This tablet is a stand-up artiste!
March 30 2015: When tablet PCs are larger than 8 inches, it can be uncomfortable to hold it in your hand for long. When it is 10.1 inches -- a frozen shoulder and a numb wrist is a given. iBall seems to have got the message.
The new iBall SlideBrace X-1 tablet comes with an integrated cycindrical flexible kickstand which lets you set it up horizontally as a second screen on your desktop or upright for video conferencing.
In keeping with its dual work-play avatars, the Brace -X1 has a powerful 8-core MediaTek processor , 2 GB of DDR3 RAM and 16 GB of storage expandable to 32GB. The cameras are about this best you can get-- a 13 MB rear cam with autofocus an a 5MP for selfies. There are two standard sized 3G SIM slots hidden behind the stand and the FM Radio has a record mode. |
The default apps installed include Whatsapp, Hungama, Myntra and Quikr -- but what I found most useful was iBall's news aggregation tool 'Newshunt' -- the most wide ranging collection of Indian and global sites for hard news, entertainment, finance and technology, I have seen on a phone or tablet. The display is 1280 by 800 pixels IPS -- not full HD but better than 720p and the dual chamber speakers in the stand belt out very clear sound. The true test is not music but voice search as I have learned from past experience.
The virtual touch keyboard can be set to any of 17 Indian languages but I am a bit mystified at the lack of a physical keyboard at least as a paid accessory. When you set the tablet upright on your desk, how do you use the virtual keys? We reviewed the similarly sized iBall Slide WQ149 on this page last year -- and it came with a very light external keyboard and that cost just Rs 4000 more.
The Brace X1 which costs Rs 17,999, is heavier at 700 gms , possibly due to the large 7800 mAh batteries. But while I applaud the very sturdy design for doubling as a desktop, I still have a sneaking wish for a physical keyboard. Anand Parthasarathy