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Pick up the no frill 3G tab

Reliance’s Android tablet is well priced for the Indian market, but it does cut certain corners to hit that price tag.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2011 00:09 IST
Shayne Rana

The tablet wars are taking place at a frenzied pace and Reliance’s 3G Tab, priced at R 12,990 seems to make a killing. Although it’s not unlike any old tablet including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the no frills look of the 3G Tab made us feel quite comfortable. It’s equipped with a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, which allows accurate control and it sports a 480x800-pixel resolution.

The 3G Tab comes with 8GB of internal space and supports up to 32GB via micro SD cards. Apart from the issue of having to remove the battery to access the memory card, this tablet is well designed, and weighs a light 389g.

But even with its 800MHz processor and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, there’s a touch of lag between screens and opening apps.

Reliance has neither offered any major customisations to the UI nor are any substantial apps preloaded. The tablet sports Dolby’s audio enhancement tech that makes audio sound clear. But video playback support is not as high-end as some other devices out in the market. For example, the compatible formats include MP4, H.263/H.264 and 3GP, of course. There’s FM reception too but the signal isn’t good when commuting. You obviously need to subscribe to a Reliance connection to get the tab working. YouTube, Google Maps, Latitude, Gtalk and the Android Market Place is loaded up. Extra apps like file manager, documents to go and a task manager are thrown in.

There’s a three-megapixel fixed focus camera and a VGA-grade front camera located in front above the display. Features include sharpness adjustment, saturation, ISO levels up to 800, colour effects, location tagging and white balance. Video recording is possible at a maximum resolution of 640x480, but it’s not too bad all things considered. Image quality in low light conditions is quite grainy. But if you’re looking to upload the photos on Facebook or other social networking sites, it’s should get you by.

Equipped with a 3,400mAh Lithium-ion battery, the 3G Tab manages functionality extremely well. We eked four hours out of it with videos running non-stop and an active 3G connection. Add another hour to that if you disable 3G. With normal usage, you can expect the tablet to easily last over a day with 3G active.

What we like
Latest version of Google Android installed
Good battery life

What we don’t
Doesn’t have too much memory built in
Locked to Reliance SIM cards
Processor isn’t
powerful enough

Verdict
For those who need the features only a tablet can provide such as large screen internet and email browsing on a 3G connection, the 3G Tab is a great choice to make, if you are willing to go with Reliance’s 3G plans. If you are not into the whole 3G thing it’s perfectly usable without a SIM card. The only competition will be the Beetel tablet, so check that out too.