Recently, BSNL entered the tablet race by launching three different offerings at various price brackets. To be honest, I wasn’t really keen on reviewing this in the first place because by now, I was quite familiar with the drill - cheap tablet with plenty of connectivity coupled with a bad screen and sluggish UI, I was all set to expect the worst. However, the Penta T-Pad was a pleasant surprise and doesn’t fit the budget Android stereotype at all.
Design and Build
BSNL has tied up with Pantel for their tablets and the T-Pad WS802C is BSNL’s highest-end offering. The tablet is a bit on the heavier side so it’s not the most comfortable to hold it single-handed for a long time. Available in white only, the tablet features an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen with dual cameras for the front and back. There is a column of capacitive buttons along the edge making it easy to use in landscape mode. The aspect ratio is more 4:3 than 16:9 so it’s comfortable to use in either orientation. There are some physical buttons on the top for power and the volume rocker.
Very good connectivity options
As is the case with most budget tablets, there’s no shortage of connectivity options here. We have 3G (with voice calls), microSD card slot, HDMI, USB On-the-go, 3.5mm headphone jack as well as a standard USB port for connecting a mouse and keyboard. Other than the fact that it’s slightly on the heavier side, the Pantel designed tablet is built quite well and feels really sturdy.
The Penta T-Pad is powered by a 1GHz CPU and a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU. It also has the ARM NEON video decoding engine so it is capable of handling Full HD content as well. The 800 x 552 resolution screen is a little low but text and icons don’t look too bad. The display itself is quite bright although the viewing angles could be better. The tablet comes loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and thanks to the good specs, the interface is extremely smooth and slick and is by far one of the best Android experiences we’ve had on a budget tablet.
Interface is slick and speedy, just the way it should be
Pantel haven’t left the UI as stock as possible except for a couple of apps that come bundled with it. The capacitive buttons on the side are very responsive too and while they are convenient, they do tend to get in the way when holding the tablet in landscape mode.
The stock Android music player does a good enough job of playing back your music library. Since this is ICS, the stock player will also playback FLAC files too so you don’t have to download a third party player. The audio quality is good through in-ear headphones or you could also use the speaker which does a decent enough job.
Music player supports FLAC as well
The stock video player also managed to playback some of our 720p AVI files but without audio so it’s recommended you install a third party player. 1080p files will play as well thanks to the ARM NEON video decoder. Videos looks good although the picture quality is just about average due to the low resolution of the screen. It'[s still decent enough for watching a quick TV show while commuting though. The viewing angles could have been better but if you’re watching a video by yourself, then it shouldn’t be a problem. There’s also a second video player called UTPlayer but that only reads files of SD cards. The tablet has 4GB of built-in storage that’s expandable to 32GB via microSD card.