The Micromax Funbook Pro is powered by the Allwinner Boxchip A10 chipset featuring a Cortex-A8 processor clocked at 1.2GHz and a MALI-400 GPU. The Funbook Pro is blessed with 1GB of DDR3 RAM and is coupled with an internal storage of 8GB, of which 5.3GB is available for user data and the rest is shared between the ROM and the app storage. The user gets a good 1.15GB of storage space for installing apps. The storage can be expanded up to 32GB using the microSD card slot. The display is a large multi-touch capacitive 10-incher, but sadly, sports a resolution of only 1024 x 600 pixels. We expected it to at least have a proper 1280 x 720 resolution at this size. Moving on, the operating system installed is Android ICS v4.0.3, which includes the stock home launcher. The camera available is on the front and it has 300 K pixels 640 x 480 resolution for video chats. Connectivity options are micro USB interface for PC and Wi-Fi b/g for networking. We expected to see Wi-Fi N also included, but were disappointed again. A separate micro USB host interface is also provided, which needs to be used along with the bundled OTG cable for hooking up USB peripherals such as input devices or storage drives. Lastly, the battery inside the unit is a large 5600 mAh Li-ion.
Stock home launcher, but too colourful
As we mentioned in the features section that the Funbook Pro sports a 1.2GHz processor along with a MALI-400 GPU and 1GB of RAM, we did expect to see the product performing pretty well. But to our disappointment, we found the user interface slightly sluggish, specifically when sweeping through different screens or typing URLs in the browser. We did find a few glitches in the operating system too. Firstly, the ‘Developer Options’ in the settings page, where one can change the ‘Windows Animation Scale’ and the ‘Transition Animation Scale’ from the default values of ‘1x’ to ‘.5x’ or ‘none’ in order to speed up the interface a bit mode, simply refused to function or even change. Also, the wireless toggle switch in the main status bar is missing. The Wi-Fi toggle icon is available but there is no toggle switch and if you click on it, it takes you to the system settings where you need to switch it on. This means if you want to toggle the wireless network in a particular application, it will exit and go to the settings page. The display screen is also slightly unresponsive and not as sensitive as it should be. Maybe a small tweak in the kernel settings by the developer can solve these issues in the next firmware update.
A few free apps thrown in by Micromax
As usual, we tested the Micromax Funbook Pro using the benchmarking apps and here are the results. AnTuTu maxed out at 3028, Quadrant at 2108 and Linpack scored 15.528 MFLOPS in Single-Thread tests and 14.978 MFLOPS in Multi-Thread tests. The scores revealed to us that the tablet performs almost at par with most other tablets that feature similar specs but have 512MB of RAM. This one features a higher RAM capacity at 1GB and we think it is definitely under-performing.
The Funbook Pro did impress us with almost flawless playback of 1080P HD videos on its large screen. The videos did have a lag, but was only noticeable when a fast moving or panning screen is being watched. Otherwise, you would not even notice a glitch. The resolution of 1024 x 600 does not do justice to even HD movies, as all the videos are being downscaled to match the display resolution. The display is bright enough and looks crisp from a good distance—hold it closer and you can see the minute pixels that make up the screen. But at the end, playback of HD videos is smooth and flawless and we cannot complain. Audio playback has no issues when using earphones, but the built-in stereo speakers on the rear are pretty loud and a tad too shrilly. Though clear, the speakers lack proper mids and lows, which if present would make it a perfect entertainment display for a small crowd. Do note that earphones are not bundled with the product.
Wi-Fi toggle switch is missing
The large 5600 mAh battery seems like it promises to give you adequate juice for a prolonged time. But we were surprised when the tablet was juiced out in just 1 hour and 50 minutes. This was during the video loop test where we had a 2 hour 47 minute movie on test and before the movie even climaxed, the tablet died on us. We refreshed the battery back and started using the tablet as one would casually do during the day to simulate regular use. This included Internet browsing, downloading and installing apps, watching a few YouTube videos, email and social networking, a few music and video streaming sessions and lastly, a few regular games. The battery gave up in 2 hours and 25 minutes this time. So make sure you have a charger connected while watching movies, playing games or browsing the Internet for prolonged periods. Whilst travelling, we would recommend carrying a portable battery pack or a portable charger, as the device can give up on you every two hours.
Verdict and Price in India
After reviewing the entire product from build and design to the features and performance, we have found a lot of good and bad points that will make it a bit dicey for consumers to opt for this tablet. Slightly sluggish performance, glitches in the operating system and the poor battery life are the downsides. The good aspects are great looks, sturdy build, large display, great media playback and tempting price. The balance might seem right and the sluggish and buggy interface can be corrected. But at the end, the battery life is the main heart of the portable product, which fails drastically here. Hence, recommending this product is a bit disheartening. But if you are looking for a large screen tablet on a shoe-string budget, the Funbook Pro is the only one available in the market with which you can strike a deal if you are willing to ignore the battery life. The Micromax Funbook Pro is available for a price of Rs. 9,999 in the Indian market.
Updated 22 May, 2013, 9:27 pm IST
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