Francis D'saNov 20, 2012 12:53:55 IST
For almost a year now, we have seen 7-inch Android tablets from many manufacturers making their merry way to the market, welcomed by users on a budget. With so many of them lining store shelves and giving users ample choice, it’s sometimes tough to make a decision given that many devices are identical in configuration. Trial and error is not an option in this case. Users are constantly in search of a quality tablet with the best price tag to keep those wallets from ringing empty and having the satisfaction of the all-powerful value for money.
The spec sheet
This article focuses on helping those looking for the best performing tablet in the least possible price. We have here shortlisted six of the best 7-inch Android tablets within the budget of Rs. 8,000.
Micromax Funbook P300
One of the first ones in the Indian market built using a 1.2GHz processor on a budget price, the Funbook P300 does have a sturdy build quality. The performance, with respect to the display quality and user interface, is good too. The Funbook P300 gives out at least 3.5 hours of battery life, which is an average work time on the battery inside—cut off the Wi-Fi and get the display brightness to 50 percent, and you can get up to 7 hours too. For the price, it was considered one of the cheaper Android 4.0-based tablets in the market, but that torch has been passed. However, with other 7-inchers making their appearances with cheaper price tags, this one seems to be losing its charm, but is still quite visible on the shelves. Of course, that could also be because no one’s buying it.
Lava E Tab
The LAVA E-tab impressed us with a sturdy shell and a rugged build quality. Unlike other tablets, the E-Tab has a high-volume built-in speaker and decent display quality for enjoying your favourite flicks. On the performance front, the E-Tab performs at par with the Funbook P300 even though it features a 1GHz processor. Just goes to show, it’s not size that matters but how you use it. The battery life is decent enough and we clocked around 4.5 hours in our tests. As smart-tabs go, this one seems fairly intelligent.
The 7Ci is identical to the UltraTab A100 by Zen and is the commercial version of the famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) Aakash 2 tablet. The 7Ci has an above average performance, a compact body and is, thus far, the cheapest tablet in the segment. Though the build quality is not quite what you’d expect, the compact form factor is a plus. On the performance front, the 7Ci outdoes both the Funbook P300 and the Lava E-Tab by a miniscule margin. The audio quality on the built-in speaker is not too great, but the tablet handles HD (1080p) videos quite well. Lastly, the battery life is around 3 hours, but what can you expect from a device with a price tag as light as this? The bottomline is, if you are on an extremely tight budget, the 7Ci should be on your list.
ZenFocus myZenTab 708BH
This one’s new and slightly pricier than the rest. The 708BH features similar hardware specs as the 7Ci except for an additional 4GB of internal storage, but the price is almost double. With a performance slightly better than the 7Ci, the price is just not justified, even when relating it to other tablets in the similar segment. Display quality and media performance is almost similar to the 7Ci, and the audio quality is about average. The battery life is a decent 4.5 hours. On a final note, the ZenFocus myZenTAB 708BH is not a budget tablet that you would opt for when others selling for almost half the price are around.
Karbonn Smart Tab 1
Karbonn Smart Tab 1
Good looks can only last so long when dealing with a device that’s in and out of your pocket, bag or purse. But nonetheless, we’re just a little superficial at heart, so the cool white SmartTab does tend to stand out a bit in this crowd. The Smart Tab 1 is identical to the Funbook Pro in terms of hardware, but it does not match up in overall performance. The Smart tab 1 is also thicker and slightly more expensive than the P300. Overall, the Karbonn Smart Tab 1 is like a blonde in the never-ending line of jokes – great looks, good body but that’s it. And let’s not leave out expensive.
WickedLeak Wammy Desire
The Wammy Desire from WickedLeak is the cheapest dual core-based 7-inch tablet in the market today. It has a superb build quality with a compact and rugged shell. The interface is smooth and the performance (both, display and UI) is unmatched when compared to others in the list. Though the Micromax and the UbiSlate tablets were neck and neck between performance and price, the Wammy Desire seems to pull ahead of the pack. It seems to be great value for money in terms of specs and performance as well.
The overall scores for Performance, Media, User Interface and Build quality
The selection process
Display size and budget were main factors in making the initial choice. We then narrowed it down to the top 6 based on elements such as performance and specs. Post that, we ran a series of benchmarks, analysed the build (inside and out) and finally factored in the UI and overall experience while using the device. So based on these factors, we separated the lot and here’s what proved to be the best of the best.
WickedLeak Wammy Desire
And the top performer is…
Don’t let the odd name fool you. This is one of the first 7-inch tablets in the Indian market to feature a dual core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, having 1GB of RAM and an onboard storage of 8GB. It is also one of the first tablets shipped with the latest operating system from Android, i.e. Jelly Bean aka v4.1, straight out-of-the-box. That’s just for starters.
The Desire also has a superb build quality with a compact shell, making it easy to handle and thanks to the dotted, rubberised rear panel, it’s got a great grip. It features all relevant connectivity options from Wi-Fi, USB OTG and micro USB to HDMI unlike some tablets that leave out the HDMI interface to cut down on price. The display quality is similar to the others in the segment and you can’t expect more in this range. The Wammy Desire handles 1080p full HD videos like a pro. The user interface is smooth—thanks to the dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, the MALI-400 GPU and, of course, Project Butter. The performance tests came out singing the Desire’s praise.
So based on the various tests, users experiences, design and build, the Wammy Desire easily comes out on top as the best 7-inch Android tablet under Rs. 8000.
What’s HOT : Dual core 1.5GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB built-in storage, JB OS, rubberised back panel, memory card slot flap.
What’s NOT : Below average audio volume.