The Magnum supports external memory via microSD cards so you can simply stick in a card with your music and you’re good to go. You can create a playlist from your files on the memory card but there doesn’t seem to be a way to create more than just the one. There are no other settings other than a repeat/shuffle option, no EQ presets. It will also support .LRC files.
The audio is not bad at all via the built-in speaker with a fair amount of balanced tone quality when it came to music. Via the earphones the quality was a different story, the tone quality was distorted and the decibel level was a little low. Although the device has no FM radio it does have an FM transmitter for hooking it up to your car stereo or any other FM friendly device. Signals are clear but not crystal clear.
The video player is supposed to play - 90% of all available popular formats, according to the Magnum website. However this is not true, not just yet anyways. While it played some of the more standard formats viz. 3GP, WMV and Low resolution MPEG4 (iPhone-sized framed quite a bit), but it didn’t fare too well with AVI files with a DivX and XviD codec and the higher the resolution the worse it got. This is a real pity as it’s a waste of the large display. We’ll just have to wait for the next update to see if more codecs are included. A video converter for the device is also going to be announced soon.
Images don’t look too bad on the large display and the system offers magnification, rotation and a slide show option. Using it as a Digital Photo frame is also another USP for the device.
Stream music to your car radio or any other FM ready device
Quite a few games, 30 to be more accurate and a whole list of other fun stuff have been preloaded on to the device. Aside from the games there’s also a Virtual drum kit but response being a bit slow makes it a little hard to get a steady beat. There’s even a Virtual Piano keyboard but it’ll require you to use the stylus to coax any kind of response from the keyboard. To help you even further your musical prowess, the Magnum also comes with a Guitar tuner.
Like a mobile handset or any other computing device the Magnum comes with a few handy extras. These include a MS Document readers for .DOC, XLS, PPT and PDF files. For now they’re all just readers but with an upcoming update you’ll be able to create and edit files as well. A Wordpad app is present though to take quick notes if necessary, of course you’ll have to contend with the ultra small keypad on the large display till an update comes along for that too. The Calendar app is duplicated. It shows up on one of the outside menus and then again in the tools. Sadly both will give you no more than the date and allow you to select specific dates. You can’t add any kind or schedule or appointment marking simply change the color of the tab. Ridiculous.
Just reads documents for now...
A calculator (very basic) and alarm clock, stopwatch and a torch option much like the iPhone’s, it only switches on a white screen and boosts the brightness level. However this one does come with a funky Ambilight option that lets you ‘Disco’ the screen a bit by adding colors and a bit of animation. I’m not sure why you’d want a torch that changes color but it’s there if you want it.
The company claims that the device should give you about 3-5 hours usage on a single charge. That’s just about right. On an average it ran for about 3.5 hours to 4 hours before quitting. It played a full length 3 hour video at a stretch and had just enough life to take about 2 short calls.
The tethering isn't too hard
The Bottom Line
If you’re thinking of buying the Magnum, I suggest waiting for just a little longer for the updates or the Android version that I was told just might make it out by the end of this year. That’s got be a more stable platform to work with and will surely render this version obsolete. As of now, the smaller 4.3-inch model is priced at Rs. 13,999 and the slightly larger 5-incher at Rs. 15,999. A silver lining in the Magnum’s slightly gray-ish cloud is that LACS is planning on introducing an app store just for the device where users will be able to download all kinds of goodies to beef up the overall functionality of the device.
As tablet PC’s go, I wouldn’t classify this as one just yet, but there’s tremendous potential or a device like this, if the pricing were lower. As much as the device might offer in the future, I wouldn’t pay this much for it now, so just be patient, I’m sure LACS has quite a bit more up their proverbial sleeve.