A tablet for every pocket

A tablet for every pocket

A tablet for every pocket

Tablets are becoming fast popular in India and new companies are launching their tablets almost every week. As the market is flooded with a lot of options, you will have a tough time choosing the right tablet. No doubt, well-known brands such as the Motorola Xoom, Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab are the market leaders. But these are expensive and buying them may make a deep dent in your pocket. It is time you realised that there are cheaper alternatives to these gadgets, which are manufactured or marketed right here in India, and worth a try.

Let us start with Binatone HomeSurf. At Rs. 9000, this tablet is definitely value for money. The features offered by this tablet are a bit on the lower side, but for the average user, who just uses the Internet for regular surfing and checking e-mails, this tablet is an enticing choice. It runs on Google's Android operating system (version 1.6), making available to you a plethora of useful applications from the Android marketplace. The tablet has an 8” touch screen, wi-fi, built-in mic, speakers and has a decent battery backup of 4 hours.

Another tablet in a similar price range is Wespro e-pad. At Rs. 8,000, this tablet is even cheaper than the Binatone HomeSurf. The features offered are similar to the HomeSurf, but there is one noticeable difference. The Wespro ePad can play DIVX / XVID standard video formats, and in fact, happens to be the only tablet, among the ones that we look at today, which does so.

The e-Pad also has the goodness of Google's Android operating system and is best for regular Internet surfing, catching up with friends on social networks and reading e-books or newspapers online. The device is very light at just four hundred grams. (http://bit.ly/wesproepad)

The Accord @pad is another tablet, which is a new entry in the Indian tablets space. A first look at the @pad gives you a feeling that you are looking at a squeezed version of the Apple iPad. Priced at Rs. 10,000 this device runs the Android 1.7 operating system and has support for both wi-fi and 3G, making it the only tablet under Rs. 10,000 category to have built-in 3G support. A quick look at the features in this device: 7 inch touch screen, 2GB internal storage and 2 USB ports. Yes you can connect your mouse and keyboard to the @pad. (www.accordapad.com)

If your budget lets you go above Rs 10,000 choices are again aplenty. We start with the . HCL has already established itself in the computer market as India’s leading indigenous computer manufacturer. HCL offers three tablets for you to choose from. The prices start from Rs. 14,500 and go upto Rs. 33,000. All the HCL Me tablets have a good configuration in general such as the latest version of Google’s Android OS, a 1.3 Megapixel camera, USB connectivity, bluetooth and Wi-Fi. (http://bit.ly/hcltablet)

Coming up next is the Infibeam Phi. As you might have got it from the name, the Phi is manufactured by the famous online store Infibeam.com. Phi comes in two versions - one runs Android and the other runs Windows CE. Both of them sport a 7 inch touch screen display, have Wi-Fi support and 8GB internal storage and support multimedia playback for all popular audio and video formats. The Phi retails for Rs. 15,000.
(http://www.infibeam.com/phi)

If you are not a budget buyer, you will be surprised to know that there are less known but tempting options. OlivePad beats the Apple iPad hands down in many ways and at Rs. 25,000 this tablet poses some serious competition to the Apple iPad in India. A feature, which puts OlivePad ahead of the iPad is the fact that you can use it to make phone calls! And secondly, this device has a 3 mega pixel camera which again puts the iPad on the defensive. OlivePad provides you with an overall mix of quality performance and good features such as Wi-Fi, 32 GB Expandable Memory, etc. (http://bit.ly/olivepad)
If the Western countries feel that Indian hardware technology is no match to theirs then Notion Ink’s Adam would change that perception. The made-in-India Adam  generated much hype all across the world when it was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show two years back. It has a 10 inch LCD screen which uses a special technology called PixelQi to reduce power consumption. Other features on this tablet include a 3 mega pixel camera that swivels 180 degrees, a super fast 1GHz dual-core processor, Wi-Fi and 3G. The price of this tablet starts from Rs. 14,500 and goes up to Rs. 30,000. Owing to the high demand, there is a waiting period of three to four months after you place an order for Adam. (http://store.notionink.com)

There are two more interesting tablets which are not available for retail customers - the Magic Tile and the Sakshat.

The Magic Tile is available as seat-mounted touch devices on a few Volvo buses. These tablets are powerful and have a 7-inch screen and are preloaded with Wi-Fi, 3G and a fast 1GHz processor - good for checking mails and your social networking accounts while on the move.

The Sakshat is an initiative from the Government of India, which aims at bringing low cost computers to under privileged children in India. The tablet is slated to be available soon and bears a heavily subsidised price tag of just Rs. 1500. The tablet has a 7-inch touch screen with an inbuilt keyboard, multimedia playback, Wi-Fi, USB port, 32GB hard drive and support for video conferencing. It comes pre-installed with Open Office & SciLab. This is purely meant for students and educational purposes only.

If we have got you interested, how do you go about buying these tablets? If you try to buy them from your next door big electronics store, you may need some luck. The low marketing budget of the companies which make these tablets and the pomp and show of the bigger players such as Apple and Samsung deter many dealers from stocking them. But most of them can be ordered online from their official websites.

All of them come with the standard one year warranty, so you need not worry about performance. As most of them run Google’s Android operating system, you don’t have to worry about the user interface as well and the applications to run on them.

Debjit, a web-developer, writes on gadgets and new technologies.

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