Google Nexus 7: Google announced its Nexus 7 tablet at Google I/O 2012. PHOTO: AFP
The tablet market in India is gradually evolving from a nascent stage to an intermediate stage. With the recent explosion of low-cost Android based tablets, the market is flooded with tablets from all over. You can practically walk-in to stores and find a lot of options to choose from. While Apple still holds the biggest market share in the market, new entrants and established giants are trying hard to grab their place in the race. And to do this they are shipping tablets of various specifications and sizes, just to bring a tablet in every household.
The 7-inch tablet segment is now receiving its due recognition. The low-cost, much more compact tablets which were earlier shunned by the likes of Steve Jobs are now finding a new place in the market. Google released its own 7-inch Jelly Bean based Nexus 7 tablet recently and rumors are in that Apple might be working on their own version of a smaller iPad dubbed as the "iPad Mini'. We take a look at some of the best 7-inch tablets in the market today.
Karbonn Smart Tab 1
Karbonn Mobiles unveiled the Smart Tab 1, the latest tablet to join the 7-inch group. Available with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS, the Smart Tab 1 comes with a gamut of features including 5 Point Multi capacitive Touch Screen display, 1.2 GHz X-Burst processor and 2 Mega Pixel Front-facing camera.
The 'budget' tablet will be available for pre-booking on the Karbonn home site.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 P310
Samsung has always tried to cash in on iPad's popularity. The Korean giant has been shipping Android based tablets in various specifications. The Galaxy Tab 2 P310 is Samsung's first tablet in India that ships with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). Although now that is not the latest version but it's much better compared to some who're still stuck with Honeycomb.
The 7-inch display on Galaxy Tab 2 P310 offers a resolution of 1024x600 pixels on a PLS LCD display. No fancy AMOLED displays here. It is powered by a dual core 1GHz OMAP 4430 chipset, supported by 1GB of RAM. The Galaxy Tab 2 P310 runs on Android 4.0.3 with TouchWiz on the top. It carries a 3.15MP camera at the back and a VGA camera in the front.
At a little below Rs.20,000, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 P310 may not find a lot of buyers. Especially with the iPad 2 retailing for about Rs. 24,000 onwards now.
Micromax has been quite successful in capturing the low-price segment when it comes to mobile phones. With its Funbook tablet, Micromax is aiming to take the game one step further. The Micromax Funbook is an entry-level tablet aimed at the same audience who generally buy cheaper mobile phones.
The Funbook is one of the cheapest Android 4.0 tablets available in India. The 7-inch Funbook is powered by a 1.2GHz Cortex A8 processor and a Mali 400 GPU. It can play 1080p videos and even has an HDMI output. The tablet offers 4GB of internal storage which a user can expand up to 32GB using an external memory card.
The Micromax Funbook retails for about Rs.6,500 and is one of the best value for money tablets in the market.
Zync Z990 Plus
Zync has recently launched the Z990 Plus tablet in the market which is a successor of the previous Z990 model. Zync's Z990 Plus features Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). It features a 7-inch glossy display with a resolution of 800x480 pixels. It is powered by a 1GHz processor and a Mali 400 GPU, supported by 1GB of RAM.
The Zync Z990 Plus carries a 4GB onboard memory which is expandable up to 32GB. Zync has also partnered with iBibo and BigFlix to offer bundled content with the tablet. The Zync Z990 Plus retails for about Rs. 6,500 which makes it a perfect competitor for Micromax's Funbook.
Google Nexus 7
Google launched the Nexus 7 tablet this year during Google I/O, its biggest conference for developers. It is by far one of the best 7-inch tablets both in terms of performance and pricing. The $200 tablet has been built in partnership with Asus and has already started selling in the US.
Nexus 7 is the first tablet that ships with the latest version of Android - Jelly Bean (Android 4.1). The software itself contains numerous enhancements and features exclusive to itself such as fluid interface, Google Now, powerful Voice Search and more. That alone makes the Nexus 7 quite tempting.
The Nexus 7 tablet is built for Google Play. Although that would be something we'll miss here in India but there's a lot more you can do with the Nexus 7 than just that. We expect Asus to launch the Nexus 7 in India somewhere in October-November. We also don't expect it to be priced at $200 (Rs.15,000).