iBall Q9703 – the most powerful Indian tablet launched at Rs 16k price

iBall is fast making a name for itself as the first Indian brand to come up with tablets having the latest technology.

It made an impression becoming one of the first to launch dual-core tablets in the Indian market. Not only was the i9702 powered by the then-latest dual-core RK3066 chip, it also came with one of the best displays on any Indian tablet model.

Now, barely six months later, iBall has again launched the tablet with the best specifications in the Indian market – the Q9703.
Not only does the new tablet have a quad-core processor, but it is also the first non-Apple tablet available in India with a retina-display.

Unlike the 9702, which had about 1 million pixels on its display, the Q9703 has 3 million, thanks to its 2048 * 1536 pixel display. Despite being a full-sized tablet, the resolution measures 264 pixels per inch (PPI).

Besides the 1.2GHz processor, the 9703 also has an eight core GPU and 2 GB of RAM. Most high-end tablets from Indian brands still come with 2 GB of RAM.

Of course, the iBall Q9703 is not the first quad-core tablet in India. That distinction went to the iBerry Auxus CoreX4. Howeverk, the iBerry model’s display was severely lacking, as it has only about three-quarters of a million pixels on it.

The iBall Q9703 has been priced at Rs 16,000.

What is interesting is that the price is actually lower than what a similarly speced Chinese model costs in India. The quad-core retina-display combination was launched by Chinese manufacturers about three months ago. They have been available in the Indian market over the last two months.

However, despite offering almost no guarantee or warranty, the Chinese models are priced in the Rs 17,000 range.

What must be kept in mind is that though these models are all quad-core, they will not be as powerful as the Samsung quad-core processors as they are based on the ARM Cortex 7 low-power processor. Samsung’s new quad-core processors, such as those inside the Galaxy S4, are based on the more powerful Cortex A15 architecture.

In terms of power, the quad-core processors found inside cheaper tablets, such as the Allwinner A31, are about half as powerful as the Samsung Exynos 5. However, they are about twice as powerful as the dual-core processors that are found in mid-range tablets now.

The Allwinner processor also has the very capable PowerVR SGX544 graphics processor to help deliver the retina experience. iBall has not specified which processor lies under the hood of the Q9703, but it is almost certainly the Allwinner A31.

Other features include built-in storage of 16GB, an auto focus 5 MP real camera, a front camera of 2 MP, and a respectable 8000 mAh battery. The battery should be enough to power the Q9703 for about 4 to 5 hours.

The tablet also has HDMI connectivity, Bluetooth, built in Wi-fi, 3G dongle support and Android Jelly Bean 4.1.