Noida-based hardware company Pantel Technologies Pvt Ltd and state-owned telecom firm Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) have together launched a low cost Tablet T-Pad IS701R. Although, the specifications are nothing to write home about in terms of design or specifications, what caught our imagination was the price tag of Rs 3,499 (though we would have preferred to see a non techy brand name to connect with the masses).
First things first, Pantel has launched three new Tablets called T-Pad IS701R, T-Pad WS704C and T-Pad WS802C. The Tablets are manufactured by Pantel Technologies and BSNL is offering a bundled product with its data plan for the low cost version, as per Pantel's website. The products are currently available on pre-order on the Pantel site.
The other two Tablets cost Rs 10,999 (T-Pad WS704C) and Rs 13,500 (T-Pad WS802C) respectively.
The company has already received more than 1 lakh pre-orders for the 3 Tablets from consumers and 2 lakh pre orders from Sahara India, according to The Mobile Indian. We have no reasons to disbelief the order-book (despite lack of any marketing activity) given the flood of orders witnessed by Canadian firm Datawind which launched Aakash and announced pre-orders for an upgraded version Ubislate.
Let's have a quick look at the specifications of the Tablets.
The Tablet has an 8 inch capacitive multi touch screen (800x600 pixel resolution) display and runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and has 512MB of RAM. The internal memory of the device is 4GB which can be further expanded to 32GB with the help of a microSD card.
The Tablet has a 2 mega pixel (MP) rear camera and a 0.3 MP front facing camera for video calling. On the connectivity front, it has Bluetooth v2.1, Wi-Fi and 3G. The device also comes with GPS, HDMI port, mini-USB ports and a USB 2.0 port. The company has provided a Li-polymer battery in the device; however the battery life was not mentioned.
The Tablet has a 7 inch capacitive multi touch screen (800x600 pixel resolution) display and it also runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS. This Tablet comes with a slightly weaker 1 GHz dual-core processor and has 512MB of RAM. The internal memory of the device is again 4GB which can be further expanded to 32GB with the help of a microSD card.
The Tablet has a 2 MP rear and a 0.3 MP front facing camera and on the connectivity front, it also has Bluetooth v2.1, Wi-Fi and 3G. The device also comes with GPS, HDMI port, mini-USB ports and a USB 2.0 port. The company has provided a 4000 mAh Li-polymer battery in the device which should provide decent battery life.
Although many would argue that the new Tablet is an Aakash killer, the Tablet actually competes with the UbiSlate Tablet (which is an upgraded version of Aakash) in terms of pricing and specifications. Let's do a quick comparison between the two.
The T-Pad IS701R has a 7 inch resistive touchscreen TFT display (800x600 pixel resolution) in comparison to UbiSlate's 7 inch resistive touchscreen display (800x480 pixel resolution), so the Penta TPAD scores more on pixel resolution.
Also, while the Penta TPAD runs on a 1GHz processor and has 256MB of RAM, UbiSlate runs on an Arm 8- 700 MHz processor and it also has 256MB of RAM. Both the Tablets run on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and both the Tablets have 2GB of internal memory that is expandable up to 32GB with the help of a microSD card.
While the Penta TPAD has a 0.3 MP camera, UbiSlate does not offer any camera. On the connectivity front, both the devices have Wi-Fi, but the Penta TPAD comes with only one USB port while UbiSlate comes with two. Additionally, UbiSlate also supports optional 3G modems; a feature absent in the other Tablet and it has a 3200 mAh Li-on battery in comparison to Penta TPAD's 3000 mAh Li-on battery.
Also, although UbiSlate comes with internet access of 2GB for Rs 98 per month (operator not disclosed on the site), the Penta TPAD is coming with a special launch offer with 3 months of data download free which is natural given that it is an operator bundled product from BSNL. In this promotion, a BSNL 2G SIM will come bundled with the product with a special Penta Data plan (exact details of which are not yet available). And the company is also claiming that if the customer uses the special Penta 2G data plan for a year, they can recover the entire cost of the tablet (probably somewhat similar to the data plans Airtel and Aircel offer on the iPhone 4S).
Finally, even though in terms of pricing, the Penta TPAD is Rs 500 costlier than the UbiSlate, consumers should opt for it because it offers better features and is backed by BSNL. But we can't help be sceptical of the Tablet because how the Tablet actually performs in real life is something we can only comment on once we get our hands on it. And after the numerous problems with the much praised Aakash Tablet, consumers should be cautious before simply going ahead and buying the next low-cost thing out there. Better safe than sorry, what say you?