iBall Slide Brace X1-4G, A tablet for work-n-play

 The iBall Slide BraceX1-4G, is cannily aimed at the   most successful  Indian market segment in tablet PCs

Bangalore, June 9 2017: In our report on the Indian tablet PC market, elsewhere on this site, based on an IDC study, we mentioned that the arch-type Indian tablet  a 4G-ready device,  around 10 inch in size.  iBall, the only Indian company in the Top 5 ranking of tablet sellers in India, has cannily positioned the Slide BraceX1-4G  to appeal to this market  which is mostly in the corporate sector. But after using the tablet for a few days, I see value even for lay users.

At 10 inches, this is about as big as tablets get and I like iBall's idea of supporting the tablet with a 'brace' or  retractable stand.    If like me you prefer to attach a physical keyboard to large tablets like this, it is useful to have the tablet stand upright on the desk.  The tablet sports the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS  and the screen  has a resolution  of 1280 x 800, not quite full HD. The 2GB RAM is just about OK  but the 16 GB storage can be expanded to 64 GB.  iBall has provided a generously sized battery -- 7800mAh -- which is useful if you want to use the device for a full working day.   The 8MP rear and 5 MP front cameras are not very powerful compared to what one gets on phones these days, but adequate for  video calls  which is possibly the main application on tablets. I can't see any one taking  too many photos  from a 10 inch tablet!

What I find most useful with the Slide Brace X1 is its  4G VoLTE   SIM support.  This  means  with a compatible SIM  like Jio, you can    enter a data-only mode and be online all the time, while any calls you make or take will   ride on the VoLTE   feature  without additional software.  In 2017 second half, I expect other  service providers to also launch 4F VoLTE services, so this tablet will be  nice future-proofed purchase.

iBall is also the first to bring the Remix OS to its Android tablet. This adopts Android for desktop and laptop type of environment  and provides many productivity linked features include multi-tasking, working on multiple windows, keyboard and mouse optimization, and advanced file management.

At 17,4999, it is not exactly cheap -- and iBall has other 4G tablets at half the price, albeit in smaller  format, if price is a constraint-- but for semiprofessional  work I like the look and feel of this sturdy machine.

Anand Parthasarathy