Very similar to Fun Bookby Ravi Sinha, on 8 May 2012
Karbonn's new Smart Tab 1 and the IPL seem to have become synonymous – what with the frequency of advertising going on for the new budget tablet. Due to release in a matter of days at a retail price of Rs. 6999, the Smart Tab 1 is clearly aimed at the average Indian user. It finds equal company with Micromax's Fun Book tablet. However, while the latter is focussed more on education, the Smart Tab 1 claims to lend itself well to gaming.
Whether you subscribe to this notion or not depends on what you're looking for in a tablet. The broad range of technology in today's world has forced companies to imbue their properties with some unique hook. It all boils down to the feature deemed most important by the user. And while Karbonn may claim there to be some further depth the Smart Tab 1, it's more or less similar in stats to Micromax's Fun Book.
Both feature a 1.2 GHz CPU, with the Cortex ARM A8 powering the Fun Book and an Xburst powering the Smart Tab 1. The Xburst CPA is manufactured by Ingenic Semiconductor, currently based in Beijing. While the chipset could be new, it features two cores, the second of which will probably be handling graphics. Neither feature 3G, but allow use of the same via a USB Dongle. Both ship with Ice Cream Sandwich as their OS, feature storage expandable up to 32 GB and 512 MB of RAM. Neither features a rear camera, though a front camera is present for video calling. Finally both can connect to Wi-Fi via 802.11 b/g/n.
Perhaps the only real difference is in their displays and battery life. The Micromax Fun Book has a 7 inch capacitive touch screen, which as we pointed out in an earlier review, has substandard viewing angles and 800x480 resolution. The Karbonn Smart Tab 1, on the other hand, features a 7.1 inch, 5 point capacitive touch screen. Viewing quality is still left to be judged, as is the final output resolution.
However, the Smart Tab 1's battery easily outclasses the Fun Book, if only by a few hours. The Fun Book features a 2800 mAh battery that delivered about 5-6 hours of battery life with normal use. Karbonn promises that the Smart Tab 1, with its 3700 mAh battery, will be capable of “full HD video playback up to 10 hours” and “25 hours of music playback time”.
As stated before, Micromax's bent with “educational” apps doesn't go over well on the Fun Book. However, despite prioritizing its own apps over Google's, it still supported Google Play. The Smart Tab 1 will undoubtedly have the same, but there may yet be efforts to ship gaming-centric apps (maybe a Cricket-centred one, what with all the IPL promotion going on). Experience tells us they may not be up to par, but Karbonn could surprise us.
Micromax is promising a new 10-inch version of the Fun Book in the coming months. As it stands, Karbonn's Smart Tab 1 is slightly superior to the Fun Book. It's definitely worth shelling out the extra Rs. 500 if you want the best value of money, especially when comparing it to the HCL ME X1's Rs. 7999 price point. Stay tuned to a more in-depth review of the Smart Tab 1 as it approaches release.