Zinglife E-Pad ZL101 Android Tablet

  • price

    ₹17,999.00

  • tech rating

    2.7/5

  • user rating

    2.7/5

Everyone wants a tablet nowadays, even though most don’t really need it. Secondly, people want the “iPad experience” for cheap which is why we are suddenly witnessing a surge of sub-20K tablets flooding the market from brands you’ve probably never heard of before. Of course most of them have tried and failed miserably. We’ve even reviewed one of them like the Creative ZiiO which made a good PMP, but coudn't be take seriously as a tablet.

Today we have another such contender from Splash Telecom Pvt. Ltd called the Zinglife E-Pad ZL101, a 10.1-inch tablet running Android (Froyo). Priced similar to the Creative ZiiO 7, will this be able to win our hearts? Let's find out.

Design and Build

Look familiar?

Look familiar?

 

The E-Pad comes bundled with just a charger, data cable, a USB-to-Ethernet adapter and a carry sleeve. You’ll notice a striking resemblance to the iPad right down to the ‘Home’ button at the bottom. Even though it’s a bit chunkier, it's a lot lighter than the iPad. There’s a front facing camera for video chat but no rear camera. You’ll notice the bezel is quite thick around the screen so it’s easy to hold in any orientation.
Good set of connections

Good set of connections

 

On the top, we have a micro-SD card slot (up to 32GB), power button, port for LAN adapter and volume rocker. Coming to the right we have the power port, mini-USB port, standard USB port, headphone jack, reset switch, mini-HDMI port and microphone port. The speakers are placed at the bottom and covered by flimsy aluminum grills that dents easily when pressed. The power light is annoyingly bright just next to the button and sadly there’s no way to turn it off. The overall build quality is strictly average with slight creaks here and there when you press it.

Features
Interface

Stock Froyo interface

Stock Froyo interface

 

The Zinglife E-Pad runs Android 2.2 Froyo but not too well. Despite the 1GHz CPU and 512MB of memory, it's quite sluggish to use. The boot up time is not great either - it takes at least a whole minute (if not more) for the job. Switching from portrait mode to landscape takes forever even with all the animations turned off.

The viewing angles of the screen are pretty bad. The color changes too much when shifted even slightly from left to right. The same goes for the vertical viewing angles. The screen does have a decent resolution though (1024x600) so it doesn’t look too bad. It’s still a resistive screen so no multi-touch support. The tablet comes with stock Froyo with no customizations done on it. Standard apps include Alarm clock, Calculator, Calendar, OfficeSuite, OI File Manager, Notepad and Google Translate. Thankfully, we get the true Android Marketplace and not some custom built nonsense.
Media
The default video player is capable of playing 720p MKV, AVI and MP4. For other formats, it’s best to install MoboPlayer to get them going. The colors don't exactly pop out but aren't too bad either. We couldn't get the micro-SD card slot working. We tried a couple of cards but the tablet kept saying “Safe to eject” or “Checking for errors” and would never go beyond that. The built-in 4GB memory is occupied mostly by the OS and leaves you with just 650MB.

720p videos play just fine

720p videos play just fine

 

Audio playback is decent through a good pair of in-ear phones but the external speakers are bad with a lot of distortion and tearing even at moderate volume levels. What I assumed to be a volume rocker on the side turned out to be the button for bringing up any options an application may have. For instance if you press it on the home screen, it brings up options to go to 'Settings' or change the wallpaper. You have to resort to the applications volume control. Also, you cant use the power button to lock the home screen, you have an icon for that in the notifications bar.

Connectivity
The Zinglife E-Pad packs in Wi-Fi ‘n’ as well as a LAN port adapter in case you don't have Wi-Fi. I noticed the right side of the tablet tends to get quite warm during Wi-Fi usage but that’s normal. There’s also Bluetooth with A2DP support for pairing with Bluetooth headphones. The standard USB port supports pen drives formatted in FAT 32 only, while the drive shows up as ‘udisk’ in the file manager.

The Zinglife supports 3G data cards but it didn’t seem to connect through the Reliance Broadband + card we used. The light on the data card keeps blinking but the tablet doesn’t seem to detect it. There is an option in Settings to enable 3G usage but enabling that and the WCDMA option didn’t seem to do much. Froyo dosen't natively support data cards since it's primarily a mobile OS so unless these 3G data cards come with some built in app that auto-installs when plugged in or the manufacturer provides an app, we dont see how the OS would know what to do with such a device.

LAN port comes in very handy

LAN port comes in very handy

 

The mini-USB port can only be used for data transfer and doesn't charge the tablet when plugged in. It even has a mini-HDMI port for connecting it to an HDTV. There are many Internet related apps also bundled along like Google Maps, Places, Navigation, Gmail, Skype, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The default browser does a good job of rendering web pages and the 10.1-inch offers a wide viewing area. Finger prints are a real menace though so you might want to have a cleaning cloth handy in the pouch.

Misc Features

The E-Pad has an optional carry pouch with a keyboard for Rs.1000. You plug in the keyboard via the USB port and it works. It’s a lot better than typing on the resistive screen and is faster as well. The problem is that once plugged in, a mouse pointer appears right in the middle of the screen and there’s no way to get rid of it. The keyboard it self seems to be lifted straight from a netbook but the feedback of the keys aren’t too great and feel cheap, certainly not worth 1K.

There’s one nice application though, for car owners. What it does is it gives you extra large icons for Phone, Contacts, Music and Navigation so you can use it while driving. More apps can be downloaded from the Android Market place.


Camera

The front facing camera only supports VGA resolution and has below average performance. Even in a well lit room, it fails to capture any detail and the picture appears dull as if you were in a cave or something.
Battery
The E-Pad comes with a 2400mAh battery which is very less to power a 10.1-inch screen. Naturally, we managed to get just 2 hours worth of back up time with a little Internet surfing, trying out a few bundled apps and a couple of TV show episodes. The battery indicator also doesn't give you an accurate reading. At times it will be red asking you to find a power source and then seconds later it turns yellow. After two hours, the tablet was still able to boot but if you tried to open any application, it would immediately shut down.  

Verdict

Needs to be priced lower

Needs to be priced lower

 

The Zinglife E-Pad carries an MRP of Rs.17,999. The street price is closer to Rs.15000. While this may seem like a good price for a 10.1-inch tablet running Froyo, it’s actually not. If it was closer to 11-12K, then it might be worth considering but then too just as a PMP and not a real tablet.

The main problem with the E-Pad is that it’s not at all user friendly. After testing a couple of resistive based Android tablets, you tend to develop a slight tolerance to the sluggish behavior but a first time user might lose his mind. The good part about it is that it’s lightweight, offers you a large screen and plays 720p files smoothly plus it runs Android 2.2 so you can customize it the way you want. Compared to the Creative ZiiO, it feels like the better pick given the larger screen, Android Market place and a standard USB port, but again not at the current asking price.


Specifications

Zinglife E-Pad ZL101 is a 10.1 inch android tablet from Splash Telecom. This is a Froyo running tablet has some great features and comes at a budget price. The tablet is powered by a 1 GHz ARM11 Processor and 1GB RAM. There is also 4 GB of internal storage memory as well as a micro SD card slot expandable upto 32Gb. The tablet Zinglife E-Pad ZL101 has a 10.1 inch beautiful, high quality resistive touch screen display with a resolution of 1024×600 pixels. There is a front camera which can be used for Video calling and an HDMI port for connectivity with LDC TV’s or Computer monitors. E-Pad ZL101 include WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Broadband Connection via RJ45 Port, 3G Data Dongle support and Google maps as the connectivity options and sports an USB port for data syncing as well.

Screen

Screen Size 10.1
Screen Resolution (pixels) 1024 x 600
Screen Type TFT touchscreen

Memory

Internal Storage 4GB, 512MB RAM
External Memory Type microSD
Upgradeable Upto 32GB

Camera

Resolution (pixels) 640 x 480
Front facing camera Yes
Integrated Flash Adobe Flash 10.1

Sound

Speaker Double Stereo Speakers
Audio connector 3.5mm

Connectivity

3G Yes
A2DP Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Wi-Fi Yes
WiFi (802.11b/g/n) 802.11a/b/g/n
USB Yes

Software

OS Android
Version 2.2

Hardware

Processor ARM11
Speed 1.0 GHz, 512MB RAM

GPS

GPS Yes

Battery

Type Li-Ion
Capacity 2400 mAH

Dimensions

Dimensions (H x W x D) 270 x 180 x 15 mm
Weight (g) 500

Miscellaneous Features

Bundled Apps Google Maps|#|MSN|#|GTalk|#|Yahoo|#|Skype|#|Facebook|#|Twitter|#|Linkedin|#|Places|#|Navigation|#|Gmail
Other Features Create, Edit & View Word, Excel, PowerPoint & PDF

After Sales Service

Warranty 1