Roydon CerejoSep 09, 2011 14:48:28 IST
A couple of months back, if you had to ask someone’s advice for a tablet under 20K, you would have been laughed at. People would think you were crazy and maybe even a cheapskate. Not that there weren’t options in that price range, but most of them weren’t usable by humans, so it was as good as not having any. Today, the scene has changed in quite a big way. With Reliance’s 3G Tab now out other companies have also jumped on the bandwagon hoping to get a sliver of the limelight.
Today we’re going to put two such tablets in the ring and let them fight it out to the death. The two contenders are the Reliance 3G Tab and Beetels’s Magiq tablet. Both fall under the Rs.15,000 price bracket, have 7-inch displays and are 3G ready. So, which one offers you the best bang for buck? Let’s find out.
Beetel Magiq – Rs.9,999
Beetel’s Magiq tablet has got to be the cheapest usable tablet in the market today and the reason for that is, they’ve chosen a reputed OEM to manufacture it. The Magiq is nothing, but a slightly modified Huawei Ideos S7 with the same interface ported over. Powered by a 1GHz processor, it can easily handle 720p videos and the interface is quick. Despite having a resistive touchscreen (I know, boo!) it’s very usable without you having to tear your hair out.
Possibly the cheapest, user friendly tablet in the market
With Wi-Fi and 3G support, this 7-incher also lets you make and receive phone calls through a headset, which not all 3G tablets offer these days. The user friendly desktop is split into different categories so you can easily jump to your application quickly. Unlike stock Android, the notification bar is replaced by toggle switches for different functions like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Brightness, Data and Messages. The Beetel Magiq also has a built-in stand incorporated in the design, which means you can prop it up on the table without having to use a special case.
With all the amenities like 3.5mm headphone jack, hot-swap micro SD card slot and even an optical d-pad included, it’s a very tempting buy at this price.
Reliance 3G Tab – Rs.12,999
Reliance has also gone down the same road as Beetel and has chosen ZTE as the OEM for their tablet, the creators of the Dell XCD35. At first glance itself, the 3G Tab is better looking than the Magiq and is lighter, as well. Sporting the same 7-inch screen size, Reliance has gone with a capacitive screen instead, which straightaway gives you a better user experience and picture quality. Armed with Android 2.3, the tablet also sports Wi-Fi and 3G along with basic telephony features like phone calls, contacts and messaging.
Slimmer, sleeker and lighter
The 3G Tab is a tad slower as it packs in an 800MHz processor. Due to this, only SD movies play, 720p HD movies do not work. The 3G functionalities are locked into Reliance’s network which means you’ll have to subscribe to a data plan from them. At almost 3K more compared to Beetel’s offering, it’s tough to justify the gap in pricing. On one hand, it does come out on top thanks to the capacitive touchscreen, but on the other hand, the slightly sluggish behaviour of the UI is tough to ignore. To objectively find out which one’s better, let’s go the chart.
It's a draw!
We knew the result would be close, but the scores leave both the tablets on an equal footing. This goes to show that you can't really go wrong with which ever one you pick. It all comes down to what features you can live without and of course your budget.
If you go with the Beetel Magiq tablet, you'll get snappier performance, larger built-in storage, a very nice UI and the SIM is not locked down to a single operator. On the other hand, you'll have to live with a resistive touchscreen, weak battery life and an overall heavier and slightly bulkier device.
The Reliance 3G Tab does away with all the faults of the Beetel. It's a lot lighter and easier to use with one hand, the capacitive screen is obviously better to use and the colours and brightness levels are richer. On the down side, it comes with lesser built-in storage, has a slower CPU, which means 720p videos are a no-go and it's locked down to Reliance's network, which to be honest, is not too great. The choice is ultimately yours, which one would you pick?