The sub Rs. 10,000 price point seems to be getting tablets that offer you quite a lot of bang for your buck. This price range is populated by more than few contenders, including the Micromax Funbook, iBerry Auxus AX02 and the HCL MeTab U1 to name a few. All these tablets run on Google’s Android OS.
Adding another tablet to the budget category, today we have the Intex i-Tab that runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and boasts of some decent specifications under the hood. Is it enough to take on the competition?
Look & FeelThe first thing that will surprise you is the look of the Intex i-Tab. Most budget tablets have opted to have a 7-inch display, but the Intex i-Tab has an 8-inch display and that’s not all. Rather than opting for a 16:9/16:10 aspect ratio with the screen, the device has a 4:3 aspect ratio.
The device is made entirely out of plastic but the build doesn’t feel cheap. The back of the Intex i-Tab is plastic but and has a matte finish which feels quite good.
The front of the Intex i-Tab houses the 8-inch 4:3 display that boasts of a resolution of 800x600. The front also has the video calling VGA camera. There are no physical buttons on the face of the device, which is nice giving the device a clean finish. The device however compromises on the rear camera but it isn’t missed.
In terms of connectivity, all the ports are at the right side of the device (when held in landscape mode). The Intex i-Tab has the power button, a mini HDMI out, DC in, headphones jack, mini USB, microSD card slot and a full sized USB port. At the top of the device we have the volume rocker and a rocker that houses the menu and home button. Although these buttons are fairly small, they get the job done quite well nonetheless.
Features & Performance
Straight out of the box, the device runs on Android 2.3.1 Gingerbread. This is a bit of a letdown considering that we have seen the rise of budget tablets that run Android 4.0 ICS out-of-the-box.
Under the hood, the Intex i-Tab is powered by a 1GHz single core Cortex A8 CPU and has 1GB RAM, which is nice. It offers 8GB internal storage where as the competition offers 4GB. The touchscreen is capacitive in nature and very comfortable to use. Since the aspect ratio is 4:3, it is very comfortable to type in both portrait mode as well as landscape mode. The touchscreen is very smooth and responsive.
The first time you switch on the Intex i-Tab, you may think that the device runs Android 4.0 ICS, but don’t be fooled. This is just a skin and a pretty good one at that. It mimics Google’s latest OS pretty well from the lock screen to the ever-present back, home and menu button in the lower left corner of the screen. The skin is one reason why you don’t miss a physical home button on the face of the device but the skin isn’t perfect. Launch an app and the home, menu and back buttons vanish from the display which is not the case with ICS. In ICS, these buttons are present, no matter what.
Playing Angry Birds and Pool Master Pro on the device was a fun experience. The touchscreen response was nice, graphics were smooth and the audio was clear. The 4:3 aspect ratio of the Intex i-Tab's display doesn’t prove to be a hindrance and the game ran pretty smoothly.
Browsing the web on the Intex i-Tab was a good experience. The keyboard is smooth and easy to type on, web pages rendered nicely and pinching to zoom felt good although rendering while zooming did stutter. On the Peacekeeper Benchmark (a benchmark for the browser), the device scored 198 which is quite good. The Micromax Funbook scored 213 where as the iBerry Auxus AX02 scored 197.
The Intex i-Tab claims 1080p HD video playback support and we were more than happy to put this claim to the test. We ran a bunch of 1080p HD trailers in .MP4 format on the device and they ran absolutely smoothly without any jitters. The only problem with the device was that with its aspect ratio, a lot of the display’s real estate was lost due to the black bars. This isn’t a big deal but does feel like a hindrance.
If you are not in a Wi-Fi zone, the device can connect to the Internet via a 3G dongle as it supports full USB input. If you have an Ethernet cable with you, the device comes with a USB to Ethernet convertor that works really well. Although it restricts the way in which you use the device, the option is a nice addition since it’s not necessary that your house has a Wi-Fi network. The adapter is big and clunky to use but can act as a lifesaver if the situation calls for it.
Being a budget device, the device does cut out on some features. There is no Bluetooth on the Intex i-Tab and it also compromises on a SIM card slot.
The battery on the Intex i-Tab is pretty massive at 5000 mAh. With this device you can expect to surpass the 6-hour mark with absolute ease.
If you are in the market to pick up a tablet in the Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 price bracket, check out our detailed comparison.
Overall, the Intex i-Tab is a good performer when compared to the competition. It runs on Android 2.3, Gingerbread and performed reasonably well in the benchmark tests. The lack of Bluetooth is a downer of this device. The 1080p MP4 playback was smooth but the black bars feel like a waste of screen real estate courtesy the 4:3 aspect ratio. Game and apps run fairly smooth on the device. Fur a sub-Rs. 10,000 tablet this tablet deserves consideration.
Also check our Hands on with the Intex i-Tab in the video below: