Ubislate 7+, Hands on Experience: Aakash
29 MAY 2012, Delhi, India
After a wait of five months and sending the payment in advance, I got my Ubislate 7+ tablet yesterday. This wait was not easy as I was writing an email every 2 weeks following up for my order which was due in March and the customer support is pretty slow which usually responds in 10-15 days.
It came by Bluedart courier yesterday evening and there was mess up with the information on the shipments. My colleague's order had my name but his contact number. So we could identify that it was his order.
Anyway, we opened a neat looking box and it included the following:
3. Battery preinstalled in the tablet
4. User manual (not very user friendly)
5. warranty certificate
6. A small how to card
The tablet is made out of plastic material and doesn't really feels nice. We shouldn't complain coz we have got what we have paid for. Anyway the screen is glossy and leaves touch marks when used. The back is matt black which also gets dirty easily.
Turning it on
On the side of the tablet is one small glossy button along with the charging port, press and hold this button to power on the tablet. If you press the button and screen shows a red light and goes off, do not worry. This shows that the battery is extremely low.
BACK SIDE - says "Made in India", not chinese
The tablet supports the mobile phone functionality however, you can't make/take a call without a headset because there is no microphone on the tablet. Moreover, the speaker quality of the tablet didn't impress me much. It's quite inferior, i'm sure that could have been made better.
SIM CARD SLOT
I had to try a lot of times before the tablet recognized the sim card, please note carefully the correct way of inserting sim card in the slot. Be careful with the plastic hinge for sim slot, it's very weak and if not handled carefully it might break
HOW TO INSERT SIM CARD (READ CAUTION ABOVE)
The tablet has 1 full size USB port instead of 2 as promised in the specificaitons. The benefit of this is you can plug and play any of your pen drives upto 32GB capacity. I tried hard on all the 3 tablets which I have got but was unsuccessful in inserting the microsd card, which is quite annyoin for the fact that the only option you have got now is a pen drive which always sticks out.
1 USB PORT AND SD CARD SLOT (One USB port has been closed, default)
The tablet has Android 2.2.2 instead of 2.3 (Gingerbread) mentioned in the specifications and the there is only one hardware (home) button on the tablet which is of poor quality. The back and settings option can be accessed on the right hand top of the screen which are quite responsive for a resistive touch screen.
CAMERA ERROR (because there is no camera on board)
I have had difficulties while registering the touch which is resistive. The problem may be that we are so used to using capacitive touch screen, going back to resistive makes us uncomfortable.
The biggest lack is that the tablet doesn't comes with preinstalled android app market / Google play. This leaves me no option but to install applications from a pen drive.
The android browser worked fine and I was able to watch youtube videos as well.
The battery works for around 2.5hours when fully charged.
I shall update more information and usage details here.
Till then keep hoping that you get your's soon.
DAY 2, 30 May 2012
One tablet out of three goes down :(
My colleague brought his tablet to me which was acting weirdly. Surprisingly it is showing mirror image on the display and is only working when the charger is plugged in. The display seems to be gone bad. I did some research and found that the only way to fix this is by a hard reset. Unfortunately, volume rocker (buttons) are required to do this exercise. As the tablet doesn't have hardware buttons for the volume, we may have to send it back to the technical support. One
On the other working tablet, I configured the APN settings for MTNL Prepaid sim Delhi. The good news here is that this device is not network locked for Aircel.
Then I went into the network selection menu and selected the "MTNL 3G" network and created an APN with the following settings:
Authentication type: PAP
APN type: default
(All other values empty or automatic)
UBISURFER ONLY WORKS ON GPRS and not on WIFI. Don't ask me why??
When we opened the Ubisurfer after installing GPRS settings for MTNL, it took us to the following registering steps and we did it easily.
REGISTERING UBISURFER - STEP BY STEP
We opened www.yahoo.co.in and it showed distorted colours for some gif images. This could be due to poor screen resolution or lack of hardware support.
Browsing experience on Ubisurfer was acceptable as there was no lag.
The keyboard is responsive, it only takes a bit of time before it can accept another keystroke (keypress) response from the user.
The tablet gets heated up even after a short use and may be uncomfortable if kept on your lap.
We even tried to figure out the information and did some tests on the tablets.
Go to Dialler and *#*#4636#*#*
By the way, after using facebook from the Ubisurfer, facebook on the computer shows that the account was accessed from somewhere in Quebec canada. It seems like Ubisurfer works by compressing data through its server which is located in canada. A similar technology is used by Opera for its mobile browser application Opera mini to cut down on data cost and rendering is fast.
01:58 PM, 29 May 2012
THE PHONE CONVERSATION WITH TECH SUPPORT
Looking at the disappointment of my colleague, I decided to call up the Technical support for live help. The lady on the phone was confused when I told her about the peculiar problem of mirror image display on my tablet. She brought another guy, Simranpal Singh on the phone who satisfied me with his responses.:
Ques: My tablets are Froyo (2.2) not Gingerbread (2.3), as promised.
Ans: All tablets are currently shipped with Froyo and soon we shall give you an update for the software.
Ques: I can't use Micro SD card in my tablet
Ans: The Micro SD card won't go in fully. It will remain outside and should work. Please try again.
Ques: My tablet is acting funny and is displaying a mirror image instead.
Ans: This is a new problem and we have not come across it so far. However, we will deal with it, please provide details of the tablet and your contact information for us to get back to you with a resolution of this problem. We may have to reconfigure your device and I shall let you about it soon.
Ques: I can't make or receive call on the tablet as their is no microphone.
Ans: Yes sir, you can't make or receive a call without a headset. Please use a 3.5" headphone with mic compatible with samsung tablets or iphones. Avoid using nokia headsets, they are a bit complicated.
He gave me his email address and I am sending him images of the tablet that I took. Let's see what happens next.
01 June 2012, 11:00 am
I called up to check about the status of my complaint for the tablet. I was informed that they have forwarded my complaint to the technical team and are awaiting response to it. Mr Simranpal Singh will be available after 2pm and I call back to check the exact status with him.
The video of the faulty tablet working along with mine.
We tried using a Nokia heaset (3.5mm) with built in microphone to make a call using the tablet. Unfortunately despite of various attempts and adjusting the pin and jack we were not successful to send the voice from the tablet. After failed attempt, I tried a phone call on the other tablet but that also didn't go through. Either the headset is incompatible or the tablets have some limitation. Will check back again using another headset and update it here.
I have installed get jar to download android apps on the tablet. I did try some other Android application stores but none of them were as convincing as Google Play Store.
Tubemate, Dolphin Player and other players are working fine. I was able to download youtube videos using the trusted and stable Tubemate software which I have used on my previous Android smartphone. The only problem with these players is that once you play a video you can't go back..... reason is there is no hardware button on the tablet and the videos are played in full screen mode by default. So to close the video, you have to press home button on the tablet, Go to App killer (came preinstalled) and kill the video player app. I don't like it but don't have a choice either.
I have installed Angry birds and was able to play it with some lag due to delayed video processing. However, for kids it will work. You can't play a lot of fun games because you don't have accelerometer on the device. But still, you have choice of installing games out of the a few hundreds available on different app stores.
I was able to install and use all office documents and pdf using Office Suite professional which is on trial for 30 days. As I was not interested in paying and was only interested in using pdf's, I installted Adoble Reader which is totally free and very user friendly app. I am using this app on my Lumia and really like it the way it works.
01:30 pm (RESOLUTION FOR THE PROBLEM)
I got a call from Datawind informing me about a reference number for my complaint about the colleague's tablet. I have been requested to visit their service centre to get the tablet fixed or replaced (as the case maybe) upon providing the reference number.
Technical Division in Delhi:
Datawind Innovation Private Limited,
514, DLF Tower B, Jasola District Centre,
New Delhi - 110025
I will visit the service centre tomorrow and shall raise the following problems:
1. One USB port instead of two.
2. Micro SD card not recognized
3. Using the mobile phone feature.
4. Upgrading to Android Gingerbread (2.3)
Will update here upon return... Keep reading and posting your comments/suggestions.
02 June 2012, 4:30 pm
Visit to the Technical Division
The location of the technical Division (which I thought was the service centre) was in a posh DLF building in Jasola Vihar which is professionally managed. After going through the security check on the ground floor, I was allowed to enter. The technical unit is on the fifth floor and not every lift stops here.
Upon reaching the floor, I noticed that not many offices were occupied here and as I located Datawind on the floor, the office seemed well equipped in terms of security at the entry. As there was no bell, I had to knock on the glass door to grab someone's attention to open the door for us.
Anyway, I was allowed in by a young lady who greeted us well and enquired the purpose of our visit. Upon informing her about the problems of the tablet, she requested us to wait until we are attended by a technician.
After a few minutes, Mr Gurpreet Singh came to help us and enquired about the problems I was facing with the tablet. When I told him about the inverse reverse display, he was eager to see how it looked because even he had not seem such a fault. Upon carefully examining the display and the tablet, he told that it would be replaced. He took a copy of the invoice and assured me of a replacement soon. I was assured that the replacement shall be send to me by courier.
The conversation brief we had:
Ques: A lot of people are eagerly awaiting for the tablets and there's a lot hue and cry about it?
Ans: Sir, we know about it. This was due to some delays during approval and a truly unexpected number of orders we received from our Indian customers.
Ques: Although you can justify the delay, how would you justify the lapses in your customer care helpline and the inefficient email responses?
Ans: Sir, we are aware of the situation and we are constantly working to improve our customer handling team.
Ques: I was connected to your call centre but nobody spoke from the other side, although I could hear female noises from the other side.
Ans: Sir, we are constantly working to improve and hope that we shall be able to cater to all our customers.
Ques: Why is such a delay and how much time do you think these deliveries are going to take?
Ans: Sir, We have received Millions of order and we are currently dispatching tablets to our customers who have made payments. It is our obligation to servce those who have already paid us the full amount for the tablet.
Ques: I have heard that you are bringing a new version of the tablet with capacitive touchscreen.
Ans: Indeed, the tablet has the same specifications as Ubislate 7+ but comes with a better touchscreen. This tablet is expected to be priced at INR4,000. (USD 77).
UPCOMING UBISLATE 7+ with CAPACITIVE TOUCHSCREEN - INR 4,000
Ques: I was expecting my tablet would come with Android Gingerbread (2.3) and it was shipped with Froyo (2.2)?
Ans: Original plans were to ship these tablets with Android ver 2.3, however, due to some technical glitches during it's testing we found it unstable. As we were running behind on the deliveries, we shipped the tablets with Android ver 2.2. We will soon bring the update to all the tablets enabling them to upgrade to Android ver 2.3.
Ques: I can't make calls even with a headset.
Ans: Sir, only samsung and iphone headsets will work with this tablet. Nokia headesets are not compatible with this tablet (I actually tried Nokia headset only)
Ques: Why one USB port?
Ans: We couldn't make the other port work so we removed it and this tablet will be shipped with one USB port only.
Ques: Micro SD card is not recognized by the tablet?
Ans: Sir, It will work and I will show you how (I forgot to learn :( before leaving how to do this)
Ques: My tablet doesn't offer any builtin applications to open word, excel, ppt & pdf files.
Ans: Sir, I think your tablet belongs to the first lot shipped out as we have installed many applications since the initial production of these tablets.
Ques: Why didn't you put Google play?
Ans: Sir, Google charges approx USD 10 per device for installing Google marketplace / Goolgle Play Store. This would ultimately lead to increase in the cost of the tablet. However, we are currently collaborating with various other companies who are offering android application stores. This would benefit our customers while locating applications.
Ques: Can I use 3G device on the tablet?
Ans: No, currently no 3G USB dongle is currently compatible with this tablet. We are working on our own 3G USB dongle which may be released within a couple of months.
Ques: What about the keyboard and case for the tablets?
Ans: Sir, We are working on it and it will be available soon. You may get keyboard or case from Nehru Place market, they have them already. They are expensive as compared to what we are going to bring for our customers.
Ques: My display has got so many scratches within a few days?
Ans: We advise you to get a scratchguard to protect your display.
Ques: I can't read the product number of the tablet, pasted on the back of my tablet.
Ans: Sir, you can see the product number by opening Ubisurfer. IMEI number can be found by pressing *#06# on the phone. We are aware of the problem of the stickers used initially and we have already improved the quality of stickers for our new products. (He showed me a device and it was good)
Ques: I am writing a blog on my website www.thesharma.com and on http://www.aakashtablets.in/forum/ViewForum.aspx?ForumId=1122 . These are being followed by thousands of your customers and all are very eager to know about the deliveries?
Ans: Sir, I would like to thank you for taking the initiative to reach out to our customers and I assure that very soon our customer care team will be equipped to efficiently handle all the customers.
05 June 2012
I have received an email that the replacement tablet will reach you shortly.
08 June 2012
For all those who are wililng to download applications on the tablet may try the following free app stores. These are alternates to the Google Play Store:
5. Soc.io Mall
14 June 2012
I have not received my tab replacement till today, so decided to call Mr Gurpreet Singh. He was surprised to know that I haven't got my replacement tab yet. He said that he will check with his Amritsar office and update me the status. I got a call from him in the evening informing that there was some delay in the shipment and it will be dispatched tomorrow. Once he gets the shipment docket number, he'll give it to me.
I believe that I have developed a good amount of patience while purchasing this tablet, so delay of a week is not considerable now (just being optimistic and trying to keep myself happy). I am hoping that I get a better version of the tablet this time with upgraded applications. Keeping my fingers crossed. Will keep you posted.
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