iBall Slide WQ32 Windows tablet: A win-win option for laptop luggers

A Business Tablet might seem  like  an odd combo -- but Windows makes it worthwhile.

September 15, 2014: You see them in the  security queues at  airports,  that serve India's IT geek clusters  --  young men and women, shoulders sagging under the weight of laptops they have to lug, relics of an era when portable PCs had to be bulky to be powerful. 

And then you have the non-IT crowd of the Bold and the Beautiful,   flashing their slim and colorful tablets as they shut out the world to watch their  movies and music videos, while waiting  to board their flights.

Can the two computer-carrying worlds meet? Is there such a thing as a Business Tablet or it that a contradiction in terms?

Microsoft and Intel have jointly persuaded half a dozen  tablet makers to  make this a reality --  tablets  which  are equally cool at  work and play.  Latest to join the  Wintel gang ( Windows OS plus Intel chip) is the iBall Slide WQ32, an 8-inch tablet fuelled by Windows 8.1 rather than Android.  Its key specs are fairly standard for any tablet in this price range ( Rs 16,999, but search online to save  a thousand bucks or so):   5 MP auto focus  rear camera and 2 MB "selfie" camera; quad core  1.33  GHz atom processor;  2GB RAM, 16 GB memory, expandable with another 64 GB through a micro SD card;  1280 by 800 pixel  IPS display;  3G SIM slot but  strangely, only for data not for  voice calling.  The capacitive display is   sensitive to  a light touch and the WiFi pickup is quite  fast

We did not appreciate being asked  for our Windows Live identity or to be forced to have an account like Outlook as soon as we opened the  tablet for the first time.  Users  should be free to use a tablet without being forced to  change their online affiliations. However,  If you are a professional user, this  tablet will  provide a  sharp  improvement in  productivity, in a small but significant number of ways:

If you don't like the tiled Windows 8  menu,  you can switch  to the old desktop style.   The very fact of having a desktop, lets you  drag-n-drop files from a USB stick to the tablet -- something that is a major pain point in Android: you have to mail the files to yourself.

The tablet also provides for users who are more comfortable with a mouse  --  then moment you connect one,   a mouse icon pops up.  Likewise, you can connect a keyboard, a portable scanner or even one of those nano projectors through the mini USB port. And an HDMI port lets you play or project  720p HD video.

The iBall Slide  comes preinstalled with   a one year subscription to Office 365, as well as  the Windows Anti Virus and 1 TB of cloud storage. We are not great fans of  so-called free  pre-loads which you have to pay for after a while, but  in this case you have the option to  open an Outlook  email account and use the free online  office features. Strangely, the tables leaves  out an NFC sensor, that  any business user would demand. Even Intel's Education tablet for kids has one!

In summary, the iBall Slate WQ32   with  Windows under its belt,  offers a real  option for those who want   the old familiar  desktop PC  experience  combined with the convenience of a tablet. Laptop luggers, join the queue. More information here