Dubai: Simmtronics’ new tablet — Xpad Mini — looks exactly like Apple’s iPad Mini. The unibody design and looks are inspired by the iPad Mini. Why spend more when you can get for less. It is a budget tablet so it has to have some drawbacks.
The thin bezel and the placement of the front camera are exactly the same as iPad Mini. The device has a premium look. The sleek and stylish device weighs 350 grams.
Simmtronics claims to have designed the tablet for corporate use with its business suite. This tablet is rich in features and technology.
The specs are impressive. The 7.85-inch device with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels is powered by 1GHz ARM Cortex A7 quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system.
The internal storage is small. Out of the 8GB, only around 5GB is available for users. The microSD slot can expand the capacity up to 32GB. Users will be forced to depend on microSD cards if you are an avid user.
The IPS screen is very bright with excellent colours and good viewing angles even though it is not full high definition panel.
The metal rear panel is good to hold and does not feel slippery. The pinch to zoom function worked well and had no issues.
Running web pages are fast with no lag, but issues crop up when more apps are running in the background. The multi-tasking ability slows down and it becomes difficult to open new apps. Closing some of the background apps will be sufficient to make it run faster.
Graphic-rich games like Temple Run 2, Need for Speed 2 and Real Racing 3 played with ease.
I played full HD videos and it handled everything fine. It also has a 4K player and some songs loaded on to it. The videos look bright and colourful but I am not sure of the quality of the 4K player, whether it can convert the content into 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels). I don’t have the software to test the quality. But it is an advantage.
The device supports AVI (H.264, DIVX, DIVX, XVID, rmvb, MKV (H.264, DIVX, DIVX, XVID), WMV, MOV, MP4 (H.264, MPEG, DIVX, XVID), MPEG, MPG, FLV (H.263, H.264) video formats and MP3,WMA, MP2, OGG, AAC, M4A, MA4, FLAC, APE, WAV audio formats.
It supports JPG, JPEG, BMP, PNG picture formats and no support for Raw image format.
The speaker placed at the back of the device is decent at minimum levels and the sound gets distorted at full volume levels.
The real camera is 5MP with no LED and autofocus. The qualities of the photos taken in bright light are decent but nothing worth talking about. The individual pixels can be seen when blown up. Night shot is ruled out as it does not have a LED flash and colours look washed out and grainy.
There are 10 filters for consumers to play around with face detection and panorama. It even has a burst mode to take 10 photos in one shot which is impressive.
Most budget tablet vendors do not focus more on camera specs and usually consumers buying these devices are not bothered by the camera specs. They care more about the features.
The 2MP front camera can only be used for video chatting. Snaps taken by the front camera are grainy. Regarding connectivity, the device has Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, mini USB 2.0, HDMI and support for 3G through external dongle.
The 4000mAh Li-Polymer battery offers around five hours of continuous video playback which is decent and around nine hours of use with screen brightness set to 50 per cent and occasional surfing of internet and emails with Wi-Fi on. Not bad for the price of Dh699.
• Value for money
• Good specs
• Good build quality
• Sleek and stylish
• Decent battery life
• Camera specs
• No Raw image support
• Metal panel gets warm when playing 3D games for a long time
• No FM radio
• Hangs occasionally