Updated 24 May, 2013, 7:53 pm IST
G.O.T.Y. 2012: Budget Tablets
| by Francis D'sa
The year 2012 has seen a plethora of Android-based tablets ranging from 7-inchers to large 9-inch and 10-inch displays. While tablets from well-known manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, ASUS, Lenovo and a few others are priced well above the 20K line, you still find millions sold out worldwide. But there are many in India and other countries who prefer to keep their expenses within their means. This gave birth to the idea for many low-to-high profile manufacturers who have brought into the industry cheaper and low-budget Android-based tablets for the masses. This has enabled the common man to have the option of owning a tablet and being connected to the rest of the world like anyone else. These budget tablets made for the common man have turned a lot of heads and are giving the big guys a run for their money. These Android tablets are available in different versions ranging from different screen sizes to processor variants.
Though some of the products we reviewed on our website might have been the best at the time of their release and review, over time, they have been overtaken by cheaper, more powerful and feature-rich ones. As per our experience, user/reader feedbacks and taking into consideration the latest market releases, we have picked out three of the best budget tablets so far, which we think would be the best buy.
Budget Tablet of the Year: WickedLeak Wammy Desire
The Wammy Desire is a product from WickedLeak and is one of the cheapest and the first budget Android-based tablet to feature a dual-core 1.5GHz processor along with the latest Android v4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. It is also one of the initial ones to feature a higher resolution (1024 x 600 pixels) on a 7-inch display. The tablet features a rugged, rubberised shell and has a very slim form-factor. It is pretty smooth in operation and plays full HD 1080p videos without any hassles. The display quality is crisp and clear and the tablet is a perfect entertainment device on the go. Other features of the Wammy Desire include a MALI-400 graphics processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Presently, this one is the cheapest and best tablet sold out there. If you are looking for a powerful 7-inch Android tablet in the cheapest price bracket, the Desire should be on your list.
The Wammy Desire, best in its class
First Runner Up: BSNL Penta T-Pad WS802C
Resting in between the 7-inchers and the large screen ones is the BSNL Penta T-Pad WS802C, which features an 8-inch display. The tablet offers SIM card facility for voice calling and 3G Internet. One of the first large-screen tablets we had encountered, it is powered by a 1GHz processor and a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU coupled with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. The display sports a resolution of 800 x 600, but the display quality is crisp and clear with a smooth user interface. The tablet lasts around 7 hours for continuous video playback and can give you an average of 6 hours when using it for Internet browsing and gaming. If you are looking for a 3G SIM capable large screen tablet, the Penta T-Pad is worth the price.
BSNL Penta T-Pad sports SIM card facility and a large 8-inch screen
Second Runner Up: LAVA E Tab Z7H
If you want to lower your budget, then you could consider the LAVA E Tab. Built with a very rugged frame and a scratch-resistant shell, the tablet is a great 7-incher that is capable of taking a slightly rough journey. It features a single core 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and a MALI-400 GPU. The storage built-in is 4GB and the display is a regular crisp and vibrant 7-ncher with a 800 x 480 pixel resolution. The user interface is smooth and the display is very sensitive and responsive, which makes it a great tablet to work on. What makes the tablet even better compared to others in the segment is the audio quality from the built-in speakers. Though the audio tends to rumble at higher volumes, it is loud and pleasant at regular levels. The tablet also includes a few HD music videos and an Aamir Khan starrer movie – 3 Idiots. The manufacturer also offers some more freebies with the tablet.
LAVA E Tab has a rugged frame and a smooth interface
Since there are some other tablets that also are worthy of a purchase, we would like to mention a few here. These simply cannot be ignored as they too have some plus point over the other – be it the price or a feature-set or simply its performance. We've listed a few of them below.
Want to be really stingy on your expenses? Then you should not mind a cut on the feature-set. Actually, the low feature that we mention here is just the touchscreen—a resistive touchscreen instead of a capacitive one. The Ubislate 7Ri from Datawind, the makers of Aakash tablet, is a pretty good buy for just Rs 3,500. The tablet highlights features exactly similar to any other budget tablet in the category—a 1GHz processor, MALI-400 GPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 7-inch display with a 800 x 480 pixel resolution. The tablet performs at par with other single-core 7-inchers and the user interface, even though with a resistive touchscreen, is smooth too thanks to the matte-finished surface on the LCD screen, which does not cause any lags on the usage due to finger rubbing. There is no compromise in performance related to any area including playback of full HD 1080p videos. The best part of this tablet is the ability to use a regular stylus as a pen to precisely work on the tablet’s screen, unlike the capacitive stylus that requires a larger area of contact. The tablet does have a weak build quality, but we wouldn’t say it is too bad either. This tablet is definitely recommended for those looking for a 7-inch Android tablet on an extremely low budget.
Datawind Ubislate 7Ri is the cheapest tablet around
This tablet was initially the first and the cheapest 7-inch budget Android tablet in the Indian market. It has also been a best-seller for a long time. The tablet has a rugged build quality; the user interface is smooth enough and the performance is also at par. It sports a single-core 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and an internal storage of 4GB. It has physical Home, Menu and Back buttons, which makes it ergonomic and user-friendly too. It is still a hot selling product and is considered and recommended by many. The Funbook P300 can be connected to an LCD TV or display using the HDMI interface to enjoy HD videos on a large screen. Lastly, it supports USB OTG, which can be used to connect Internet data cards, USB storage drives or input devices for additional productivity options.
Micromax Funbook P300 was the first 7-inch budget Android tablet to be announced
If you are in need of a large screen Android tablet with a sleek and aesthetically appealing chasiss, the HCL ME G1 is also another consideration. Equipped with a large 9.7-inch IPS panel featuring a beautiful 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, the display quality is crisp and clear. The user interface is smooth thanks to the dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM within. This is one of the first tablets with a dual-core processor featured with a large screen. The sleek and slim tablet has a glossy white rear panel and closely resembles an iPad. Lastly, it features an 8GB storage and is Bluetooth enabled. Priced at Rs 15,000, the tablet is a worthy contender in the large screen arena.
HCL ME G1 sports a dual-core processor, an IPS 9.7-inch display and looks just like an iPad
Well, these are our choices. We would like to know what you'd pick as this years top low budget tablet device. Do send in your options via our comments section below.
Check out our other Gadget of the Year award lists here.
Tags: GOTY 2012 , Gadget of the Year , WickedLeak , Wammy Desire , BSNL , Penta T-Pad WS802C , LAVA , E Tab Z7H , Datawind , Ubislate 7Ri , Micromax , Funbook , HCL , ME G1 , budget tablets , Android , 7-inch , 8-inch , 9-inch , 10-inch , 9.7-inch , IPS display , ICS , Jelly Bean , Ice Cream Sandwich , budget gadgets , dual core processor , dual-core , large screen , capacitive , resistive , Google , tablets , cheap tablets , cheap android tablets
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