Tablet wars are heating up is no understatement. It reflects the mood of the gadget buying Indian consumer, who are on the prowl for the best and the brightest tablets. As per a recent survey, 90% of Indian consumers are looking to buy a tablet. Now that’s a hotbed the manufacturers can hardly ignore. That’s also the reason why every mobile manufacturer are gung ho on tablets. There isn’t a mobile manufacturer who hasn’t yet launched a tablet or haven’t thought about it.
A total of 6 competing tablets were launched in the past 4 weeks : Beetel Magiq, Reliance Tab 3G, iBall Slide, Mercury mTab, MTS 1055 and Spice MiTab. Of these tablets, Beetel Magiq, Reliance 3G Tab and Spice MiTab has bubbled up as a possible tablet choices. We chose to compare Reliance 3G Tab and Spice MiTab because of their price proximity.
Processor, RAM and Memory
Both Spice MiTab and Reliance 3G Tab run a 800 MHz processor. While Spice MiTab is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Reliance Tab is powered by ARM processor. It’s hard to different based on the spec alone as the actual performance will vary. The key difference is not what these tablets have, but what Reliance 3G Tab doesn’t have.
In addition to the 800 MHz processor Spice MiTab also has a Adreno 200 GPU, which is a dedicated processor for rendering graphics. The presence of GPU should guarantee a much better video and game quality on Spice MiTab.
Both the tablets are powered by 512 MB RAM and come loaded with 4 GB internal memory. Both tablets can read up to 32 GB memory through a SD Card.
Screen and OS
Spice MiTab and Reliance 3G Tab sport a 7-inch capacitive touch screen with 800×480 resolution. MiTab has a HVGA screen and Reliance Tab has a WVGA TFT screen.
Reliance 3G Tab is powered by Android 2.3 and MiTab is powered by Android 2.2. The only thing Spice got wrong with MiTab is the OS version. Given the hardware specifications, MiTab sure looks like it can run Android 2.3. I hope Spice provides an update quickly.
Media and Camera
Spice MiTab and Reliance 3G Tab play all forms of audio and video. Reliance 3G Tab has FM receiver in-built which MiTab lacks. With the Adreno 200 GPU on board MiTab promises a better video and games quality.
Both the tablets have a 2 megapixel camera and a front-facing VGA camera. I don’t expect any miracles out of these 2 tablet cameras but for the sake of comparison, both score equal points in the camera department.
The battery specification is tucked lower down the order in any specification page. It is easy to be swept away with the processor, screen size and other features. Battery by far is the most important and most neglected feature on tablets.
Reliance 3G Tab promises 9 hour talk time, and 300 hour standby time with its 3400 mAh battery. Spice MiTab is powered by a massive 4200 mAh battery which on the paper is much better than what Reliance Tab provides.
Reliance 3G Tab is priced at Rs. 12999 and Spice MiTab is priced at Rs. 11990. There is a clear 1000 rupee difference between Reliance Tab and Spice MiTab. Needless to say, MiTab has an edge in price.
Both the tablets are 3G enabled, have Bluetooth and have WiFi. Both the tablets can act as WiFi hotspots. Reliance Tab can support connections for up to 5 devices. The number of devices Spice MiTab supports is not known.
Spice MiTab is powered by GPS. Reliance 3G Tab sans GPS.
Reliance 3G Tab has only two distinct advantages :
- An FM Radio.
- Android 2.3 operating system
Spice MiTab has 5 distinct advantages over Reliance Tab :
- Adreno 200 GPU which Reliance Tab doesn’t have.
- A low price of Rs. 11990
- Better battery
- No Carrier lock-in
Now it is anybody’s guess what tablet to buy. Of all the features, it is the carrier lock-in which is the most irritating in Reliance Tab and the most liberating in the Spice MiTab. The carrier lock-in has never worked with mobile phones and there is no reason why it will work with tablets. Consumers prefer to have a choice at all times. Reliance should either bring down the price on its tab or unlock the tablet to stay relevant. That is of course till we find the next hottest tablet.