Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
07th Feb 2013
If you've been looking for a budget tablet, choosing the right one can be quite difficult. Despite reviewing several of these products, we too, took a while to arrive at this list - because of the sheer number of options available. The following five tablets are ordered by prevailing market price, and the listing is not a ranking. It wouldn't be fair to compare a a tablet that costs less than Rs 4000 with something that is more than twice the cost. All tablets featured here have CPUs with at least 1 GHz clock speed and have a multi-touch screen, since these are minimum requirements for any acceptable Android experience.
BSNL Penta T-Pad IS709C
Street Price: Approx. Rs 3900
For Rs 3900, you can't expect fancy specs from this tablet. Nevertheless, what it has is decent. You get a 1 GHz CPU with 512 MB of RAM, there's video calling via front-facing camera. The display is 7" with 800x480 pixels. Essentials like a micro-SD card slot and Wi-Fi are included. The tablet features Android 4.0 (ICS) out of the box, which is commendable, considering its price tag.
Acer Iconia B1-A71
Street Price: Approx. Rs 8200
Currently, Acer is the only big name brand to offer a sub 10k tablet in India. The Iconia B1-A71 was unveiled at CES last month and is already available here at competitive prices. Powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU and 512 MB RAM, it runs on Android 4.1 out of the box. Its 7" capacitive multi-touch screen has pixel dimensions of 1024x600, higher than the 800x480 pixels that many budget ones make do with. Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, 8 GB internal storage, microSD card slot, and a front-facing camera complete the package. At the Rs 8,000 mark, this is a good buy.
iBerry Auxus AX03G
Street Price: Approx. Rs 9000
If you're sold on the idea of replacing your phone with a full-fledged tablet, you must consider the Auxus AX03G (how odd you'll look holding a tablet to your ear, or how impractical it is, is for another discussion) . This slate features a 3G SIM slot, and is capable of handling voice calls and SMS. Its 800x480 pixels 7" display isn't pixel packed (the slighty less expensive Acer Iconia B1-A71 mentioned above fares better). On the up side, it has 1 GB RAM which handles Android 4.0 smoothly, helped by a 1.0 GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU, and mali-400 GPU. The GPU is clearly generations old, but at this price, you should not complain. At least, not when a HDMI port is included, along with 8 GB of internal storage, VGA front-facing camera, and a 4000 mAh Li-polymer battery.
Ainol Novo 7 Venus
Street Price: Approx. 10,000
The Novo 7 Venus is one of the most powerful tablets you can get without crossing the Rs 10,000 mark. It is powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor based on Cortex-A9 architecture. Its 7" IPS screen has impressive amount of pixels - 1280x800, no less; and it supports 5-point touch (the Galaxy Tab 2 has only 1024x600 pixels in comparison). Moreover, there's 16 GB of internal Storage, 1 GB of RAM, HDMI port, and 4000 mAh battery. On the software front, you get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This is serious bang for the buck.
Micromax Funbook Pro
Street Price: Approx. Rs 10,000
Here is Micromax's answer to the iPad (don't take that literally!). The Funbook pro comes with a 10.1" 1024x600 pixel screen with is rare at this price tag. Computing hardware uses a 1.2 GHz CPU, coupled with Mali-400 GPU and 1 GB of RAM. Front VGA camera, 8 GB of internal storage, microSD card slot are other features. OS is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. If you want a 10" tablet at the 10k price mark, this one's for you.