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Hands On: Datawind Ubislate 7C+

Controversy has been synonym to Datawind ever since the Aakash project has come into existence. The brand, however, has its own line of devices for consumers apart from the government proposed Aakash tablet. The Ubislate 7C+ is one of the Datawind’s latest tablets, which features voice-calling capability. Datawind has also recommended it to the government for consideration for the next Aakash tablet, as the company believes that the tablet will be a perfect device to integrate voice-calling and internet connectivity at a low price point. The 7C+ is priced for Rs 4,999 but Datawind plans to supply it to the government for Rs 2,500 per unit (excluding sales tax and other taxes) on a bulk order for more than 10 lakhs units if the government approves it as the next variant of Aakash and gives the tender to Datawind. But the question is whether the tablet would really be able to work better to serve the purpose or is this just another hyped out model by the company. We have the tablet with us and here are our first impressions.

To begin with the looks and the design, it will be too much in this price for this tablet to look like a premium one, and be based on some over the top design modules. As expected, the tablet looks ordinary with black plastic chassis defining its body, though it felt sturdy and tough. The device is a little thick at 13mm, but is easy on weight at 350 grams.

The 7-inch display on the front has a thick bezel around the screen, and features an earphone grille for voice calls on one side and a VGA camera on the other. The camera on testing resulted in some noisy and distorted images but what else can one expect? As far as the voice clarity on the earphone goes, it is average. A pair of ear phones are recommended if one intends to make calls from it.

The rear is full of branding, and apart from these printed labels, carries a small speaker grille and a reset option. Talking about the speaker, the first point is that it won’t be audible if the device is placed on its back on a thick surface, secondly knowing that it is not a powerful one and thus works fine only for personal use. In noisy environs of an open space or with people around, it will leave you struggling to even figure out the track playing on it.

The tablet features SIM card and microSD card slots. There also are a volume rocker, a charging slot, a microUSB port and a 3.5 mm jack slot. Users will be able to connect a 3G modem dongle with USB OTG and the box comes with a cable for connecting it.

Talking about the screen, the 7-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen has 800X480 pixels resolution, and considering the resolution it offers decent quality for its price, though it is a fingerprint magnet. The touch interface works fairly well when compared with other devices, though there are frequent lags.

The Ubislate 7C+ comes with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and runs on a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor with 512MB RAM. It also features 4GB of internal memory and support up to 32GB of additional memory on microSD. Over all, though the operating system is relatively old, but at this price, these specs look decent at least on paper.

The company clearly says that the software matters much more than the hardware, and thus is offering a bunch of pre-loaded apps on it as well. This is supplemented with Datawind’s own app store that has been launched with this tablet. The company claims that the device gives three hours of talk time, which we are yet to test. However, it heats up really fast on continuous use.

Watch this space for our detailed review of DataWind’s Ubislate 7C+.