The Rs. 10,000 price point has seen the rise of quite a few tablets in the past year from brands such as iBall, Mercury, Beetle, Viewsonic and Reliance to name a few. In trying to break the price barrier, some of these devices compromise on features such as build, battery life, camera and the power under the hood. Until now, these devices ran Android version 2.2 or 2.3.
In the past few weeks however, we have seen a change in this trend. The tablets are maintaining the Sub 10K price point but the biggest addition in terms of features is Google’s latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS. A lot of companies such as HCL, Zync, iberry, and now Micromax, have brought ICS tablets to India.
Today we have amongst us the Micromax Funbook tablet running ICS. Will this tablet stand out of the budget tablet crowd?
Look and FeelOn first impressions, the device is quite very well built keeping in mind the price point. The device has a grey plastic back with a matte finish and the screen has a black glossy border making it a fingerprint and dust magnet.
The front of the device houses the 7-inch display that boasts of a resolution of 480x800. The front also has the 0.3MP camera and threephysical buttons – back, home and menu. Running ICS, the tablet doesn’t really need physical buttons as these functions can be accessed directly through the ICS UI. Their addition however is appreciated. There is no rear-facing camera on the device. In terms of connectivity, all the ports are at the bottom of the device (when held in portrait mode). It has a mini USB port, mini HDMI out, a headphones jack, microSD card slot and the DC in. On the right of the device, when held in portrait mode, is the power button along with the volume rocker.
The build of the device may not be the best when compared to the competition but it is impressive nonetheless. It is the slimmest budget ICS tablet in the market and boasts of a made in India tag.
Micromax Funbook Video Review Part I : Build Quality, Design and Interface
Features and PerformanceStraight out of the box, the device runs on Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. Under the hood, the device is powered by a 1.22 GHz Cortex-A8 CPU and has 512MB RAM. The touch screen is capacitive in nature, eliminating the need of a stylus. The capacitive screen on this device isn’t as responsive as the competition but it gets the job done.
Playing Angry Birds Space and Pool Master Pro on the device was a fun experience. The touchscreen response was average, graphics were smooth and the audio was surprisingly good.
Browsing the web on the device was a mixed experience. The response of the keypad wasn’t the best, courtesy the average touchscreen but the web pages rendered well.
The Micromax Funbook claims 1080p video playback support and we were more than happy to put this claim to the test. We ran two 1080p trailers in .MP4 format on the device and they ran absolutely smoothly without any jitters. The display though crisp lacked brightness and was easily susceptible to glare.
The device also comes with a mini USB to full USB adaptor enabling the device to connect to a 3G dongle to connect to the Internet.
The Funbook has a 2800mAh battery, which is a low capacity when compared to the competition. With average use, the device lasted us under a day. You can expect 3 to 5 hours of life at a stretch depending on your usage.
Apart from access to the Google Play Store, the device also comes preloaded with some Micromax apps. These apps offer a variety of content ranging from Educational, Games, Movies, Apps, Entertainment, and Live TV. Majority of these apps are free but the live TV is a paid app and users will need to pay a subscription fee. The channels on the live TV range from Movies, news and entertainment. There are 50 channels to choose from in the live TV app.
VerdictThe Micromax Funbook is the cheapest ICS budget tablet to hit the streets at Rs. 6,499. Its biggest compromise when compared to the competition is the build and the battery. The screen too is a bit disappointing. Having said that, this is the slimmest budget ICS tablet available today. The 1080p MP4 playback was smooth and games like Angry Birds Space and Pool Master ran well. If you are in the market to pick up a budget tablet and are on a really tight budget, you can consider the Micromaxfunbook.If you are confused as to which is the right budget ICS tablet for you, here’s a quick comparison between all the budget ICS tablets available in India.