Tried And Tested – November 2012 (Part 2)

12/12/2012 9:07:42 AM

An inexpensive tablet but does it have good performance?

The Ice Xtreme is another budget tablet recently and is priced under Rs 10,000. It is a 7in, leather encased Android table that has a black front with no physical buttons, while plastic shell.

The build quality is nothing to write home about, very plasticky. The bezel has three buttons for on/off/lock toggle along with a volume rocker. A tiny hole next to that mentions ‘reset’ in black. The buttons feels flimsy while in use and there is a little lag between sleep and waking up. The front has a 2 megapixel camera and the device also sports USB 2.0 ports for connecting USB storage or 3G dongles directly. Apart from this, it also has an HDMI port, mini USB, 3.5mm audio out and a micro SD card slot.

ICE Xtreme

Ice Xtreme uses an ARM Cortex A8 processor with Mali 400MGz GPU and 1 GB of RAM. The tablet has 8 GB of internal memory along with an 8GB external card. The screen has a resolution of 800x400 pixels, commonly found in this category. Xtreme features raw Ice cream Sandwich with a little tweak on the home screen.

The overall performance of this tablet is not bad but we found some lag. The quality of images shot by the camera is average, and can only be used for social networking sites. However, the sound quality is better than average through the in-built speakers as well as with third party headphones. The video output is usable but accompanied by a viewing angle problem the colors seem washed out when viewed from an angle of more than 30 degrees! Quite an issue while playing games.

The battery lasted for nine and a half hours with mixed usage. In the stress test mode, it decreased to less than eight hours.

Overall, the Xtreme is not a bad tablet. Though not being the best in its genre, it’s not the worst either. A slightly better display and improved build quality would have helped to make a better impression.

We say: Average build quality, ok performance

Overall: 6/10

Olympus SH-25MR

A compact camera which shoot great video

The Olympus SH-25 MR is a compact digital camera targeted towards amateur photographers who want it all in a single camera. Full HD (1080) video recording, 16 megapixel censor, 12.5x optical zoom, 3 in touchscreen display with added GPS functionality. It’s all your at Rs 21,000.

Olympus SH-25MR

Weighing 208gm and measuring 11x6x3cm, the 25MR is quite compact and easily fits in your pocket. It has a textured black body, the back is largely occupied by the touchscreen and other buttons for recording video, playback, menu etc, and a dial mode on the top right, with the shoot button and zoom dial included iAuto, programme, scene, beauty, magic, panorama, multi-record and photo features. Apart from the touchscreen (which is a bit sluggish at times), the overall controls are easy and fast. The screen resolution is decent as well, with a touch to focus, saturation, brightness and color temperature control.

The scene mode has an array of 17 modes and deserve a mention. All the modes are well demonstrated with picture and illustration - huge while choosing the right mode. The 12x optical zoom covers an impressive focal range of 24-300mm and the outdoor images are vibrant and crisp. The camera has an ISO range from 80 to 6400. We found that images upto 800 are usable with a slight noise creeping in. Images above 1600 have ample visible noise though.

The video performance, perhaps, is the best feature of this camera. We shot several videos in varied lighting conditions and more often than not, the results were rich, detailed and with less motion blur. Also you can click still images while recording a video as well!

The Olympus SH-25MR is a compact camera with tons of features. The price pretty much validates the features offered.

We say: Several preset modes, decent image, quality, good price

Overall: 8/10

Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0 64GB

Stylist USB3 with lots of features

The market for storage devices is an ever-expanding one. Though external 2.5in hard drives are cheaper options as they offer more storage at a lesser cost, their portability is an issue due to their portability is an issue due to their physical size. And that’s why some users prefer using a flash drive as opposed to a hard drive.

Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0 64GB

Featuring a slim and sturdy body, the Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0 is elegant yet rugged, with a matte black finish and a glossy slider. It measures 0.45 x 0.8 x 2.57 in and weighs half an ounce, so it can easily slip into your pocket or can be attached with a keyring.

The 64GB drive actually offers a storage apace of 59.5GB which comes pre-formatted in FAT 32 mode. The manufacturer also offers an additional cloud storage of 2GB along with this drive. Apart from these, it comes bundled with a copy of Sandisk Secure Access, which offers password protection using AES 128 bit encryption and Seccure partition facility. The bundled version is Windows only though a Mac user can download the same from the Sandisk website. It also offers a package Club Sandisk which bundles McAfee 60 day trial, RoboForm Password Manager and a trial of GoToMyPC.

Though the manufacture claims a speed of 170Mps and 190MBps while writing and reading respectively, we got a speed of 113MBps while writing and 109MBps while reading using a USB3 port. While using a 2.0 port, it achieved a speed of 30MBps and 32MBps for writing and reading, which is far ahead of others. The only competition in speed is the Kingston DataTraveler drives.

With impressive overall performance and neat design, we wish Sandisk reconsiders the pricing, so that the product can be labelled unbeatable in every way!

We say: Good looks, great transfer speed

Overall: 6/10

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