5 features to look for in a budget tablet – 2013

Today Tablet PC’s have become very popular among students, businessmen, professionals and technology lovers. They are used for browsing, gaming, watching videos/streaming contents apart from just video chatting.
India alone has more than 3 million tablet users currently and the number is busy increasing. With such popularity these days variety of budget oriented tablets ranging between Rs 7k to Rs 10k are coming up in the market from both big and local brands.
So selecting a right tablet with promising technical specs from the available ones without getting trapped to their attractive price tag is quiet tough. In this article we will be looking at the most probable features which should be considered before buying one.

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Below are the list of best features to be looked in a 2013 budget tablet before buying:
1) System – Dual Core + GPU + Memory
In the budget section the consumer cannot expect a very high end specs and performance from the device. However the technology today is so much advanced that the buyer can expect an enough powerful machine with decent performance in the affordable devices.
Looking at today’s technology the tablet’s system on chip (SoC) must incorporate atleast a dual core processor (would be good if its Cortex A9/A15 CPU) clocked between 1 to 1.5 Ghz frequency alongwith and a powerful GPU (most probably Adreno or Mali 400 or PowerVR SGX series).
The GPU performance is gaining lot of importance from a user’s perspective because applications and high graphics games simply require a significantly faster graphics core to provide an optimum experience without any lags.
In the memory front, larger the RAM better is its multi functionality. 512MB or 1GB RAM would be an ideal choice with a minimum of 4 to 8GB internal memory along with a micro SD card slot.

Tablet with similar specsAcer Iconica B1 (currently selling between rupees 7K to 8K)

2) Operating System
Here it is important to make a decision which Os is better for you. Currently there are four choices in this category – Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows where Android seems to have more number of choices then any other platform.
Word of advice would be go for the brand which has reputation of providing software upgrades. One of my friend had a tablet with a bug in Wifi connection. The tablet used to get disconnected from the internet very frequently. To his fate the tablet was from a start-up brand. Till now he hasn’t got any bugfixes for it and he cannot do anything about it but just live with it.
So the main advantage of software updates is not only minor enhancements but also the much needed bug fixes.

More readingWorld’s first Dual Os running device – ASUS Transformer All-in-One Tablet PC

3) Display
Tablets have their screen size ranging from 7-inch to 10-inch diagonally. Most of the tablet in the economical range come with the screen size between 7 to 8-inch which sounds good for portability.
Most important feature to look for in the display segment is whether the tablet’s screen is integrated with IPS technology or not. If its not then the user mayn’t get a wider viewing angle.

4) Connectivity
The connectivity option for a tablet under 10K is sparse when compared with high end and more expensive tablet. Choose a tab which include many connectivity options like – Wi-Fi or 3G for video chatting.
– Tablet with a sim slot for those who use their tab as smartphones. This feature is an added advantage for the tablets portability. With the internet package activated on the SIM Card one can browse or watch videos online far from home.
Other features should also include HDMI Port for sharing the pictures, videos on the TV. USB port can be used for connecting keyboard, printer, pen drives, 3G Dongles etc

5) Battery
Battery life of a tablet depends on your usage. But look for a tab which must atleast offer 5-6 hours of continuous usage on a single charge.

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Aakash 3 with Voice Calling Support may land in Mid of 2013 in India for Rs 4,999

After Aakash 1 and 2 here comes the third version named as Aakash 3 an another 7 inch affordable android tablet from the Datawind an Indian IT company.
The tablet seems to be still in works. According to the proposed specs mentioned at the company’s website the third generation of the Aakash slate will have a SIM card slot for voice calling support and internet connectivity as the differentiators to its previous versions. The proposed specifications could be finalized by the NMEICT (National Mission for Education through Information Communication Technology) before end of March 2013.

In the specs section, similar to Aakash 2 even Aakash 3 will be running on 1GHz Cortex A8 processor with 512MB RAM capacity. It will be having a 4GB of inbuilt memory expandable upto 32GB via microSD card slot.
The 7 inch display will have the resolution of 800 x 400 pixels and a multi touch support. A.K.A Ubislate 7C+ will also support Wifi, GPRS and mini USB port, 3.5mm audio jack. Expected price of Aakash 3 would be Rs 4,999

Key features of Aakash 3 android Phablet:
– 1GHz Cortex A8 processor
– 7 ” Capacitive Touchscreen Display, 800×480 resolution
– SIM support
– Voice calling and Data surfing on GPRS
– Wifi, mini USB , 3.5mm headset jack
– Battery 2100mAh (expected)

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Pantel Penta WS708C 7″ tablet features 2 SIM slots, Android v4.1 selling for Rs 6,999

Here is a 7 inch Dual SIM Phablet from Pantel Technologies named as Penta T-Pad WS708C priced for just Rs 6,999. Pantel WS 708C runs on Android v4.1.1 Jelly Bean and has two GSM Slots with voice calling support because of which the Company loves to call it as a Phablet instead of Tablet.

Penta WS 708C comes with a 7 inch TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen display with Multi Touch support. The resolution of this screen is 800×480 pixels with 16M colors. Beneath this display lies a team of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 single core CPU and Mali 400 3D GPU.
WS 708C comes with 512MB RAM and 4GB of internal storage which can be further expanded upto 32GB capacity. The tablet comes with Wifi, Bluetooth, Micro USB, Dual SIM Slot, HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio jack. For 3G network one can use the Dongle from the below listed operators.
Penta WS708C T Pad sports a 2MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front facing camera and has a built in microphone for video calling. The battery capacity of this tablet is 3000mAh.

Key features and specs of Pantel Penta WS 708C Tablet:
– 7 Inch TFT Capacitive Touchscreen, 800×480 px resolution
– 1GHz Cortex A9 with Mali 400 GPU
– 512MB RAM, 4GB in built storage
– 32GB Expandable memory slot
– Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean Os
– Battery: 3000mAh Li Pol
– Front Camera: 0.3MP, Rear: 2MP
– G Sensor
– Dual Sim 2G Slot, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, HDMI, Micro USB, Bluetooth
– Data and Voice Calling support
– 3G Dongle Support: Tata Photon+ Huawei(EVDO) EC156, Airtel Huawei E173 Bu-1, Idea Huawei E1732, Reliance ZTE MF190, Huawei E173, Huawei E1550, Huawei E303, BSNL 3G ZTE MF 180, Tera 3G T3G72A, Visiontek 82GH
– Image Formats: JPG, JPEG, GIF,BMP, PNG
– Audio Formats: MP3,WMA,MP2,OGG,AAC,M4A,MA4,FLAC, APE, WAV

Pantel 708C comes with pre-loaded applications like Facebook, Youtube, Angry Birds, and more. Pantel released this tablet today in India Market and one can buy it from the official site. Other tablets with dual SIM slot includes HCL Me Y3 which was released in Jan 2013 for Rs 11,999.

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ASUS officially launches MeMo Pad Smart 10.1 inch tablet

ASUS has officially announced its latest android tablet named as MeMo Pad 10.1. This device was expected to be unveiled at the MWC 2013 but has appeared well before. MeMo Smart Pad 10.1 may be priced between $300 to $365. In India it may sell around Rs 15K to Rs 18K.

Specs of the device looks quiet good. As the name indicates the size of the MeMo tablet is 10.1 inches. It features an IPS capacitive touchscreen display of HD resolution with 1280 X 800 pixels. The tablet supports 10 point multi touch for better user interface.

ASUS MeMo Pad 10.1 is powered by android v4.1 Jelly Bean Os running on 1.2GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad Core processor. It has 1GB RAM and 16GB of in built memory and it also supports Micro SD Card Slot. MeMo Pad has got 5MP rear camera and a 1.2MP front facing camera for video chatting. Weight of the tablet is 580grams.
MeMo Pad 10.1 is not a bad option at all in the 10 inch tablet segment

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Detailed Specification Review: Lava E Tab XTRON

Lava Mobiles today released its latest low cost android tablet named as Xtron E TAB. It is ready to be picked at flipkart.com for Rs 6,499.

Features and Specs of Lava Xtron E Tablet:

Spec Table Lava Xtron E Tab
Processor 1.5 GHz Cortex-A9 processor with Quad Core GPU
OS Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean)
Display 7-inch IPS Capacitive touchscreen
Display Resolution 1024X600 Pixels
Memory 8GB of In built storage, 32GB microSD card slot
Camera 2-megapixel front facing camera
Battery 3500 mAh
Connectivity Wifi 802.11 b/g, 3G via USB Dongles, Micro USB, 3.5mm
Sensors G-Sensor
Dimensions 184 x 131 x 11.5 mm
Weight 350g

Operating SystemAndroid Jelly Bean
Lava ETAB Xtron comes with Android v4.1.1 Jelly Bean Os. This version of the android brings butter smooth user experience along with improved performance in the whole system.
Most likely Lava will be using the stock user interface without much tweaks to it.

Display7-inch IPS Multi Touchscreen
Xtron has a standard 7 inch TFT LCD display with IPS (In Point Switching) Technology integrated. The display resolution of this capacitive touchscreen is 1024 X 600 pixels.
So the tablet scores some points here as it promises the user with better viewing angle along with some crisp and clear images.

Processor & Memory1.5 GHz Dual Core Processor
Beneath the 7 Inch display lies an impressive hardware unit. 1.5GHz Cortex A9 dual core processor along with Mali 400 GPU helps the user to get a better gaming and browsing experience.
The storage unit comprises of 1GB RAM and 8GB of in built memory in which upto 5GB can be accessed by the user, rest will be used by the tablet’s software and other apps.
For more memory (which I think is required) one can spend few extra bucks on a micro SD card upto 32GB size which can be inserted into the card slot for memory expansion.
E TAB Xtron has a decent battery of 3500mAh capacity which offers around 3.5 to 4hrs of usage with Wifi enabled.

Connectivity & CameraNo voice calling support
Tablet doesn’t feature a SIM slot for voice calling. I feel this feature is a must for a tablet else it will not be a portable device completely. Anyways this issue can be solved by either Wifi or 3G USB Dongles.
If you are looking for a tablet with voice calling support then tablets from companies like HCL, BYOND, Swipe Telecom can be reviewed.
XTRON has a 2MP front facing camera. There is no secondary camera on this tablet which is quiet justified looking at the price offer.

The specs of Lava’s XTRON E Tab looks to be little better than Acer’s Iconia Tab B1 (Rs 7,999).
Design wise also the tablet scores the marks as it has an elegant looks. May be the absence of SIM Slot would disappoint some but in other segments the tablet satisfies most of the needs.

Karbonn’s Smart Tab 8 which was released last year in December has also similar features as of XTRON and is priced in the same range.

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