The Indian market is witnessing a lot of new affordable tablets in recent times and it is becoming difficult for the buyers to select the best one from the options that are available.
Though I have already tried hands on with other affordable tablets like the Micromax Funbook and Karbonn Smart Tab, my first tablet review is going to be about the Wishtel Ira Thing 2 as it is the latest entrant in the market and is not yet reviewed on other tech sites and blogs.
The Ira Thing 2 is Wishtel’s latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich (OS 4.0.3) budget tablet which comes with a price tag of just Rs. 6,499.
Wishtel is a new entrant in the tablet market which had launched its first tablet Ira a few months ago. The Ira thing 2 is wishtel’s second android tablet in the Indian market. For more details visit – http://www.wishtel.com/
The hardware and software specifications of the Ira Thing 2 are as follows:
|Display||7″ TFT LCD Multi touch Capacitive Touch Screen WVGA (800*480; 16:9 ratio)|
|Camera||1.3 MP (Front Facing)|
|Ports||USB + Mini USB + HDMI|
|Memory||4 GB Internal + Extendable up to 32 GB (via MicroSD Card)|
|Battery||Rechargeable Battery 3000 mAh (4-5 hours on single charge)|
|Sensors||4 dimensional Gravity Sensor|
|Sound||Built in Stereo Speakers + Built in Microphone|
|Other Slots||3.5mm Audio Jack Slot + Memory Card Slot (Micro SD) + Charging point|
|AC Adapter||9V DC Output|
|Colours||Black, White, Red, Yellow, Blue and Pink|
|Other keys||On top (Horizontal) – Lock/Unlock, Mic Reset, Menu and Escape Buttons|
|OS||Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)|
|Connectivity||Wifi – Built-in 802.11b/g WLAN Card|
|3G – External Support through USB port (Only 3G Dongles)|
|Internet||Inbuilt Browser (with Flash Support)|
|Languages||Multi Language Support (including Hindi)|
|Documents||Office Suite (Word, Excel, PPT, PDF), eBook reader|
|Video Formats||Full HD (1080p), RM, RMVB, MKV, FLV, MPG, MP4, 3GP, DAT, MOV|
|Audio Formats||MP3,WMA,WAV,AAC,OGG,APE,FLAC,AC3 + Recording (MP3, WMA)|
|Preinstalled Applications||Office Suite, Skype, Super HD Player (Video Player), Angry Birds (Space), Skype, Aldiko (eBook reader), Sound Recorder, Android Play Store (Market)|
What’s in the box?
Ira Thing 2 Tablet, AC Adapter, Ear phones and User Manual
The hardware specifications are really good considering the price tag. A 1.5 Ghz processor and 512MB ram gives a pretty decent processing speed and unless 3 to 4 applications are simultaneously used (multi tasking) I did not notice any sluggishness in the operation.
The tablet runs on Google’s latest Android 4.0.3 ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) which keeps it at par with all the other android tablets. Android’s playstore lets you download all the latest applications and games via Internet. A couple of applications come preinstalled with the Ira Thing 2 viz. Angry Birds Space, Super HD Player, Skype and ofcourse other necessary applications like file manager and others which are common for all the tablets.
The display looks quite decent, though I won’t say the images look very crisp. But it definitely doesn’t let you down. The resolution of 800*480 and 16:9 ratio is good enough for reading ebooks/documents, browsing the web, playing some games and viewing pictures and HD videos.
The build quality is not that great but this is where the main difference lies between the affordable tablets and the high end ones. The body and buttons look plasticky but a little compromise on the build quality is okay considering the overall package that the Ira offers. The tablet has a glossy finish as a result of which you can notice finger prints on the surface.
The stereo speakers used are wonderful. The sound is quality is really good on the loud speakers. Though the earphones provided in the package are not that great, you can always use other ear phones for listening to music.
On a single charge, the ira thing lasted for 4 hours 15min of heavy usage which included browsing the web via Wifi, playing games, videos and trying out different applications. A 3000 mAH battery is good enough for moderate usage.
There are three physical keys (buttons) on the tablet viz. Lock/Unlock (Also for shutting down device), Menu and Escape button and a mic reset button. It’s a little weird that they haven’t given a volume rocker key, it’s replaced by touch sensitive points on the screen.
The device is wifi enabled and you can also use 3G dongles directly via the USB port, which is the best part as you don’t have to buy or carry any cord/port for using the dongle. Unfortunately there’s no Bluetooth in the Ira thing 2. You can directly connect flash drive (pen drives) upto 32gb and manage your files easil with the help of the user friendly file manager.
The internal memory of 4GB is pretty decent for storing ebooks, documents and your favourite music collection alongwith some pictures and videos. It supports MicroSD card (upto 32GB) so you can always buy one if you wish to put all your music and pictures on the tablet.
Unlike other tablets, the Ira thing 2 is available in 6 different colours viz. Black, White, Red, Yellow, Blue and Pink. Though this gives the Ira an edge over its competitors in terms of looks, I don’t really know how many people out there would buy a yellow or blue tablet (girls can definitely go for the pink one).
Considering the price tag of Rs 6499, I must say the tablet definitely offers a value for money deal. A 1.5 Ghz processor which is faster than all its competitors backed up by 512mb ram and Android ICS surely makes it a good contender in the affordable tablets. So, if you are in the market to pick up a budget tablet and are on a really tight budget, you can definitely consider the Wishtel Ira Thing 2.
Please do keep in mind that all these budget tablets come with their own set of pros and cons and one has to definitely make some compromises viz. the build quality (most importantly) and the screen resolution. My advice would be please do try your hands on before buying any tablet as that would give you the perfect feel of it.
I would also upload an unboxing and reviewing video of the Ira Thing 2 on youtube and my blog in a few days.
Micromax Funbook – Rs 6499
Karbonn Smart Tab – Rs 7450
HCL ME Tab – Rs 7,999
Courtesy: www.flipkart.com (for prices)
In the news: http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/BIZ-GAD-wishtel-thing-2-tab-up-for-grabs-at-just-rs-6500-in-india-3516594.html
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This review is completely based on my own opinions about the tablet after moderately using it for a couple of days.