Most tablets that have launched in India so far are either 7-inch tablets or 10-inch options, with the only exception being Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, which has 8.9-inch screen. BSNL's Penta T-Pad WS802C is a bit different in this regards as it sports an 8-inch screen. Also, this tablet comes at a very interesting price point. Priced at Rs. 14,699 Penta T-Pad is placed exactly in between the entry level tablets and high-end tablets. So let's explore whether this tablet is a good buying option or yet another also-ran?
BSNL's Penta T-Pad is an ivory white tablet 8-inch tablet, which looks an interesting tablet on first glance. However, the moment you hold the tablet in your hands, the first thing that one notices is its weight! It is on heavier side, which means that you cannot hold it in your hands for longer durations.
The front of the tablet consists of four physical buttons and a camera to the right of the display (while holding the tablet in landscape mode, which is the preferred mode, based on the markings on the button). There is a mic on the right panel along with the microSD card slot, HDMI, USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack, reset button and charging port. The USB port can be used to connect an external hard drive or mouse/keyboard to the tablet.
The volume rocker and the power button are placed on the top panel and the SIM slot is on the bottom panel. The top buttons are quite small and unless you have slender fingers, you may have to struggle a bit with these. Overall, this tablet looks decent without being great. The build quality seems sturdy. As mentioned earlier, the way keys are placed it seems more apt for using in the landscape mode than a portrait mode.
Most of the other tablets in the same price are 7-inchers and the extra one-inch was quite handy while watching movies/videos and even surfing the net. The Penta T-Pad comes with a display of resolution 800x552 pixels and one of the brightest screens amongst budget tablets, as long as you stay indoors. The viewing angels are average and so is the under-sun visibility. We found e-books reading on the tablet to be an enjoyable experience. On the downside, the screen is a fingerprint magnet.
BSNL's Penta T-Pad comes loaded with Android Ice Cream Sandwich (version 4.0.3) and the tablet is quite responsive and smooth. In the budget tablet category, this tablet is able to provide best Android experience that we have had so far.
The tablet comes pre-loaded with some interesting apps such as ES File Explorer and Task Manager, Facebook, LinkedIn, FreeNote, Photo editor, Yahoo messenger, Skype, Movie Studio, Polaris Office, Radee PDF Reader, UTPlayer, VidTrim and MobiVision. These apps are handy for users who would want productivity and entertainment from their tablet.
Penta T-Pad comes with a 2MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front facing one. On the face value, we were not expecting the camera too be anything to rave about but this was the surprise element of this tablet. The image quality of both the camera was good. Even for pictures clicked in low light, the image quality was decent. However, on the downside the rear camera does not have auto-focus.
As this tablet comes with Skype pre-installed, one can use the front camera for video calls. The image quality on the video calls was decent.
Performance/ Battery Life
The moment you switch on the tablet, you are greeted by jarring opening sound, which is really irritating and there was no option to turn it off as well.
Powered by a 1GHz processor, this tablet feels quite smooth in terms of performance. We did not encounter any crashes while working on this tablet and multitasking was comfortable - perhaps the first budget tablet we can make these statements about
Penta T-Pad comes with a native Android browser and Opera Mini browser. The browsing experience on both was breezy but the Android browser had a slight edge in terms of performance
This tablet scores high on the entertainment as the quality of audio and video played is good. However, the earplugs that come with the tablet can be uncomfortable if used for a longer duration at a stretch.
One can make voice calls with the help of this tablet too but it is locked only to BSNL and as the SIM that was provided by the company did not work, we could not test the voice calling feature or the 3G connectivity.
BSNL Penta T-Pad WS802C comes with a 3000mAh battery but we had a disappointing experience. Our unit struggled to hold charge for any considerable duration of time. However, based on reports across the web, the problem could be limited to just our unit, and users can expect around 6 hours of backup with normal usage.
There are plenty of affordable tablets that are currently available in the market but most of them are unable to provide a good experience but BSNL's Penta T-Pad is an exception in this regards. The only major disappointment for this tablet is its weight. Other than that, it is good value purchase especially for the early adopters in the tablet category!
Price: Rs. 14,699
Battery Life: 3
Value for Money: 3.5