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The year 2012 was a good year for budget tablets. If you were looking to test the waters with a 7-inch tablet in 2012 and had a budget of Rs. 10,000 you’d probably get a device with a 1GHz single-core processor, 512MB to 1GB RAM, Android 4.0 ICS OS, a 7-inch display with a 480x800 resolution, a large array of ports, and a battery capacity in the vicinity of 4000mAh.
Now that we have entered 2013, we expect to see the specifications under the hood and the performance of budget Android tablets increase while maintaining the same price point.
Today we have with us the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G tablet. Priced at Rs. 10,990 the tablet boasts of some truly impressive specifications under the hood. Is this the next-gen budget tablet we’ve been waiting for, or does it sound too good to be true? Read on to find out!
Design and Build
To begin with, the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G has a very premium finish overall. Compared to its predecessor, the Auxus AX02 (which we’ve reviewed), the Auxus CoreX2 3G looks sleek and quite sexy. On the face you have the 7-inch display with the glass covering it from edge to edge. It has only the front-facing camera and a triangle home button on the face. The home button could have been better designed. It looks a little out of place on the display and doesn’t blend in.
The rear of the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G has a brushed metal finish. It is plastic but the finish makes it look quite elegant. The rear of the device also has the 2MP camera and also houses the SIM card slot.
All the ports are neatly laid out on the right of the device. You have the headphones jack, DC in, HDMI out, microUSB port, microSD card slot and the mono speaker. It’s a little disappointing to see that the tablet still has a DC-in port, and we wished the microUSB port would double up for charging just like the plethora of smartphones and phablets available in the market today. The volume rocker and the power button rest on the left spine of the device.
For a tablet priced at Rs. 10,990, the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G is a very well built device surpassing the slightly fat, plasticky build of its predecessor and other budget tablets available in the market today. It is slim at 9.6mm thin and weighs 312 grams, making it a very comfortable device to hold and carry around.
Features and Specifications
Straight out of the box, the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The only other budget tablet that we have seen running JB straight out of the box was the WickedLeak Wammy Desire and that device is priced under Rs. 7,000. We have also seen the launch of the Videocon V10 tablet that runs JB straight out of the box along with the Karbonn SmartTab 10. So yes, we have started seeing budget tablets launch with Jelly Bean pre-installed, a great thing for those wary of buying a device without sufficient future-proofing.
Under the hood, the Auxus CoreX2 3G has a 7-inch HD IPS display with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels giving it a pixel density of 216ppi. That is the same as the Nexus 7 (read our review here). The Auxus CoreX2 3G is powered by a dual-core 1.6GHz Cortex A9 processor, 1GB of RAM and the Mali 400 GPU. The device supports a 3G SIM card not only for data but for voice calls as well. The rear of the device houses a 2MP camera and the front has a 0.3MP camera for video calls. Straight out of the box, the Auxus CoreX2 3G runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Auxus CoreX2 3G has 8GB built-in storage expandable up to 64GB via a microSD card. This is the first time we have seen 64GB expandable memory on a budget device. It also supports Bluetooth v4.0 and a 4,100mAh battery.
In terms of its UI you get the raw, vanilla Android 4.1 Jelly Bean experience and that is a very good thing. From the lock screen, you get access to Google Now, which is one of the key features of JB and anyone who has used Android 4.0 ICS will fell right at home on the device.
In terms of the preloaded apps, there is nothing exceptional on offer here. You have the office suit pro app, chrome browser, Viber and more, but there is nothing here that you can’t get from the Google Play store.
The specifications under the hood are quite impressive especially the display on the device. But does it have the real world performance to match what it can offer on paper?
Starting with the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G’s display, we’ll have to say it is one of the best we have seen on a budget device especially considering the resolution. The panel on the display is IPS, and the viewing angles are excellent. Reading text, especially e-books and browsing the web was a very good experience on the device. Running games and watching videos was also a lot of fun.
We played a few movies in various formats on the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G, and we did face a problem with navigating the video timeline on an MKV file via the native browser. Otherwise, files ran smoothly, without any hiccups.
The audio from the onboard speaker is the biggest disappointment on the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G. It is soft and has an overall lacklustre performance. You’d do better off wearing headphones while using the device.
In terms of its benchmark performances, it is one of the best devices in its class. We compared it to the Zync Z1000 and the WickedLeak Wammy Desire tablet. Take a look at the benchmark scores below.
The keyboard on the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G is stock Android, but it felt slightly cramped and takes a bit of getting used to. It is much more comfortable to type in portrait mode than landscape. Transferring data from your Mac or PC to the device is as simple as plug, copy and paste.
Gaming was a lot of fun on the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G. Not only because of the high resolution of the display but because we finally have a budget tablet that has the ability to run Dead Trigger quite smoothly. The game ran really well on the tablet. Sure, during heavy action on screen the game did lag a bit and that was expected, not hampering the overall fun derived from the game.
A whopping 4100mAh battery powers the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G and this is where the tablet is quite a performer as well. In the continuous video playback test, it lasted for about 4 hours, which is good. You can expect the device to last about 6 hours with average use.
The iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G is one of the first ‘next-gen’ budget tablets that we have seen. We expect to see the like of Karbonn, Zync, iBall and the plethora of other budget tablet manufacturers follow suit. The best thing about the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G is its display. The resolution is the same as the Nexus 7 but its performance could have been better. The power under the hood is impressive as well, and it will run all the apps from the app store with ease. Multitasking too is a breeze and the device also boasts of the ability to make calls. The downside is that the onboard speaker is underwhelming and the touchscreen response could have been better. If you are in the market to pick up a budget tablet, we suggest you wait for the competition to catch up before making your buying decision. If you want to pick up a good tablet for the budget of 10k, the iberry Auxus CoreX2 3G can be at the top of your list.