iBall Slide WQ 149: This Tablet does double duty

24th November 2014
iBall  Slide WQ 149: This Tablet does double duty

Bangalore, November 24 2014:  If you can't make up your mind whether to go in for a lightweight notebook PC  or a larger tablet, the iBall Slide (WQ149) might solve your dilemma.
You can eat your cake and have it too! If you want to use the device in its tablet avatar, it  weighs less than 640 grams, comes with a handy pouch and  has a slot for a 3G SIM for Internet  access.  The main ( rear ) camera is 5 MP with autofocus  with a front ( selfie and Skype)  2 MP camera. The RAM ( 2GB),  storage ( 32 GB, expandable to 64 through a microSD card)  and 1280 by 800 IPS display are about the best specs you will get on a tablet. 
If you want to be productive 'on the hoof', you can  attach the very light full-function keyboard with touch pad  which also doubles cleverly as stand and cover. Professional users will appreciate the 1 Terabyte of free cloud storage  in Microsoft's One Drive and the  1-year free  subscription to  Office 365. You may never have to pay for extending this beyond one year, because Microsoft  has   just made it free for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. 
What  helps this tablet seamlessly morph into a true  notebook,  is the fact that it is fuelled not by Android but by Windows 8.1.  I have never found Android a good enough alternative to Windows for  true desktop functionality ( try  drag-n-dropping files from a thumb drive to the tablet!).  By early 2015, you will be able to upgrade this to Windows 10 which will make the old familiar Windows experience even better.   I also found that the combination of a sensitive touch screen plus a keyboard, shortens many routines.
Initial startup is a bit of a bore -- it took me 10 minutes  to get a new unit up and working, including a compulsory Windows Live sign-up. But once past this  typical Microsoft  hurdle,  you can  switch at will between the twin experiences of tablet and  notebook... the asking price of Rs 21,999 seems reasonable.
Anand Parthasarathy