In the last few months, we have seen a flood of new tablet launches in the sub-INR 10,000 price segment. Manufacturers ranging from Micromax to Lava to Karbonn have introduced several entry-level Android tablets that come with varied features and different USPs.
Every company is trying to bring a value preposition to the consumers, as to why people should choose their tablets over the others. In the same bid, Pantel Technologies has now introduced an Android 4.1 powered dual-SIM tablet Penta T-Pad WS708C, which has been priced at INR 6,999.
In this review, we will try and find out whether the new Penta T-Pad WS708C tablet is worthy of your consideration and money.
First, here is a look at the key specifications of this tablet:
OS: Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean
GPU: Mali 400
RAM: 512MB DDR III
Internal Storage: 4GB (User accessible: around 2.5GB)
Expandable storage: Yes, microSD card slot with support upto 32GB
Display: 7-inch 16:9 LCD multi-touch display with 800x480p resolution
Cameras: 2MP rear, 0.3MP front camera
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
SIM support/ Voice calling: Dual-SIM, dual-Standby with voice calling support
Battery: 3,000 mAh
Penta T-Pad WS708C comes with all plastic body similar to most of the other budget tablets. The build quality is good and the tablet feels sturdy. T-Pad WS708x looks decent and fit nicely in hand.
Bigger bezel and comparatively less weight of the device, makes is ideal for long duration single hand usage like reading books etc., however in landscape mode, it is hard to hold the tablet with just one hand because of slippery back.
Coming to the specifics, the front of the tablet is largely taken by the 7-inch display and the huge bezel. There is an earpiece as well along with the front camera. The back is made of shiny silver coloured plastic. The rear camera, speaker, bunch of logos, trademarks and other details are present on the back of the tablet.
Being a dual-SIM tablet, it features two regular SIM card slots, which can be accessed from the back of the tablet along with the microSD card slot. The ports have been placed on the top side, while the volume rocker and power button is present on the left.
The Penta T-Pad WS708c packs a 7-inch display with just 800x480p resolution. We aren’t really a fan of such less resolution displays on seven-inch screens. Not only the individual pixels are visible and it also makes the display quality sub-par, however given the pricing, we can’t really expect much.
The display quality is average, but we did find one issue. The display is unusually stretched in the portrait mode, probably because of the some aspect ratio problem but it looks bad in the daily usage.
Viewing angles are decent if not great and also the under-Sun visibility is so-so. The touchscreen works fine and also supports multi-touch gestures like pinch-to-zoom etc.
The Penta T-pad WS708c’s display also supports 3D, but we don’t see much use for that, as there is not much of 3D content available freely.
Software/ User Interface
Pantel has loaded a pretty much stock version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on T-Pad WS708C. There are a few tweaks here and there, but nothing major, which is certainly good as it helps in snappier performance than bloated custom Android versions.
The company has also pre-loaded quite a few apps on the tablet including Documents to Go, Free note, FX file explorer, FX Text Edit, Angry Birds and nexGTv. The video player app on the tablet also supports a pop-up video kind of functionality, which we have seen in the Samsung high-end Android devices.
However, we found a few issues with the software on the tablet. First, the Google Play Store version loaded on the table does not show paid apps or even e-books (which were recently released for the Indian market). The Play Store version is latest and despite our best efforts, we could not find a way to make it work.
Also, the version of Google Search loaded on the tablet does not come with Google Now out of the box; however you can always download the Google Search app from Google Play.
Overall, the software experience is decent on the tablet, but the missing paid apps and e-books from Play Store are certainly worrisome.
Performance/ Battery Life
The tablet packs 1GHz Rockchip single core processor along with 512MB RAM, which certainly aren’t enough for the butter smooth performance on the tablet, but they still able to give a decent one. For this price-segment, one can’t really expect Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 or iPad kind of experience, but if you are patient, the tablet will be able to perform most of the tasks that you throw at it.
The web browsing experience is pretty nice on the tablet and as you also get access to Chrome, you should not have any issues for normal web surfing. The Penta T-pad WS708c also play 1080p full HD video files with ease.
We did find the interface taking slightly more time than what we are used to in high-end tablets to perform basic tasks but that is something that is taken for granted in budget tablets. The casual games like Angry Birds, Temple Run, and Fruit Ninja play without issues, slightly more graphic games like Dead Trigger also work, but there is a visible lag. Don’t expect to play any Shadow Gun or Real Racing on the tablet.
The speaker on the tablet is decently loud and so is the bundled headset but output isn’t really earth-shattering. The Wi-Fi works nicely and we did not have issues during out testing.
On the communication ports front, similar to other budget tablets, the T-Pad WS708c gives plethora of options including MicroUSB port, MicroUSB HOST, mini-HDMI (no cable included) and 3.5mm audio jack. There is also a microSD card slot, which supports card up to 32GB.
Pantel has also included MicroUSB to USB converter in the box, which is certainly helpful as you can connect keyboards, mouse or USB drives and increase productivity.
Company has also included dual-SIM card support (Update:both the SIM cards support 2G networks) on the tablet, which is not really a very important feature and we are yet to see any real use case. Some consumers might find it useful, but for mass market, one SIM card support is still more than enough.
On the battery front, the Penta T-Pad WS708c comes with just 3,000 mAh battery, which does not really give much of backup, however during normal usage, you can expect to work for five hours.
Pantel has included two cameras on the tablet – 2MP on the rear and 0.3MP on the front. We don’t see much use for the rear camera, but you can always use to click average photos when in need; however you are much better off with your smartphone camera or point & shoot.
The front camera is a necessity, but camera quality is not so great on WS708c especially under not-so-great lighting conditions. It will still be fine for occasional video chats.
The budget tablet market has suddenly become more competitive as the global firms like Acer and Asus have entered the segment. So, it is not going to be an easy task for home-grown manufacturers like Pantel.
Coming to Penta T-Pad WS708c, it is not a tablet without its flaws, given the single core processor inside, the interface is not as smooth as some might want and the weird missing paid app problem with Play Store is an issue. But, the tablet still offers a decent value preposition. It comes with positives like presence of Jelly Bean, good multimedia performance, and voice-calling support. At this pricing, Pantel T-Pad WS708c is certainly worthy of consideration.