Go glocal with tablet PCs

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 05, 2011 04:00 hrs

As the rest of the world raves about 10-inch tablet PCs from Samsung and Apple, Indian vendors seem to be betting on cheaper 7-inch tablet PCs to lure buyers. But these tablet PCs have begun to crowd retail shelves, with a new model being launched every month. The most distinguishing feature of these low-cost tablet PCs is that they can make calls, a feature that an iPad or a Galaxy tab does not have.

If you are in the market to equip yourself with a tablet PC that won’t compromise on its ability to make voice calls, here’s what you can get.

Beetel Magiq
Rs 9,000
This might look like a poor cousin of what you may have seen of tablet PCs but it can connect you to the web, run websites with Flash, stream video and data for a good five to six hours. And it costs a fraction of what an iPad retails at.

Airtel’s Beetel Magiq tablet PC is an Android device powered with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, packs a 2-megapixel camera at the back and a VGA camera in front for video calling, gives you 8 GB of internal storage and sports a 7-inch touchscreen display. The touch experience, thanks to the resistive display, can be a disappointing one, especially when you have to wipe your fingers several times over an icon to get it running. But with a little practice you will know exactly how hard you should press the touchscreen to get the apps running. There’s also nothing visually appealing about a display that delivers resolution of just 800 x 480 pixels (almost what a smartphone’s 4-inch display would render).

The 2200 mAh battery ensures that the device is juiced up to six hours of usage. But this could vary if you run data extensive apps or 3G networks. There is a docking port and a microSD slot at the bottom of the device. This docking stand is meant to be used while watching videos, but really it’s quite useless. While Android devices get updated software versions every month or so, Beetel chose to load the older Android 2.2 Froyo OS on this device that is not meant for tablet PCs. The company has not indicated how users who wish to upgrade their tablet OS can do so. What keeps the Magiq tablet PC in the game is the fact that it can be powered with a 3G connection from any network besides Airtel in India.

Spice Mi-720
Rs 11,990
Spice Mobility’s Android tablet Spice Mi-720 was introduced in market without much fanfare. Available at Lets Buy at a listed priced of Rs 11,990, this tablet comes with its own set of hits and misses. The device runs the Android 2.2 Froyo OS, gives an acceptable browsing experience on the 800 MHz Qualcomm processor.

There’s a 7-inch display screen that supports 800x480 resolution on the Mi-720 but the overall picture quality looks better than Beetel’s Magiq since Spice has added a capacitive touchscreen on the device. The Mi-720 works on the GSM network, transforming itself into a large screen smartphone. The connectivity options in this Spice tablet expand to GPRS, Edge,Wi-Fi & USB.

Add to this a basic 2-megapixel camera and another front-facing VGA camera, and you have the device working for video calls — a feature that has become a standard for mobile device. Spice has included an Adreno 200 graphics processor and 4-axis gravity sensor that ensures that you can will have sensor based gaming. A powerful battery of 4200 mAh means that the device stays powered for about 6.5 hours.

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