Datawind, the manufacturer who has been awarded the Aakash tablet project in India, has launched the same tablet (the Aakash 3) for the consumer market. Dubbed as Ubislate 7C+, the tablet is the exact same as the Aakash 3 tablet which is subsidised by the Indian government for students. The 7C+ is an exact replica as that of the older sibling, the 7Ri, except that this one features a capacitive display and a SIM card option for calling capabilities. Let's have a look at what the 7C+ is all about.
Single core 1GHz processor overclocked to 1.2GHz, with 512MB RAM and 4GB storage
Design and build
The Ubislate 7C+ looks like any regular 7-inch android tablet. The entire shell is black in colour and with a very rugged and firm build. The front panel features absolutely no buttons apart from the earpiece and the front-facing camera. The rear panel sports a rubberised texture, which helps in gripping the tablet when in use. It sports a single speaker grille and a reset button. The rear panel withholds large brand names and stickers, which looks very cluttered and spois the overall aesthetics. The entire right side is features the necessary interfaces and buttons. This includes a microUSB PC interface, a charging jack, the volume rocker, the earphone jack and an opening for the microphone. Also included here are the microSD card and GSM SIM slots housed underneath a rubber flap. The tablet has a decent look from the front, but loses out on the rear panel. The 7C+ measures 190 x 150 x 13 mm and weighs about 350 grams.
7-inch capacitive display with a resolution of 800 x 480
The Ubislate 7C+ is built using a Cortex A8 processor running at 1GHz supported by a MALI-400 GPU. The processor seems to be overclocked by 200MHz (AnTuTu reported a 1.2GHz processor) by Datawind. The reason could be to have the performance bumped up by a small sum. The tablet has been provided with 512MB of RAM and an internal storage of 4GB, which can be expanded up to 32GB via the microSD card slot. The total storage of 4GB is shared by the system and user data, and only 1.4 GB is available to the user. The display featured here is a 7-incher multi-touch capacitive panel with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The 7C+ is a single SIM GSM tablet that features calling connectivity and internet via GPRS and EDGE. Other connectivity options are Wi-Fi and a microUSB PC interface. There is no camera on the rear panel and the one on the front is a simple VGA camera for video chats. Lastly, thetablet is fuelled by a 3200 mAh batteryl. The tablet runs on the Android ICS operating system.
GSM SIM card slot on the right for calling and basic Internet (GPRS)
Performance and user interface
The tablet has a completely stock Android ICS launcher and we did find the user interface a bit sluggish. This could be owing to the low 512MB of RAM and the operating system cluttered with a few too many apps. The touch panel is a little over sensitive; one needs to be a bit careful while swiping through the app drawer. The sensitive touchscreen tends to click on the app before you swipe it, tending to open the application. This is also caused due to the sluggish interface.
Ugly rear panel with large branding and stickers.
In order to analyse the hardware, we ran the usual benchmarks and here are the scores. AnTuTu resulted in 3770, Quadrant in 2372 and NenaMark gave us a score of 32.5 fps. Lastly, Linpack scored 14.82 MFLOPS and 14.31 MFLOPS in the single-thread and multi-thread tests respectively. The performance of the tablet is similar to the Ubislate 7Ri, which sports the exact similar hardware with a resistive display. The tablet also performs at par with most budget tablets that feature a single core processor.
Stock user interface from the ICS operating system
Display and media
The 7-inch display panel featuring 800 x 480 pixels is below average. The viewing angles are bad—viewing from the top makes the colours inverted and when you view from the bottom, the colours are completely washed out. In order to enjoy the best display performance, it is suggested to hold the tablet at a perfect 90-degrees when in landscape mode.
Stock tablet launcher
We ran a few HD and full HD videos to gauge the entertainment aspect of the tablet and found that the 7C+ can play full HD 1080p videos with very little effort. The video is smooth, but you can notice a very little framing in fast motion scenes. The display quality is not up to the mark, though. Colours are not vibrant enough and look washed out or pale. This can be blamed on the low resolution and bad viewing angle of the display panel. Also, the brightness level could have been higher. However, for casual entertainment, the display quality is just good enough. The onboard speaker, although clear, is a tad too low. You would need to stress a bit in order to understand dialogues or the vocals. A suitable headphone is recommended. The bundled earphones have a below-average build. The audio quality is also not up to the mark, making the headphones just good enough for voice calls. We suggest you invest for a decent pair of headphones when purchasing this device.
A few too many apps for productivity, games and knowledge
The 3200 mAh battery powering the 7-incher Ubislate 7C+ seems just about sufficient for its main purpose as a student tablet. The battery lasted just around 3 hours and 45 minutes in our tests. Since a casual user would not push the tablet to this extreme of continuous use, we do expect the battery to last you a lot longer. The actual battery life would completely depend on the usage.
Dialer screen, Internal hardware specs reported by AnTuTu
Verdict and price in India
The Datawind Ubislate 7C+ retails at a cost of Rs 4,999 for the general consumer, while the Aakash 3 version would be a lot cheaper and subsidised for students from the government’s coffer. We think this price is too steep for the general consumer as you can avail most dual-core tablets for a similar cost, except for the calling capability. For the subsidised price (almost half the actual cost), the tablet is decent owing to the calling capability. Adding another 50 percent of the cost, you can get a tablet with a bigger display or the ones with a quad-core processor and a better display quality. The average build quality, poor display and audio quality, sluggish interface and a few shortcomings in other areas make the tablet a little too expencive for the retail price.
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