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iBall Slide WQ149R review: A solid proposition with HDD expandability

The screen is good quality and has a high enough resolution. It should also last about 5 hours on a full charge which is adequate.

, ET Bureau|
Mar 03, 2016, 11.53 AM IST
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The screen is good quality and has a high enough resolution. It should also last about 5 hours on a full charge which is adequate.
The screen is good quality and has a high enough resolution. It should also last about 5 hours on a full charge which is adequate.
Price: Rs 16,499

Rating: ****

Specifications: 10.1-inch touchscreen (1280 x 800 pixels), Intel Atom Z3735F (1.3Ghz quad core), 2GB RAM, 32GB storage + microSD (up to 64GB supported), 5MP + 2MP camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, miniHDMI, detachable keyboard with internal 2.5” Sata HDD slot, 7,800mAh battery.
NEW DELHI: Windows 10 hybrid devices are becoming better (and cheaper) all the time. Right now, it's fairly easy to get something thats lighter and cheaper than most laptops -yet it'll have a comfortable keyboard, touchscreen and the full version of Windows 10 pre-loaded on the device. Probably a big reason that prevents users from switching to these devices is limited storage. Typically, these hybrids have 32GB flash storage and a microSD slot that accepts up to 64GB cards. Considering that the Windows install and formatting also takes up space, you get about 22GB free space in the default configuration. You can add the microSD slot, but it still won't be enough.

That's why iBall has chosen to launch this hybrid; the Slide WQ149R. In the box, you get a detachable keyboard with trackpad, a wall charger (which uses a proprietary jack), a USB OTG adapter, micro USB cable and a USB charging cable.However, the main thing that sets this hybrid apart from the others is the hard drive slot. The supplied keyboard has a slot for a 2.5-inch (laptop size) SATA hard drive. Installing it is a simple DIY: you only need to remove a total of four screws in the drive bay door and slide a hard drive in. When the display is docked with the keyboard, you will have access to this additional storage. In tablet mode, you'll still have to make do with the roughly 22GB available internal -though the microSD slot is in the tablet and you can buy a 64GB card for roughly Rs 1,400. A 1TB 2.5 inch SATA hard drive will be about Rs 4,000 more, so factor in these two additional costs if you plan to use the device to the fullest.

Coming back to the device itself, it becomes fairly bulky with the keyboard attached -significantly bulkier than a typical laptop and about as heavy. That's the trade-off for having a hybrid with a hard drive slot.Nonetheless, it's a smart design with soft touch finish and good build quality. There's a tiny bit of wobble on the screen when docked but not enough to cause worry or affect usage. On the tablet part, you get a volume rocker, power switch, headphone jack, mini HDMI output, microSD slot, micro USB (OTG) port, a full size USB and the power socket. Up top, you'll see a pair of speakers. For video calls, a front camera and microphone are built in. The keyboard has chiclet style keys with decent amount of travel and good feel -though the keys are smaller than average. The keyboard dock gives you an additional full size USB for more peripherals.

We found that it does well with office documents, web and basic multimedia. If this is primarily what you need it for, there won't be any reason to complain. The screen is good quality and has a high enough resolution to make out finer details. Brightness has to be set manually but the viewing angles, contrast and colours are quite good. It should also last about 5 hours on a full charge which is adequate. There are a few cons (weak cameras, bulk, proprietary charging port) but nothing too major. Overall, a solid proposition with HDD expandability in the hybrid space.
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