iBall’s latest slate, the Brace X1, offers an experience that is closer to a laptop than a smartphone
iBall has made huge strides when it comes to the tablet segment in India and the latest IDC report can prove that. With major launches all over the financial year, iBall seems more determined than ever before to conquer the tablet market segment. The company’s new Brace X1, released over one and a half month ago, is aimed at proving iBall’s dexterity in the segment. It also shows that the brand is ready to fight tooth and nail to survive the churn going on in the market currently. We got our hands on the X1, so let us take a peek under the hood.
Design: The Brace X1 is huge as it is a 10.1 inch size tablet. Curiously, the design seems to be very close to the Lenovo Yoga 2 tablet range that came with a kickstand. The tablet has a silver-line finish at the sides and a matte chrome finish at the rear end. The stand panel opens to two SIM slots and a microSD slot. This is a problem as using the stand kills the show of the tablet and also bares the SIM and the MicroSD slot panel though the SIM and MicroSD won’t fall off. The rear camera is at the back side of the cylindrical panel at the bottom. The panel has speakers on both ends. On the top side of the screen is the front camera. While the power and volume rocker keys are at the top left side of the front camera on the edge of the device, the USB, DC input for charging and the 3.5mm audio jack slot is at the bottom. The tablet is a little heavy due to its size.
Display and sound, camera: The display of this device is brilliant. iBall has also included a video wallpaper setting that will excite a lot of users as they can set it as an wallpaper. Ideally, the video wallpaper can be only 0.30 seconds. The tablet comes with a capacitive multitouch 26.65 cm (10.1 inch) display with an IPS screen panel which offers an HD screen resolution of 1280 x 800. The HD resolution also makes for a very good video or gaming experience.
Coming to the sound of the device, the Brace X1 is loud and the audio is clear but several bass effects can go missing. The audio output via headphones is good. Like most other tablets, the device supports all popular sound formats. The cameras in the tablet are pretty good when it comes to their physical specifications. The rear camera is 13 MP which is good for a tablet as there is no LED flash available with it. The rear camera works like magic in good light conditions and is a little better off than most devices when it is called to action in dark conditions. The front camera is 5 MP and is good enough for selfies or chats but image stabilisation for the camera could have been better. There is also gesture control for taking pictures and also a beauty face mode for selfies. The exposure can also be controlled giving the user a varied manual experience. The camera has also different modes like zero shutter delay, live shot, panorama and HD recording.
Performance: Coming to the heart of the Brace X1 will excite consumers a little as it is been touted by iBall to be a performance tablet. A true octa core ARM 7 Cortex processor that churns upto 1.7 GHz combined with a 2 GB DDR3 RAM will allow the user to enjoy a seamless experience with no lags.
On the OS front, there is no change in the apps front or the operating system. Like most iBall devices, the Brace X1 runs on Kitkat out of the box; word on the update is not confirmed. The slew of apps that comes with any iBall tablet hasn’t changed and the device offers Dr Safety and keyboard apps along with Khamal Dhamal marketplace.
Battery, storage and connectivity: This titan of a device comes with a titanic-size battery of 7,800 mAH. The in-built storage for the device is 16 GB but only 8 GB is usable. The expandable storage memory is 32 GB. On the connectivity front, the device supports 3G and 2G band networks.
A Wi-Fi and a Bluetooth module V4 is also available. Interestingly, an USB OTG function is available for printing and a cast screen option is also available via a microUSB port.
Verdict: This toy is definitely for the big boys and for executive class people who like to do things on the go but amazingly the tablet can double up to be an entertainment one due to its good specifications and a very cheap price proposition which could help iBall increase the customer portfolio for the device. Hence, a good buy, if one likes his tech pill dosage big.
Estimated street price: Rs 17,999