Reasons for you to choose a next-gen hybrid tablets over a laptop
Thanks to Windows tablets, the notion of a tablet being only for play was turned on its head. Now, with high-quality Windows tablets hitting some fantastic price points, it’s becoming less and less essential for you to own a laptop at all.
Notion Ink Cain
Price: Rs 19,990
SPECIFICATIONS: 10.1-inch IPS (1280 x 800 pixels) touchscreen, quad core Intel Atom processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage + microSD, full size USB 3.0 port, mini HDMI, USB host, 2MP front + 2MP rear camera, Windows 8.1, 7,900mAh battery, 635 grams.
Notion Ink, initially known for some innovative Android tablets, has launched a Windows device called the Cain. Unlike many recent Windows tablets with 8-inch displays, Cain has a gorgeous, 10.1-inch touchscreen & a full size USB port.
At 635 grams, the tablet feels good to hold and has a good grip thanks to the patterned finish. A brushed metal finish on the rear combined with the sharp 10.1-inch front display (1280 x 800 pixels) makes the device stand out. The display has excellent viewing angles and is a joy to use for multimedia or web. Two thumbs up to Notion Ink for the fantastic design and build quality.
Apart from the full size USB 3.0 port, you also get a micro USB port (with USB host), mini HDMI out, headphone jack and microSD slot for storage expansion. The only thing we didn’t like was that it used a proprietary charger.
Performance is fantastic for most uses. We had no issues with full HD video and multiple other apps (browsers, Microsoft Word, GIMP etc). That being said, while the hardware managed to run Adobe Photoshop, it was sluggish — as expected, the device is not meant for hardware intensive tasks.
Also, both cameras take images with visible noise — good enough for social networks but nothing more. In terms of battery life, we managed to get close to six and half hours of backup on continuous HD playback and a full day of backup for basic office work and browsing, which is impressive.
While the tablet alone is very impressive, Notion Ink also bundles an equally impressive cover with it. The velvet-finish magnetic cover has an integrated keyboard – and it’s one of the best we have used with large keys, fantastic build quality, good response and adequate key travel.
The cover also doubles up as a stand – you can prop the display at a comfortable typing angle. The soft finish on the cover makes it easy to hold and carry while protecting it from any damage.
A wireless mouse is also included in the price, but keep in mind that using it requires a USB dongle to be plugged into the only USB port. Overall, the Notion Ink Cain is a fantastic product and easily one of the best 2 in 1 hybrid devices available today.
We highly recommend it. If you need something more laptop-like, you can consider the Lenovo
Ideapad Flex 10 (Rs 24,000) which has a non-detachable 10.1-inch display and 500GB hard drive.
PRICE: Rs 16,999
SPECIFICATIONS: 1.33Ghz Intel Atom Z3735D processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage (expandable, up to 64GB card), 8-inch IPS LCD (1280 x 800), Windows 8.1, dual cameras (5MP rear + 2MP front), BT 4.0, WiFi, USG OTG, 354 grams.
iBall calls this device the first budget 3G business tablet — it’s easy to see why. This is a Windows 8.1 tablet with an 8-inch screen — which by itself is not new. Acer sells the Iconia W4, a similar Windows tablet for Rs 20,000 (32GB, WiFi only version). However, the 3G version of the Iconia W4 (64GB with 3G) goes up to Rs 30,000 and you can get a fair number of laptops for that price.
At Rs 16,999, iBall’s 3G tablet comes in at a very attractive price point (Office 365 and 1TB OneDrive storage for 1 year is bundled too). It’s small enough to be held and used in one hand but is also flexible enough to do duty as a Windows computer. It has a matte silver back panel (non removable) and allblack front. Along the top (held in portrait), there’s a micro USB for charging, data transfer and USB host, a micro HDMI out and 3.5mm audio out. The SIM and micro SD slots are hidden under a plastic flap which gives the device a neater appearance.
It comes with 16GB storage which may sound like enough but almost 5GB of that is used up by a permanent Windows recovery partition. Another 3.5GB is used up by the Windows 8 installation itself. So, even after a fresh reset, you get only 5.74 GB free on the primary C: drive – this means you will need to add a micro SD card of your own to store any stuff (you can add up to a 64GB card). The tablet has USB host and an adapter is provided in the box – we were able to use it with USB flash drives, wired/wireless mice and a conventional USB keyboard without any issues.
You’ll be able to use this tab for all your typical office work and web without a hitch. We even tried some basic gaming and 1080p video which the Intel Atom processor makes short work of.
Unless you want to do 3D gaming or heavy photo/video editing, this kind of performance will be good enough for you. Screen quality is pleasing: nice colours, good brightness and excellent viewing angles. Resolution is 1280 x 800 pixels so everything is pretty sharp too.
The only thing is, people looking for a very long battery life should stay away – you’ll get about 3 hours of use from a full charge (though you could always supplement this with any high power battery pack since it charges via micro USB). Overall, a pretty good effort from iBall and worth considering if you need a lightweight laptop replacement.