar Pad. Its web browsing performance, tested via Vellamo benchmark, is also high and second only to the Spice Stellar.

The plastic build has kept its weight down to just 304g, which is no doubt good but Intex iBuddy Connect is 316g and is far more robust. Also, its battery lasts 4 hours, which is average since Mitashi Play, another less than 8k tablet gives upto 8 hours.

Bottomline: Overall a good performer and the buyer will enjoy using it, but the lack of some essential features will disappoint.

Performance Results

The above graph shows that Spice Stellarpad provides the best

CPU performance, followed by Mitashi Play.

Stellar, again tops in web browsing efficiency, followed by Acer

Iconia B1 pad from Spice.

For the best 3D graphics performance, look no further than

Zync Z999 Plus. Intex iBuddy is close on its needs through

For advanced 3D graphics, the Zync Z999 Plus gets beaten by

Spice Stellar and the Acer Iconia B1

Mid-Range Tablets Compared

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