Cheap tablet aims to pull disconnected Filipinos online

By: Charles E. Buban, April 16th, 2012 12:28 AM

Intex Envy Android Tablet PHOTO FROM YUGATECH.COM

MANILA, Philippines—Tablet computers may be all the rage these days, but let’s face it, not everyone can afford a P19,000 iPad 2 or any of the equally pricey Android-powered devices.

But one company based in New Delhi, India, is on the mission to make tablets a mass product, introducing the 7-inch device that would, more or less, get the rest of us take advantage of the tablet revolution.

The Envy from Intex Technologies is just the latest in a series of “world’s cheapest” innovations coming from India that include Tata Motors’ P130,000 Nano micro-car and, of course, the low-priced generic versions of world-famous brand name medications.

While the Envy may be nowhere near the speed, performance or battery life of its more popular counterparts, its price tag of P6,995 is certainly appealing.

Froyo operating system

The Envy is a fairly capable device. Running on Google’s Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system, the tablet is powered by a 1GHz AMLogic 8726M, single core Cortex A9, processor and will work as long as there’s an available Wi-Fi connection.

It could accept a variety of data thanks to a mini-USB 2.0 port. While the Envy’s 8GB internal memory may be inadequate, storage could be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD card.

The Envy is also equipped with a micro-HDMI port, which is a welcome addition as this enables the user to play up to 1,080P full HD videos to an external display. Also present is a 3.5 mm audio jack for connecting headphones and external speakers. The device also comes with a built-in microphone.

Stylus equipped

While holding this three quarters of a kilo tablet, this writer noticed how it takes a while for the resistive screen to respond to finger gestures. This is no longer surprising considering this tablet comes with a stylus.

Using the Envy is much like using any Android device. Most of the navigation controls are touch-based and are located on top of the 800×480-pixel screen.

The glossy case is made of very sturdy plastic (brushed metal adorns the edges of the screen) and can take a beating.

While connected to Wi-Fi, the Envy’s lithium-ion (3750mAh) battery lasted a little less than the advertised four-hour life. Indeed, the Envy may not be the most impressive tablet in its category but for the really budget-conscious this device is more than enough to help pull thousands of the country’s disconnected citizens online.

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