Apr 7th, 2012

There are more than a few “cheap” Android tablets available in my country, India, where by and large price is one of the most important factors when it comes to purchasing gadgets. After all, we’re the country of the $35 Aakash tablet, which is revered by quite a lot of people (personally, I’m quite a bit against the Aakash, but that discussion is for another time).

As you would expect, the quality of these tablets is pretty awful, but I believe that the Funbook, a $125 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet released by Micromax, will sell like hotcakes here.

Despite being barely known abroad, Micromax is one of the most exciting mobile manufacturers over here. The reason is that they have gained significant market share over the past two years, and the biggest loser in their blaze of glory is Nokia, who had up till quite recently been ubiquitous with mobile phones in India and other South Asian countries.

Though there were several other cheap handset makes, what set Micromax apart was their build quality. When you buy a Micromax, you aren’t buying something clunky. Yes, the internal hardware is still poor, but that’s expected. And thanks to this, Micromax has built a decent reputation for itself.

For this reason, I’m actually excited to see them enter the tablet realm. At Rs 6499, I won’t be surprised if I see a lot more tablets everywhere I go by the end of the summer. People are excited by tablets here, and they’ve finally gotten one priced low enough and from a brand that isn’t synonymous with junk.

As expected, the hardware isn’t great. There’s a single core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor coupled with a Dual Mali 400 GPU and 512 MB RAM, only 4 GB of on board memory, and a battery life of (up to 5 hours of browsing), but these specs don’t matter here at all. What are their killer features? A 7 inch capacitive touch screen, accelerometer, and, most importantly, a USB port with the capability to host an internet dongle that comes with it (giving the user 3G data capability).

And the personal highlight for me? It’s made in India. I love the sound of that.

[Micromax]

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