From being a luxury device, the tablet has found a way of becoming a part of our everyday lives. Be it for reading books, watching movies, playing games and even taking care of a bit of work, the tablet has found a way of getting the job done. The 7-inch form factor seems to be the sweet spot with consumers as every known tablet maker now has a tablet in 7-inch form factor. We have seen the launch of tablets that offer not only 3G on the go via a USB dongle but the ability to house a SIM card as well. Some devices offer users the ability to hold the 7-inch device up to their ear as a phone. We at Digit think that a 7-inch device is too big to work as a phone but seeing that these devices are selling like hot cakes, the consumers think otherwise.
Another improvement in the 7-inch tablet category when compared to last year is that we have seen budget devices launch that offer some great specifications and build for the price of admission. We have devices such as the Lava E-Tab Xtron and the iberry Auxus CoreX4 3G that are great value for money products offering a good balance between the specifications and build on offer.
Another advantage of owning a 7-inch device is that it is more portable and comfortable to carry. The downside remains that it still feels a tad cramped to type on in portrait mode when compared to its 10-inch brethren.
In the middle of 2013, there were companies that launched 7-inch tablets in the sub `5,000 price point and they were disastrous. The touch screen experience was bad and the device could barely multitask. The much-hyped Aakash tablet too made it into the news but there has been little happening for manufacturer Datawind with respect to the Indian market.
Nexus 7 2013
If you are looking for the best 7-inch tablet available in the market, you don’t need to look beyond the second generation Nexus 7. The tablet has a gorgeous display and stereo speakers, making gaming and multimedia consumption a treat on the device. Add to it the fact that the device is available in an LTE variant and you have a tablet that will keep you connected on the go. With the Nexus 7, you will be the first to receive Android updates as and when Google makes them available. The battery life of the device is also great, clocking in at over 9 hours in our video test. The fact that the device is now officially available in India is just the icing on the cake. Read our overview of the Nexus 7 2013 for the complete details.
Xolo Play Tegra Note
The Tegra Note, based on the Nvidia Tegra 4 platform impressed us with its top notch performance, stylus input (and implementation), build quality and its feature-set in terms of speakers, connectivity and storage expansion provision. It came very close to the Nexus 7 2013 to claim the crown of the best 7-inch tablet. If only it had a better display, the Xolo Play Tegra note would have taken the crown away from the Nexus 7 2013. That said, if you aren't particular about the display resolution and quality, aren't concerned about getting latest Android OS updates and are looking particularly for a 7-inch gaming tablet running on Android, you can pick the Xolo Play Tegra Note over the Nexus 7 2013. Read our review of the Xolo Play Tegra Note for a detailed analysis.
Nexus 7 (First Gen)
If you are on a sub 10k budget and are looking for the best tablet out there, then the first generation Nexus 7 is still the best option. It has a good display, compact form factor and the ability to run all the apps available on the Play Store very smoothly. The hardware may be old, but there are budget tablets such as the Xolo Play Tab that is powered by the same hardware and launched recently. The tablet isn’t officially available via the India Google Play store but those interested can pick it up from other online retail stores as well as physical electronic stores. Read our review of the Nexus 7 ( First Gen) here.
Nexus 7 (first gen) (L) and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (R)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 211
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 211 is very popular for two reasons – simple interface and calling functionality. Then there is Samsung’s TouchWiz UI as well and if you’ve used a Samsung tablet in the past, you’ll feel right at home with the UI. The response of the touchscreen is good making typing, browsing the Internet and playing games a fun experience. If you want a tablet that is good for multimedia consumption, easy to use, has expandable storage (which isn’t available on either of the Nexus tablets), then the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 211 is the one for you. Check out our hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 211 here.