iBall’s Octa A41 tablet might just give the firm an edge over growing competition.
Being in the tablet business in the era of compact convergence is a little risky and the stakes are higher if the firm is competing in India. But Best IT World, the company behind the iBall brand just might see it as an opportunity. The Indian device maker wants to hit a home run this season. With the cricket World Cup underway, the firm has been aggressively advertising to catch more eyeballs and establish itself as a trustworthy phone brand in the Indian market as it has always been known for computer peripherals. They seem to have added a new face too to drive it a few miles home.
The Mumbai-headquarted company has been rolling out tablets under the name Slide with different capabilities and the Octa A41 is the latest from the stable which supports premium casual gaming. Let us check if the tablet can take us for a smooth sliding experience.
Design: The Octa A41 looks simple yet elegant. It has rounded edges with a sleek metallic finish at the sides and a little more of that at the back. The power and volume rocker keys are at the right side of the device and the 3.5 mm audio jack is on the top streaked with a silver finish. The backside of the tablet sports the iBall slide logo. The back panel sports the primary camera with flash support while the front panel has the selfie camera. The device is available in two colours—gray and brown. The phone weighs 273 grams.
Performance and gaming: At the core of this device as its name suggests is a ARM Cortex A7 1.7GHz True8core processor. The idea behind the Cortex seems to be the fact that iBall wants its consumer to have a smooth experience when it comes to multitasking. Unlike most tablets, this one has a 2 GB RAM. The gaming aspect completely justifies it and makes it better than most other budget tablets.
Display and sound: With a 323 pixel per inch(ppi) density and a 1920 x 1080 resolution, the Octa A41 manages to provide a clean, sharp and bright images on a 7-inch display. The sound output of the tablet is not bad at all but is not revolutionary either. The headphones that come with the device has some bass which makes music on the go enjoyable. The device also has an integrated FM Radio app.
Camera: This is also one of the strong forte of the device. The 8 MP rear camera with auto focus and LED Flash can take good pictures in all light conditions. The 5 MP front camera for video calling also adds juice. The camera supports different modes like the voice capture, face detection, smile shot, self-timer, HDR and zero-shutter delay which are common but takes the tablet up a notch than a simple gaming one.
Operating system and apps: The Octa A41 runs on Android Kitkat 4.4.2 and has a lot of pre-loaded games and apps. The user gets social media and IM apps along with some good utility apps like EyeWatch and Dr Safety. There is a keyboard setup for Indian languages and a small app that lets the user go and download stuff from the iBall site.
Battery, storage and connectivity: The Octa runs on a 3500mAh Polymer battery which should be enough but in my opinion a little more would have made the tablet a game-changer. On the connectivity front, the device supports Wi-Fi, has a Bluetooth module 4.0 and can support 3G networks.
In the box: The tablet comes with a charging adapter, an USB cable, a USB changer that will allow the user to connect pen drives or hard drives.
Verdict: iBall seems to have come up with the simple strategy of studying the consumer and competition and then coming up with an product which can act like a broadsword—sharp at both the sides. If you like to play in between work and want a device that can call, game or help you be productive, then this is the one for you.
Estimated street price: Rs 14,999