While struggling with identifying a tab that will play 720p videos smoothly, I came upon the Videocon Tab. My personal tab (Mercury mTab StreaQ) featuring a MediaTek 6575 processor, just does not do the job. In fact, it has difficulty even playing 480p FLV files downloaded from Youtube.
Clearly, I needed a tab with faster processing power. I chanced upon the Videocon VT10 and decided to borrow it from a friend for a day for a review.
Videocon’s Website lists the tab’s features comprehensively. The tab features:
- 10″ IPS screen
- 1280 x 800 resolution
- Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) OS
- 1.5 GHz Processor
- 6800 mAH Battery
- Front and Rear camera of 2MP
- 1 GB RAM
- 8 GB ROM (Internal Storage)
- 32GB SD Card Support
- USB On-The-Go (OTG) support for USB Pendrives and 3G Dongles
- Mini HDMI Out supporting 1920 x 1080 @ 60hz
- Cosmetically, the tab has a rich ‘iPad-esque’ feel. Crafted in white plastic, the tab features a metal back-plate that has a matt finish. The tab is not heavy and can be held by hand for extended duration. The back-plate features discreet branding information and a machine cut grill for speakers.
- The tab features a stunning display. The IPS panel has more than 170° visibility (tested using DroidSail Display Expert Lite). The color reproduction is vivid, free of color bias and gradients are smooth and banding free (tested using Display Tester). The tab ships with brightness set to maximum and the colors on the display literally pop-out. I reduced the brightness to Zero and yet the tab remained perfectly usable for web-browsing and eBook reading.
- The touchscreen supports 5-point touch and it is responsive. Attempting to draw diagonal lines results in relatively smooth lines. The touchscreen does not exhibit any issues while the tab is charging. I could use the tab without facing random cursor jumps.
- The tab comes with Mini HDMI port. Videocon does not supply a Mini-HDMI to HDMI cable with the box and users must run to the market to acquire a compatible cable. While such cables are pretty cheap in USA (at Amazon), in India, retailers charge whatever they feel like. It would have been an admirable effort if Videocon bundled a cable.
- Videocon claims that it can drive a 1920 x 1080 display over HDMI. I connected it to my Panasonic VT50 (50″ Plasma TV) to test this claim and was pleasantly surprised to find it to be true. However, the catchword is that the tab can drive a Full-HD display and not actually create a display at Full-HD resolution. The tab actually displays at 1280 x 720 resolution (720p) which is scaled up internally by the tab and output to TV. While 720p movies play smoothly and look pretty good, playing 1080p movies is pointless because the playback software will surely discard the data as it down-samples the movie. The tab outputs audio over HDMI. Currently I do not have the equipment to test for 5.1/Dolby/DTS audio etc.
- The tab’s battery may not be the highest capacity (among tabs currently in the market), but it can pull it’s weight. A fully charged battery lasts up-to 4 hours during continuous usage and up-to 6-8 hours during sporadic usage. A fully discharged battery takes up-to 4 hours for full capacity recharge.
- It appears that the back-cover can be pried open. Though it does not seem to be a user-serviceable part, a removable back-plate will certainly make it easy for any repair-man to fix it.
- The tab supports USB OTG. I connected a HP 4GB Pendrive using a micro USB OTG cable that I had (bought from Tradus) and it worked perfectly. The pen-drive showed up in File Manager on the tab and I was able to access files from it.
- The tab reports a full complement of sensors like 3-Axis Accelerometer (MMA8452Q), Light Sensor (Al3006), Orientation Sensor (AK8975), Proximity Sensor (AL3006), Gyroscope Sensor (ST 3-axis), Sound Sensor (Internal Microphone), 3-axis Magnetic Sensor (AK8975). Missing from this lot is a Temperature Sensor and a Pressure Sensor. Sadly, none of the sensors seem to be working except the accelerometer and the internal microphone. Not even the Light Sensor is enabled which could have proven useful in automatically modulating the display brightness.
- The tab does not feature a SIM slot. Forget the fact that this tab does not feature Voice-calls / SMS option, the absence of a SIM slot means that the tab does not support GRPS / 3G either. This can be a severe downer for those who would like to use the tab to access email and websites during travels. The tab does support a limited number of 3G capable dongles and their list is clearly advertised by Videocon on the product page. Additional cost will be incurred by user.
- The tab does not feature AM / FM Radio tuner or FM Transmitter function. Your only option for radio on the tab seems to be ShoutCast stations (Internet Radio).
- The USB data transfer speeds of the tab are nothing to write home about. The tab supports USB 2.0 Read speeds max. out at 14 MB/sec and Write speeds max. out at 7 MB/sec.
- In a surprising move, Videocon has decided to arm the tab with two 2 MP cameras. Both the Front and the Rear cameras are identical and feature 2 MP resolutions (1600 x 1200 pixels). The cameras feature fixed focus lenses and lack auto-focus. The tab does not feature Flash light either. Even if the LED bulbs that are typically paraded as ‘Flash’ are next to useless, their absence means that you cannot use the tab as an emergency torch (unless you count the screen as a light source). The cameras have decent performance with large objects that are in close proximity (up-to 10 feet). Macro performance is so-so as Close Focusing Distance seems to be approx. 6″. Color reproduction is ok with no massive color shifts. Dynamic range is poor and in the presence of strong light source looking into the camera, the foreground is reduced to black. The camera app lacks basic facilities such as Scene Modes, Self-timer, Continuous Shot, GPS Location embedding etc.
- The JPEG compression algorithm in use by the camera app seems to be targeting a file-size. Images that have extremely high-detail are saved in under 1 MB file size and detail is lost beyond acceptable levels.
- The tab is advertised as being 1080p capable, but in reality it only up-scales a 720p display to 1080p and outputs it over HDMI. Though the output is very nice and the 1280 x 752 pixel display (in Landscape mode) means that you can browse a wide range of websites with ease. Text rendering is anti-aliased and appears sharp on my 50″ TV at 1′ distance.
- The tab does not support charging over USB. Combined with the fact that the tab requires a charger that has a small round pin (like Nokia Chargers) and not a Micro / Mini USB port (as standardized by International Union of Telephony), it is sure to make life difficult for those who appreciate a device that can charge using the the standard USB 5V port. The charging socket has a tiny LED which glows red during charging and glows green when charging is complete.
- Though the tab features 1 GB ROM that can store applications and data, this area is not exposed to USB Storage. I.e. if you connect the tab to your computer over USB, you will see the 5.7 GB Internal Storage, the External Storage (SD Card) but not the 1 GB area. If your images happen to be stored in this area, you will have to move them into the Internal Storage first to copy them to the computer.
- The apparently features an Ethernet controller but lacks Bluetooth! It has been a while since I saw a mobile computing device that did not feature Bluetooth connectivity, so this came as a shocker. Setting up communication between tabs, other tabs and computers using WiFi is generally too complicated for the average user. With each increasing version, Windows OS makes this simple task appear almost herculean. Bluetooth continues to be a simple to use protocol that gets the job done. Omission of the Bluetooth radio will be missed by many.
Initial attempts to root this tab using Bin4ry’s tool (v31) failed. Perhaps it will require a bit of reading to make it happen. Quite possibly Videocon has disabled any user access to the primary ROM and hence the attempt to root the tab is failing. Will have to investigate this further.
Performance Benchmark:[table “” not found /]
WiFi File Copy Performance:[table “” not found /]
USB File Copy Performance:[table “” not found /]
Camera Image Quality:
|Rear Camera Snapshot||Rear Camera Panorama||Front Camera Snapshot|
The tab has a lot going for it, yet it misses quite a few important milestones. As an ebook reader, it is too expensive and features way more processing power than required. As a communication device, it lacks in-built support for GPRS / 3G for Internet connectivity. As a gaming platform, it misses the sensors that make for an immersive gaming experience. As an entertainment device, it lacks stereo speakers and any form for loud sound-output from the front of the device. As an imaging device, it features hopeless cameras and lackluster software.
Yet, the tablet does perform quite a few functions really well and the overall package is certainly attractive for the first time buyer who wants great performance and a branded device.