Ever since the iPad appeared on the scene, tablets have become a hot favourite. However, Apple is yet to launch its famed device in India. Having said that, it's not that we do not have tablets in India - OlivePad and GalaxyTab are available, and both have decent features.
OlivePad from home grown Olive Telecom has the distinction of being the first 3G tablet in the country. We examine how it fairs against the Samsung GalaxyTab and also the iPad, which is available in the grey market.
Being a product from an Indian company, everyone would expect OlivePad to be cheaper than products from MNC giants. At Rs 23,000, it is approximately Rs 13,000 cheaper than Samsung GalaxyTab and about Rs 7,000 cheaper than Apple's iPad, which costs about Rs 30,000.
While the price difference is fairly big when compared to GalaxyTab, it doesn't favourably compare with the iPad as it is worth paying the difference for the iPad, which is a far better device than the OlivePad. However, iPad isn't sold officially in India and there's consequently no customer service available here.
OlivePad is neck to neck with GalaxyTab in terms of features, except that it lacks HDMI support and has a slower processor. The tablet is based on Android 2.2 Froyo, supports video conferencing and has USB ports, which Apple's iPad lacks. The device uses WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G for connectivity, and GPS for map based navigation. It supports push mail service, MMS, and enables voice calls. It has a 1.3 mega pixel camera in the front and 3 mega pixel camera at the rear.
Lack of HDMI is certainly a negative point, but not big enough to compensate for the price difference. However, a slower processor can definitely be the reason for changing your buying decision against this home grown tablet.
While GalaxyTab uses a Cortex A8 processor clocked at a speed of 1 GHz, OlivePad uses an ARM11 chipset with 600 MHz speed. Even unlocking the screen is a chore at times because of slow processing speed. Having said that, once an application is running there is no lag.
OlivePad is not meant to win a beauty pageant, although it couldn't be called ugly either. The device measures 179 X 110 X 11.5 mm and weighs 375 grams. The tablet has a 7 inch capacitive WVGA touchscreen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. Display quality is good and the touch screen responds well to commands.
The tablet uses a Li-Po battery with 3240 mAh capacity. It is said to be good for 7 hours of low to medium use, which we found decent.
One of the tablet's sore points is the lack of inbuilt memory, which is just 512 MB. It is possible, however, to expand it to 32 GB using a microSD card.
If you are looking at a truly mobile device that does the duty of a computer, as well as a music and video player, and serves your communications needs as well, but doesn't necessarily give a stellar performance, OlivePad is a value for money proposition for you.
But for someone looking at performance, it's better to consider the Samsung GalaxyTab or wait for Apple's iPad rather than buying an OlivePad. There are also some other tablets lined up from almost all the big phone makers that will be released over the next six months, with some launches coming as early as this quarter.