Datawind, also known as the maker of the well-known Aakash tablet for India, has a few variants for its 7-inch Android tablet model and here is the Ubislate 7Ri. However, in the field of capacitive tablets being the entry-level and the lowest configuration available, the 7Ri has a resistive touch screen to offer. Let’s check out this tablet and see if it is really worth the price.
7-incher, resistive touchscreen with 480 x 800 resolution
Design and Build
The Datawind Ubislate 7Ri is the size of a standard 7-inch Android tablet. It is made completely from plastic, has a glossy black body on both the front and back and sports white edges on the right and left sides. The front panel has no buttons for home, back, menu or search. A front facing VGA camera is available for voice chats. The rear panel has just a big Ubislate logo in white. The left side sports the stereo speakers while the right side has the power button, an audio jack, a micro SD card slot, a micro USB PC interface and OTG slot, a power jack and a power LED. Two small holes for the reset button and the microphone are also seen alongside here. Lastly, the top features the volume rocker buttons. The entire chassis is made of plastic, weighs just 300 grams and is around 11 mm thick. The chassis is tough and feels rugged except for the glossy part which can get tarnished with fingerprints, dust and scratches in no time. However, while using the tablet, it feels a bit nice to hold as it feels more like a toy than an expensive gadget. We did expect the tablet to have a slightly more superior shell and build quality. However, this would shoot up the price by a few hundreds.
Android ICS, Cortex A8 1 GHz CPU, MALI-400 GPU
Features and Performance
The Ubislate 7Ri is a very basic Android tablet and has the lowest configuration in the fleet of Ubislate tablets. It features an Android ICS operating system which runs on a 1 GHz Cortex A8 processor with a MALI-400 GPU and 512 MB of RAM. The storage built in is 4 GB of which, 2 GB is available for user data while the rest is shared between the operating system and apps. The display is a resistive touch 7-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. There is only a single camera on the front, which features a resolution of 0.3 MP pixels. Lastly, connectivity options available are micro USB for PC interface and OTG and a Wi-Fi interface for Internet connectivity. the internal storage can be expanded up to 32 GB for additional data storage.
512 MB RAM, 4 GB internal storage
Interfaces: Micro USB and Micro SD card slot. No mini HDMI
We did a test on this tablet using regular benchmarking applications. AnTuTu scored 3144 points and Quadrant scored 2341 points. Linpack gave us results of 13.34 MFLOPS in single-thread tests and 12.70 MFLOPS in multi-thread tests. Lastly, NenaMark2 scored 27.2 fps in the test. The scores revealed that the performance of this tablet is at par with other tablets featuring similar hardware specifications.
Volume rocker on the top, power button on the right
Display and User Interface
The display, as we mentioned earlier, is a 7-inch resistive touchscreen with a 800 x 480 pixel resolution. We did expect the tablet to have the most sluggish user interface because of the resistive touch screen, but we were wrong. As we are used to a capacitive touch screen, we did have a bit of an issue using the touchscreen because we tend not to apply force by the fingers. Whilst using a resistive display screen, a little force is necessary as the display does not have capacitive sensors, but actually uses a grid with switches between the screen surface plates. We have used a few resistive touchscreen-based Android tablets and phones in the past and know how they reacted to the usage. They all were a bit sluggish and moreover, the display, being a glossy type, makes the UI even more sluggish. This is because the finger usually sticks to the glossy display screen making the usage sluggish. On the other hand, Datawind has included a matte-finished surface for the display screen on the Ubislate 7Ri, which makes using the tablet easier as the finger glides over it very smoothly. This makes the user interface less sluggish than one would expect.
Stock ICS tablet home launcher
The user interface is almost smooth, but it is a bit sluggish at times. Most often it would run smooth except at some intervals it would tend to slow down for a bit. The user interface is a stock Android ICS tablet launcher with a few freebie apps for entertainment and productivity thrown in. The display isn’t bad either—it is similar to other 7-inch tablets in the category. It has a good colour detail and crisp picture quality. As for the viewing angles, looking at the display from the bottom makes it invert colours—but same is the case with all budget tablets available around.
Few free apps for entertainment and productivity pre-installed
To test the media playback quality, we threw a few standard definition, 720p and 1080p videos at the tablet and it played them flawlessly. We did not notice any drawbacks as far as the display quality is concerned. The built-in stereo speakers were very disappointing though—they have a very low audio output and are not as clear. Wearing a suitable pair of headphones is recommended. The manufacturer does not provide you with a pair of headphones, hence this one leaves you with a choice to plug in your favourite headphones.
Calibration screen for the resistive touchscreen
There are no details of the battery provided inside this tablet, but the manufacturer claims around 180 minutes of play time. To check this, we did our standard battery draining tests on the tablet. We ran a standard definition video in a loop until the battery ran out on us. The table can continuously play videos for an average of 3 hours and 10 minutes. Lastly, after juicing up the battery again, we did use it casually for audio/video streaming, mild gaming and Internet surfing. This time the battery died in 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Verdict and Price in India
The DataWind Ubislate 7Ri is available for Rs 3,499 which we think is a good price for those seeking a super-budget Android tablet to begin with. Apart from the resistive touchscreen, the tablet features almost identical hardware specifications as that of the Ubislate 7Ci which is available for Rs 4,499. In order to keep the price low, Datawind seems to have cut down on a few areas such as the shell quality, a resistive touchscreen instead of a capacitive one, and doing away with the headphones and a stylus. However, this is justifiable to an extent.
The price difference of Rs 1,000 is huge, which makes this tablet worthy of the price. In addition, the resistive display can be used with a standard stylus—apps that can make the best use of a stylus such as handwriting and painting apps, can benefit from the resistive touchscreen. A standard stylus can be used more precisely and is highly error-free as compared to a capacitive stylus. Sadly, Datawind has not bundled a stylus along with the product, which could have added a little more value to the tablet.
We definitely recommend the Ubislate 7Ri tablet for those seeking an Android tablet on a very low budget. This tablet along with a stylus is best used in areas such as schools where children can draw and learn. Other businesses that can also benefit from this tablet with a stylus are restaurants, shops, and other areas where one can quickly write notes. If you prefer a capacitive display, the 7Ci is available for Rs 1,000 more and has the exact similar hardware within. If you are in search of the cheapest SIM-based Android tablet, for Rs 1,500 more, you can avail the Ubislate 7C+ at Rs 5,000, but it lacks a Bluetooth interface.
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