iBall Slide i701 – The cheapest tablet, laptop, computer, media center…

At ₹5,000, this is the cheapest full Windows tablet in the world. There’s simply no reason to not get it. You can use it as a…

  1. Tablet, of course: With plenty of modern/metro Windows apps and even Office readying a modern version, you can actually use this as a productive tablet for work or home or whatever use!
  2. Laptop: Stick it into one of those keyboard cases and you have a fully functional laptop with the full desktop version of Windows!
  3. Computer: Get a basic 15″ or 19″ LCD monitor, connect it via HDMI, add a keyboard mouse and you have a full desktop computer to do some actually serious work on! You can get a full working computer along with this in just a little over ₹10,000.
  4. Media center: Install Kodi (XBMC) or Plex and connect it to your TV via HDMI for a proper media center experience! You can connect a hard drive via the USB OTG cable or you can stream media off your network. Your TV remote control should also work, but I’ll have to actually try this out to confirm if HDMI-CEC is supported. You’ll need to get a mini wireless keyboard to control it from the couch.
  5. Torrent box: Install Transmission-Qt for Windows and you have an always-on torrent box, which you can remotely manage via the web or remote GUI apps. You can also use uTorrent or any other app that supports web and/or remote management.

However, there are a few reasons why you might want to think twice before hitting that buy button:

  1. Low internal memory: With only 16GB of internal storage, the usable C drive is even smaller (about 10GB) and, with Windows and Office installed, you’ll only have around 5GB free out of the box 3GB free to actually work with. Only a couple of apps will fit on this. Yeah, there’s a memory card on which you can install apps and store stuff, but 3GB is still very low for Windows to operate properly in the longer term. Here’s hoping Windows 10 trims the installed footprint.
  2. Not an HD display: The screen has a first-gen netbook-like 1024×600 display resolution, so most complex apps, such as development IDEs or video editing tools, will not run, but that isn’t the intended use for this thing anyway. And it’s not like you’ll actually be able to install Visual Studio or Adobe Premiere Pro with less than 5GB of space and only 1GB of RAM. You can connect it to a bigger display to get a higher resolution. Update: The display comes set to 1280×768, so most apps might work.
  3. Kareena Kapoor’s signature on the back: Instead of a nice Windows logo, you get a dirty signature on the rear of the tablet. What halkatgiri is this. Get a Windows sticker and cover it up.

I’ll get mine in a few days and I’ll see if anything I’ve written here changes. But I don’t think it’ll change my verdict: it’s so cheap, just go ahead and buy it!

Update: I got it. It’s 85% of everything I said above. The disk space is the main problem, but everything else is fucking great!

Update 2: HDMI-CEC is not supported, so a wireless keyboard/mouse is required to use this as a media center.

Update 3: Out of the box, the display resolution was set to 1280×768, which is wrong. The native resolution is 1024×600, so everything looked blurry. It wouldn’t let me change the resolution to anything else, so I had to use Display Changer to manually set it to 1024×600. The downside to 1024×600 is that most apps and dialogs will not fit. The downside to leaving it at 1280×768 is that it’ll be a little fuzzy looking and touch targets will be even harder.

Update 4: A stylus doesn’t seem to work with the display. I tried the my Surface Pro pen, which didn’t work. Maybe a regular one might work?

Update 5: There’s only one USB port on the tablet, which is used for charging as well as data. This isn’t a problem for normal use, but if you intend to connect a USB hub to add a keyboard, mouse and hard drive, then you can’t charge the battery. Not unless you bring out the screwdrivers and solders, at least.

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4 thoughts on “iBall Slide i701 – The cheapest tablet, laptop, computer, media center…

  1. Reblogged this on REKTRONIX and commented:
    Where do i go to find and purchase it.

    Like

    1. It should be available at most places. Flipkart, Amazon and eBay have it listed.

      Like

  2. Hi,
    What is the maximum resolution the device supports over HDMI? Can it output full HD (1080p)?
    I was thinking of getting this just to run on my full HD TV with a keyboard mouse combo and a USB hub. Any comments on your experience with such a use case?

    Like

    1. Yep, it goes all the way up to 1080p. I haven’t got a higher resolution display, so I haven’t tested that, but I suspect it could go higher.

      It’s great to use as a media centre as I’ve explained, but the only problem is that there’s only one USB port, so you can’t charge it and use it for OTG at the same time. I’ll update the post accordingly.

      Like

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