Apple iPad is not yet officially launched in India, but there are enough tablet PC or mobile Internet devices (MID) which are piquing the interest of India’s gadget lovers. Four tablet PC’s and Dell Streak have been launched in India so far. All the five devices come in various sizes and prices. The most expensive of them all is the 5-inch Dell Streak costing Rs. 35000. The cheapest of all is Binatone Home Surf costing Rs. 8995. Accord @Pad is pretty close to Binatone’s Home Surf. There are two other tablets OlivePad and Infibeam Phi which have taken the middle route. Despite their differences in prices and screen sizes, they got one thing common. All the five devices run Android operating system. Infibeam’s Phi runs Windows CE too.
How do they compare with each other?
Just to make sure we are comparing Apples with Apples, I have split them based on the price range. A specific price range products tend to have similarities in the features offered and features missed. The ranges we have so far are less than 15K, 15K to 25K, 25K to 35K. We will expand the ranges and probably redefine the ranges as more devices become available. We have left out Dell Streak which is a smartphone meets the tablet. In the less than 15K range, three MID’s have qualified – Binatone Home Surf, Infibeam Phi and Accord @Pad. The left out is Olivepad which costs Rs. 25K. Sorry Olive.
Let’s dive in :
Comparison is done based on the specifications available on the manufacturers website or through several blogs. In case of Binatone, few specs like the screen resolution, weight and dimensions are not known.
What’s common between the three tablets?
- All three tablets sport a resistive LCD touch screen
- Have USB ports,
- Have Wi-Fi
- Battery life of 4 to 5 hours
- No GPS, Front or rear camera
- No 3G, though Accord @Pad supports compatibility with an external device.
- No video out.
- All three run Android operating system, though each run a different version.
- Screen resolution is of 800×480 for @Pad and Phi. Resolution of Binatone Home Surf is not available.
What’s different between the three tablets?
- Processor : All three run three different processors with different speeds. Binatone runs the fastest processor (ARM11) of the three at 667 MHz. Phi runs ARM9’s 600 MHz processor and @Pad has the slowest processor of all the three (400MHz).
- RAM : Binatone and @Pad have a 128MB RAM. Phi is slightly faster with a RAM of 256MB.
- Internal Storage : Binatone and @Pad have an internal storage of 2GB. Phi has a 8GB, which when compared with other two is bigger, but is the right size for a MID.
- Bluetooth : A notable miss on Infibeam’s Phi. @Pad and Binatone has it.
- Screen size : Phi and @Pad has the diagonal screen size of 7 inches, whereas Binatone has an odd 8-inch. The reason I say odd for 8 inch is because it is probably the only tablet of the 70 odd tablets announced this year, which has an 8 inch screen. May be 8 inch is the middle ground between a bulky iPad and a svelte 7 incher.
- Microphone : Again a notable miss from Infibeam Phi. @Pad and Binatone has it.
- Weight : This probably is the most critical because this device is supposed to be in your hand, probably replacing a newspaper. Though it will weigh more than a newspaper it shouldn’t be too heavy. Binatone’s weight is not known. Phi has a weight of 332 gms which should be just about right. @Pad has a weight of close to 1 kg which is heavy for a MID.
What’s the best of the three?
Well why would you put me in the spot? It’s a tough decision and a tablet is a personal choice. You have to hold it and feel it to decide. But since I have taken you thus far let me share my perspective.
Infibeam Phi : Bluetooth and Microphone are the two major misses which are available in the other two. If those two aren’t a problem then for the price of 15K this is a better bet. It has a bigger storage, decent processor and faster memory. It is probably the lightest around.
Accord @Pad : There are no real stand-outs for @Pad. Two big let downs are the slow 400MHz processor and a weight of 1kg. @Pad is probably the weakest of the three tablets. @Pad’s 3G extensibility should probably be its selling feature.
Binatone Home Surf : Its 8 inch screen and a 667MHz ARM11 processor are the two biggest stand outs. Internal storage of 2GB is a let down but could be amended with a flash drive. Expecting the weight to be lower than a kilogram, Binatone Home Surf is the better of the three. Ironically it is the cheapest, which is not part of the actual comparison.
Winner : Binatone Home Surf
PS : The comparison is based on the specs provided on paper and no real tests were done on these devices.