It’s easy to say that there is no shortage of Android tablets to choose from in the market today. They’re spread across the price range and they’re designed with different users in mind. The category is so popular that there really are a couple of new models being launched every week or so. It’s getting difficult to keep track of the number of tablets in the market. Milagrow is one of the brands that has its presence in the tablet market in a small way, and they have a new tablet called the TabTop 7.4.
The latest in Milagrow`s arsenal
Design and Build Quality
The TabTop 7.4’s unique feature is its design and build. It’s thinner than most tablets; Milagrow even claims it to be India’s thinnest 7-inch tablet. The entire tablet feel like one big solid block. This also makes it a little heavy, but nowhere close to say, the iPad. The screen isn’t set into the frame of the body but the finish and attention to detail is certainly a lot better than most of the tablets in the market in that price range. Even though the tablet runs Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), which happens to have on-screen controls, the TabTop 7.4 also includes three physical buttons. The quality of the buttons is good; they’re very flat but they’re sturdy.
Smooth, clean solid back on the TabTop 7.4
The screen itself shows no flex as such and it’s especially easy to carry around with the bundled pouch that the company packs with the tablet. Not everything is perfectly designed. For example, the black tablet and pouch come with a black charger and a white cable. These are but minor complaints – things we noticed, but it’s the tablet that we’re clearly most interested in.
The TabTop 7.4 is pretty well spec’d as far as hardware is concerned. It’s powered by a rather quick, 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor bundled with 512MB of DDR3 RAM, which should be sufficient for most applications. Graphics are handled by a Mali-400 MP graphics solution, which should hopefully boost performance even further. The tablet runs Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) and there’s a Jelly Bean upgrade expected. In terms of the interface, there’s very little to differentiate it from most of the other ICS powered tablets in the market, except for the Milagrow wallpaper. The tablet also comes with a few bundled apps designed for different kind of users. These are set up in neatly assorted folders on the home screen.
Built like a tank
There are no touch-sensitive buttons along the screen, but there are three physical buttons – one for home, power and back. We find this is a little awkward, considering that the OS running it is ICS, and it has on-screen controls for the same. The power button on the tablet doesn’t allow you to power off the screen either. In most of the benchmarks, it matches the recently reviewed BSNL Penta T-Pad WS802C in graphics intensive benchmarks.
The TabTop 7.4 has a 7-inch screen which has a slightly different aspect ratio of 4:3, unlike most of the widescreen tablets sold in the market today. The aspect ratio is more like the iPad but this tablet has a screen resolution of 800 x 600. The aspect ratio makes the tablet a little wider, so it’s a little uncomfortable at times while typing because of its wider form factor.
4GB of overall, internal storage
As for playback, the TabTop 7.4 is easily able to handle most popular video and audio formats using a Super-HD app. We tried running AVI files using the regular Xvid and DivX codecs, as well as 720p and 1080p files stored in the MKV format. The performance was good and there were no signs of framing. We also tried a 60fps HD 1080p clip and that worked perfectly fine as well. The frame rate, however, felt like 30fps and not 60, but there was no stuttering whatsoever. The tablet is capable of rendering even higher resolution content than full 1080p, if required.
The quality of the speakers on the tablet is average, and nothing spectacular. The screen, on the other hand, is average when you look at it straight up. But, if you move the screen sideways, you notice the poor viewing angles. The screen also attracts smudges and it’s visible clearly when you have bright lights around.
The TabTop doesn't come built with a SIM card slot but can use a 3G dongle to connect to the internet. 4G is also supported via a compatible dongle. There is of course, Wi-Fi 802.11n functionality built into the device, but no Bluetooth, which is disappointing as it rules out wireless input connectivity to the tablet. When it comes to connectivity for external storage devices, there is a USB 2.0 port using which you can connect a flash drive.
Connectivity options at the bottom
You can also connect external portable hard drives, provided you connect the tablet to a charging point using a DC power plug. The model reviewed had 4GB of internal storage and there is also space for an external microSD memory card, which can extend this space by another 32GB.
The plain home screen
One of the unique selling points that Milagrow highlights is its bundled set of apps. There are around 60 apps that span across a number of categories. There is the Skype app for voice and video conferencing as well as more specialised apps for professionals such as doctors and architects. This is useful for those who don’t wish to scan through the Google Play store for apps.
The TabTop 7.4 has only a 1.3 MP front-facing camera that’s positioned on one corner of the device. It’s particularly useful when you’re doing video conferencing, but not as a still camera. It's also got 720p video recording . Both image and video recording are pretty bad. The video records at 20fps at 1280 x 720, but it appears a bit warped and also blurry.
Battery life is an important component of any tablet and the TabTop 7.4 doesn't break any records.
The battery on the tablet has a capacity of 4,000mAh. With this capacity, its able to run a DVD quality movie for some three and a half hours, which is average and comparable to other tablets in its range. Without Wi-Fi on and less intensive, this time can be stretched further.
Verdict and Price in India
The Milagrow TabTop 7.4 has a few things going for it. The performance, for one, is pretty decent and the product itself is built really well, better than others in its price range. The form factor is compact, making it very easy to carry around. The screen is one of its big letdowns. Integrated 3G capability via a SIM card slot would’ve been an even compromise for the lacking screen, considering it's priced at Rs. 10,990 in India for the 4GB version.
An overall unique, strong product but with some letdowns
On one hand, with Google entering the market with its Nexus 7 tablet, and many online vendors offering the tablet in India, things only get more complicated as it offers a lot more, but at some Rs. 5,000 more. On the other hand, there are much cheaper options that are closer to half the price with most of the performance, but without the sturdy and compact build. So, if you have a budget of around Rs. 10,000 for a tablet and you want something sturdy with decent performance, then the TabTop 7.4 is a solution to consider.
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Oct 26, 2016