Numerous budget 7-inch tablets have been flooding the Indian market recently. Most of these tablets feature the same internal hardware that are made in China with just a few differences such as GPU type, internal storage capacity and SIM card support. Manufacturers are just implementing the OEM manufactured devices with a different chassis for the looks and branding, and a few of them throwing in additional freebies such as memory cards, protective cases and apps. The operating system installed is never designed to function properly on this hardware as they are not standardised and tend to fail in some area or the other. Manufacturers should concentrate on the entire packaging right from the internal hardware to the external chassis and the operating system. What a user wants is a smooth and fluid user interface with standard options such as Wi-Fi, Storage, HDMI and a good pair of headphones.
7-inch display, 800 x 480 pixels resolution
We have seen manufacturers heavily competing each other with their similar Chinese-based 7-inch tablets with freebies and advertisement twists. What they fail to notice is that the price they offer does not justify the product they pack. Similar is the case with the ICE Xtreme 7-inch Android tablet that came into our labs recently. This tablet, when compared to others of the similar standard we reviewed in the past, turned out to be disappointing. Read on and find out what we discovered.
Large fonts for port names, no rear camera
Design and build
The ICE Xtreme, from a new comer ICE X Electronics, is no different from any other 7-inch tablet we saw earlier. The build quality is very much below average, especially when referring to the control buttons. The entire chassis has a firm build, but the exterior is completely glossy and it won’t take much time to get this tablet scratched. The looks are decent as it sports a completely black front panel, but the rear panel is bright white with black text all over the edges. The front features a 2 megapixel camera for video calls and there are absolutely no control buttons for Back, Home or Menu. The rear panel just has a speaker grille and does not feature any camera. The Power and Back button are seen on the top, but the way they are placed, it seems they should have been the Volume and Back buttons respectively. The buttons are very flimsy and do not sport proper tactility, which tends to hinder the ergonomics to an extent. The right side features a USB 2.0 port for 3G dongles and input devices, an HDMI port for large screen displays or TVs, a mini USB PC interface, audio and power jacks and a microSD slot. The display is equipped with a scratch guard, so you won’t have to pay for one. Additionally, the product bundles a leather carry case for safely carrying it around. Bundled along are the charger, USB cable and headphones.
Ports: HDMI, mini USB, microSD slot, audio, power
Features and performance
The ICE Xtreme is built using a 1.5GHz Cortex A8 processor and supported by a MALI-400 GPU. It features 1GB of RAM and sports a total of 8GB of internal memory. This storage capacity is split between the ROM, app storage and user data. An additional 8GB microSD card is bundled along with the product. The display is a 7-inch five point multi-touch capacitive screen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.
A free protective case is bundled
We did notice a lot of flaws with the product. Though the hardware specs seem superior (1.5GHz CPU + 1GB RAM) to other similar tablets in the category, the entire tablet is very sluggish. We still haven’t managed to find out the reason behind the hindrance—it could be the app overloaded OS or the faulty drivers. At times, it takes more than four seconds for the tablet to display the screen after pressing the power button, apps take longer to start, the user interface seems sluggish and searching for apps on the play store or browsing the internet is painfully slow. The wireless network drops from time to time too.
Updated 21 May, 2013, 2:39 pm IST
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