Google's fetish for naming its Android OS versions after desserts had got us yearning to taste the Ice Cream Sandwich on a tablet. After getting a scoop of it in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, little did we imagine that the nifty operating system would reach us integrated in the Zync Z990 tablet. Yes, India’s supposed first ICS tablet launched a week ago for a price under 10k. With a price tag that appears so attractive, all we need to know is - Is the OS used to the best of its abilities? Has the tablet compromised to achieve such a price tag? Read on for the review of the Zync Z990 to get all these questions answered.
India's first ICS tablet
Design and Build quality
Zync managed to pull out an average 7-inch, affordably priced tablet. By the looks of it, however, the company didn’t seemingly put in a lot of thinking for the build quality. The design is simple and the tablet is dipped in a jet black hue and completely crafted out of plastic. Some may find black to be quite sophisticated, but the plastic looks cheap and if you take a closer look at the bezel area, the screen doesn’t look securely fitted into the bezel. The back flap near the ports is loosely fit and the device all in all lacks a good finish.
This all black, all plastic device has about a 1cm bezel on the left, above and below the screen, while the right side has more than 2cm bezel. The right side equips all the ports and the company has even named them on the back to assist users further. You’ll find a microSD card slot, HDMI, 3.5mm jack, main power port, microUSB and a standard 2.0 USB port running along the right side. Similarly marked on the right upper edge, you will find mic, power, menu and surprisingly an Esc button. The Esc button is to close an application instantly. Disappointingly, there are no physical volume controls, while the speakers are placed on the backside. It has given the rear camera a miss like some of the affordable tablets we’ve seen lately, but again managed to get a front facing camera.
Imprinted with port names
It’s a tad heavy for a 7-incher at 380 grams, and equips a WVGA 480 x 800 pixel capacitive touchscreen, which responds fairly well. We are always glad to see a capacitive screen on a sub-10k tablet. Again, we’ve seen most of the tablets in this price range not go past this screen resolution, which is disappointing. Zync also offers a dockable USB keyboard that can be bought separately for Rs.999.
This latest Zync tablet is powered by a 1.2GHz (Graphics processor - Vivante GC460) with 1GB RAM and runs on Android ICS 4.0.3 operating system. Inspite of the nifty software and hardware combo, the user interface did appear sluggish at several instances. The company decided to not add much customization to the UI, and you will find the apps icon on the right upper corner. The icon will take you to the page where you can switch between apps and widgets. In apps the company has preloaded Astro file manager to sort out all the content saved in the internal memory, SD card or while using a flash drive. Under widgets you will see Analog clock, bookmark and more. The homescreen has three touch buttons – Back, Home and Apps on the lower left corner. Unlike other tablets which come with a host of preloaded apps, the company has just the Astro file manager, Play store, calculator, calendar, vortex player and also a stock video player.