It looks like Windows Phone is about to enter a whole new era in India with the launch of the iBall Slide i701 seven-inch tablet.
While the tablet, which offers a 7-inch, HD IPS display and a quad-core Atom processor, may not be the best device in the market, it’s certainly unbelievably low-priced at just Rs 4,999.
The tablet’s RAM is 1 GB and internal memory is 16 GB – again decent for a low-priced device.
The only major disappointment is the absence of inbuilt SIM slot or calling ability.
As a pure indoors tablet, the iBall Slide i701 is arguably the most value-for-money tablet available in India. In contrast, Microsoft’s Lumia range of smartphones do not exactly play in the value-for-money category.
While it is not clear which is the Atom processor inside this one, we are guessing that it’s a Bay Trail unit since it’s a quad-core one. And if it’s Bay Trail (like in case of Zenfone 2), then we are looking at seriously powerful tablet at a throwaway price.
If the tablet contains the Atom Z3735D processor, as we suspect it does, then we’re looking at performance comparable to last year’s flagship processors such as the Snapdragon 801.
The 64-bit Atom Z3735D scores about 28,000 on Antutu Benchmarks and around 790 in the single-core Geekbench 3 test. Usually, tablets having this much power would cost about Rs 9,000 or more.
iBall Slide i701 shall be available across leading retail stores and leading e-commerce portals from 21st May, 2015.
Part of the reason why the tablet is being priced so low may be the desperation of two of its key component makers for market share. While Intel is desperate to increase its market share in mobile devices, so is Windows Phone maker Microsoft.
Intel has been posting losses in its mobile processor business on account of its promotions and discounts to tablet makers as it attempts to retain market share against ARM-based competitors like MediaTek.
The following excerpts from the company’s statement reveals more details about the product.
“Sleek and lightweight, yet incredibly powerful with standout entertainment, smart productivity features, and also combined with multiple freebies for the user, iBall Slide i701 delivers all the portable terrific performance you need…
iBall Slide i701 comes with an array of upgrades for enhancements, which incorporates Windows 8.1 (freely upgradeable to Windows 10 when launched) and also several ‘free licenses’, including a 1 year MS Office subscription, 1TB of free OneDrive cloud storage and access to all the popular apps on the Windows Store.”
iBall Slide i701 also features a 2MP rear camera with flash, and a VGA front. It has a 3200mAh battery, which should enable a run-time of around 6 hours. It also comes with HDMI support as well as Bluetooth.
Among the free accessories are an HDMI cable and vibrant protective covers worth Rs 599.
“It’s the World’s most economical Windows Tablet ever with price tag of Rs 4,999/- only. We are sure every customer will be delighted with this offering!” said Sandeep Parasrampuria, Director iBall.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajiv Ahlawat, Devices Lead, Microsoft India said, “We are literally re-imagining the personal computing segment and expect that consumer will find value in this product.”
“We would like to congratulate iBall on the launch of its latest Intel® Processor powered tablet. This tablet will offer consumers the optimal balance of performance, mobility and battery life along with a great value for money proposition” said Amit Gupta, Director Business Development, Intel South Asia.