Review: Zync Z-990
A buggy Android 4.0 tablet.
1080p video playback; USB host capability; Good sound quality.
Poor build quality; Heating issues; Buggy software implementation.
MRP: Rs 9000
Street Price (As On 25-May-2012): Rs 8500 (HomeShop18.com; Yebhi.com)
With numerous tablet manufacturers trying their luck in the affordable market segment, it's becoming tough to keep track of all these gadgets. Despite the cut-throat competition, Zync was bold enough to launch its 7" tablet, the Z-990. Now, let's find out whether it has managed to strike a balance between price and performance.
Design And Build Quality
The retail package includes the tablet, charger, USB cable, earphones, screen guard, and a pouch. The slate is made of cheapish plastic. Moreover, the gadget makes a creaking sound when pressed. It's understandable that quality has to take a hit in order to keep costs down. However, I've seen cheaper tablets with better build quality. Similar to Intex's tablet, the Menu, Escape, and Power buttons are placed on tablet's side. Since the buttons are oddly positioned, you're better of using the software-based navigation keys. Overall, there's a lot needs to be done by Zync in the design and build quality department.
The device's 7" touchscreen has pixel dimensions of 800x480. The display is reasonably bright, but the colour reproduction is not up to mark. Moreover, it's quite reflective and has limited viewing angles.
The tablet is powered by a 1.2 GHz CPU coupled with Vivante Gc430 GPU. Other specs include 1 GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, 4 GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, front VGA camera, 3.5 mm jack, full size USB port, HDMI, and a 3600 mAh battery. Similar to most low-cost Android tablets, the company has done away with the main camera and Bluetooth.
UI And Performance
The Z-990 runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) out of the box. To make it work on this hardware though, ICS has been stripped off a few features, such as Face Unlock. In spite of that, the interface still feels sluggish. The tablet has access to Google's Play Store, which allows you to download a plethora of free apps. On the flipside though, due to a software issue, sometimes a few icons go completely off the screen, in the portrait mode. These software bugs should have been spotted in the testing phase.
The device's front facing VGA camera and mic let you make video calls using third party apps such as Fring and Skype. The onboard browser supports Flash and is capable of handling web videos pretty well.
The Z-990 supports MP3 and WMA music formats. The speaker is reasonably loud, and sound quality through the earphones is good too. Additionally, it offers plenty of equalizer settings and sound effects. On the flipside, the lack of a physical volume rocker makes it rather annoying to adjust sound levels, when the music is playing in the background.
The tablet managed to play MP4 and AVI videos up to 1080p quality. Needless to say, the tablet can double up as a decent PMP.
Battery And Verdict
The 3600 mAh battery can keep the device powered on for about 10 hours. With heavy use though, it can last up to 4 hours. The biggest downer here, is the Z-990's tendency to overheat while charging.
For an asking price of under Rs. 8500, the gadget offers HDMI port, 1080p video playback, and good sound quality. However, these features have become a norm for affordable tablets these days. More importantly, its USP, the ICS implementation, is bug-ridden. Therefore, I'd suggest tablet buyers to give it a miss, and go for the Xtab A10 instead.
Design And Build Quality: 1.5/5
Value For Money: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 2.5/5