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India's first tablet device

india Updated: Aug 24, 2010 15:38 IST

Olive is still building its name in the Indian technology market. They first brought in a series of mobile phones and then made a splash with their 3G supported X107H Zipbook. Now they have announced their first Android powered tablet/ slate device in India. While even Apple’s iPad has yet to make its official entry into India, the OlivePad is ready and able.



Form

Equipped with a 7-inch widescreen touch sensitive display (capacitive), the OlivePad is a tad heavy but smaller than the iPad. The display sports an 800 x 480 pixel resolution with 65K colours. Viewing from any angle is comfortable. It also supports multi-touch. At 11.5 mm in depth, it’s a slim device and can slip comfortably into rear pockets.



Olive PadA set of volume/ zoom keys and the microSD and SIM card slots are located on the top with stereo speakers on either side. Just below the left speaker is a screen lock/ power button. A 3.5 mm handsfree socket is located at the bottom right beside the mini USB port that doubles up as a charging port.



A 3 MP (autofocus) camera is placed at the rear. This could be an issue as the glass could scratch and in turn affect the image quality. It’s not as classy in looks as the iPad but it’s not altogether an eyesore either.



Features

The OlivePad is a very large Android mobile, just like the iPad is a large iPod Touch. It comes preloaded with Android 2.1. From features to settings and navigation, the OlivePad behaves like a high-end Android phone. It offers widgets to be dropped onto multiple desktops and social networking integration with the phonebook. The UI can be customised. Apps, games, UI add-ons, social networking applications, etc can be downloaded via the Android Market. Olive has also incorporated a customised UI so viewing media, emails, messages, etc is more streamlined.



It’s equipped with a Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset with a 600 MHz processor, and the UI is smooth but buggy sometimes. Thanks to the large screen, typing is comfortable, and all the goodies of the Android 2.1 engine are available.



Calls and media

When it comes to taking calls, you’ll need to use a handsfree kit. Although the two built-in speakers are adequate for audio, the microphone’s pick-up isn’t as strong. Incidentally, the Pad also supports A2DP (Stereo Bluetooth) but it tends to drain your battery.

Music quality is average. In a crowded area, even peak volume is not enough. It comes with the native Android music player that you can sync with Windows Media Player to transfer files, playlists, etc. Playlists can also be created on the device itself. The OlivePad reads MPEG4 and 3GP file formats for video, and you’ll have to convert videos to optimise them for the screen size.



Essentially the OlivePad is a communications device, but having entertainment on long journeys is welcome. Don’t expect a handheld gaming console. Android games still have a long way to go.



Connectivity

The OlivePad is a 3.5 G enabled device. But for the time being, you’ll have to make do with EDGE/ GPRS speeds. The native Android browser works just fine but the lack of Flash support is a disappointment. You can use other Android compatible browsers such as Opera Mini. Wi-Fi connectivity, and pre-installed applications for social networking, emails, Gtalk, Facebook and Twitter make this an excellent travel mate. Another feature onboard is the GPS, to be used with Google Maps.



Through the pre-loaded app DataViz, you can create Word documents, make spreadsheets, presentations. There’s also a PDF reader. Thanks to the RSS reader, you can subscribe to RSS feeds whenever you’re online, and then read them even if you’re offline. Standard mobile phone features like a Calendar (syncs with your Google Calendar), calculator, voice recorder, etc are also included.



The 3 MP AF camera supports VGA video recording, features 4X digital zoom, and comes with a host of other modes. A 3240 mAh Li-Polymer battery rides inside this device and is quite adequate to handle all its functionality.

What we like
Neat design
Comfy to use
Good image quality
16 GB mem card included

What we don’t
Only 512 MB of internal memory
Buggy accelerometer
Speakers are a bit low

VERDICT
With this small device you won’t need a netbook or laptop. Also, a netbook won’t let you make phone calls, which this device does. It’s great for people who travel light and have accessibility to the Internet.
The official price tag hasn’t been revealed but it’s said to be priced between Rs 22,000 and Rs 25,000. The obvious question is — what does Apple have to say about it? Well, we think that the OlivePad has taken things to a higher level.