IBall Slide i701 Review – The Ultra Affordable Ultra Portable Personal Computer

Iball slide i701 review
I never thought i would buy an IBall device, ever. But then came this. And i just couldn’t resist. It was only 5,000 Rupees and as you all know (and if you didn’t, now you will) that i am a sucker for cheap yet valuable things. And this just screams value from top of the highest peak there is in the world. This ‘value for money’ comes at a price though. It comes at the expenses of compromise of good hardware components.

Build Quality

This tablet is around 10mm thick and quite light in weight. It’s completely made of plastic front and back. Its back is of matte finish which gets scratched very easily and sometimes it behaves like ‘dust magnet’. Materials used, feels very cheap in hand and doesn’t look even slightly reliable. But it all comes down to you get what you pay for. You pay for a cheap tablet. You get one. It doesn’t have any sort of touch capacitive button or notification LED in the front.

Display

Another one and maybe the most affected one ‘victim’ of ‘compromise’ in this tablet is its screen. It comes with a 7 inches TFT LCD display with resolution of 1024 X 600 pixels. Which is not exactly HD but it’s close enough, it’s also one of those old type displays that had a little gap between the actual LCD and the upper glass/plastic screen. It’s not one of those zero gap displays and that ‘gap’ affects its touch response too. It could be inaccurate sometimes.

Its viewing angles and colour quality are also extremely bad. Most of the time to tell what’s going on, on the screen you’d have to be perfectly in front of it. Or else all you’ll see is either completely blacked out negative like screen or washed out completely white washed display. Depends on what angle you looking at. All in all it’s a very bad display.

Camera

It’s better if i don’t even write about the front and back camera of this tablet, they are that bad. It’s not they are completely unusable though. They work/function just fine. You can use them for video chat if you want, since the front camera isn’t HD it will use even less data than you usual laptop’s webcam. You can see its almost pathetic quality in the review video below. Who uses tablet’s camera for photography anyway.

Just don’t try to take photo from its back or front camera, if you do, you’d be facing a pixelated horror that shouldn’t even exist in this day and age. But then again you can’t have everything at such bargain price. I know i can’t really stop you from using its camera to take photos anyway. So, if you want to. Go ahead. Do whatever you want. Something is better than nothing right? Just when you do, please don’t say i didn’t warn you about quality though.

Multimedia

This tablet comes with full Windows OS so stuff like video format isn’t a problem for this tablet, it can play almost anything and even if it don’t. You could most probably find a codec for it. You can also play a 4K resolution video on this tablet. You can see that in the video below.

Its speaker isn’t that loud but to make up for that, it’s plenty loud in earphones. So you could always use them instead of the speakers. And the quality is pretty decent too in earphones/headphones.

OS/Storage/RAM

Now comes the best part of this tablet. Its OS. IBall Slide i701 comes with fully licensed Windows 8.1 out of the box. IBall even promised Windows 10 update sometime in the future. Windows is a workhorse kind of OS. It’s not just pretty icons,widgets and an OS for media consumption. No. Its the kind of OS with which you can get your work done. Unless you only use Linux or Mac.

Although for 5,000 Rupees you can’t ask for more, but more RAM would’ve been nice. 1GB is really isn’t enough for a tablet with full Windows 8.1 it’s not like it will start to stutter immediately but if you are used to multitask or opening a lot of windows on your desktop or laptop simultaneously then i would advise to to keep the number of those windows or ‘software’ in check. ‘Cause if you try that on this tablet there’s every possible chance that one of those windows might stop responding. Or the whole OS might freeze because of RAM constraints. So don’t put that much load on this small little tablet that it choke and crash. As long as you will keep the amount of Windows in check it will run just fine.

This tablet comes with 16GB built memory out of which you will get around 5GB free which you can further expand up-to 64GB via micro SD card. Apart from games and apps from Windows Store, you can install almost any available app/game/software for Windows on the micro SD card. It also supports USB OTG but you can’t connect hard-disks with it that doesn’t have its own power supply. If you want more storage there are 128GB micro SD cards available in the market but they cost more than the tablet itself. Your choice.

Performance

At first i thought this tablet and Notion Ink Cain 8 has the exact same Intel Atom processor. And for the most part i was right, they are both Intel Atom Z3735 quad-core processor. But there’s a slight difference. Notion Ink Cain 8 has Intel Atom Z3735F chip-set while IBall Slide i701 has Intel Atom Z3735G chip-set.

They both could go up-to 1.83GHz due to ‘Intel Burst’ technology. Notion Ink Cain 8’s processor is slightly better than this tablet’s processor in gaming performance, just slightly but still better. Keep in mind though, that it costs double as much as this tablet. Anyway back to this tablet’s performance.

Well, to give you an idea, this tablet can play Call Of Duty 4 Modern Warfare at low settings just fine, ok sometimes less fine, but still playable. That game launched almost 10 years ago but is still a very graphics intensive game(and better than all of the modern combat games combined) and it was never meant to be played on an Intel Atom processor.

The fact that it could run it and run it at playable frame rates is commendable and it means that all the mobile games like Asphalt 8 available on Windows App store will work without a problem on this tablet. So for the price i would say performance of this tablet is very good and overall performance throughout the OS is good and smooth too.

Communication

This tablet doesn’t comes with a SIM slot instead it relies on 3G dongle connected through USB OTG cable for 3G data on the go. It also comes with standard features like WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 both work without any problems. There’s a mini HDMI port on board to with which you can connect to any display with HDMI input through the cable provided in the box.

Battery

Battery of this tablet is 3200 mAh. I can give you exact numbers for battery life on this tablet. As i have used it myself to watch a show on the internet that shall not be named. That is not important anyway, what’s important is that i watched almost 3 and a half episodes of an hour or 57 minutes each. Almost because just after 10 minutes or so in the last or 3rd episode i had to charge it again because there was only 6% percent battery left.

So, based on that i can tell you that while watching videos it will only last you around 3 hours with WiFi on and brightness set to minimum same goes for games, maximum is 3 and a half hours of gaming time. With WiFi off maybe it could last you almost 4 hours while watching videos. But gaming time won’t change with out or without WiFi it will last you only around 3 hours on continuous gaming.

On moderate or normal use you can expect 5 – 6 hours that too on occasional use not on continuous use like with screen and WiFi on all the time. For a tablet this is bad battery life but just to feel good about this ‘well priced’ tablet you can always think “hey, it could have been worse”.

Verdict

For 5,000 Rupees there’s not really anything like this available in the market, all those Android tablets don’t have this kind of usability. They are more of media consuming devices. I can recommend this tablet for its usability alone. And then there’s the ridiculous price its available at which makes it kind of a no brainer especially for people like college and school students whom wants a laptop but couldn’t buy one due to budget limitations(read: being broke or parents not buying one). Like i said before “Something is better than nothing”.

12 thoughts on “IBall Slide i701 Review – The Ultra Affordable Ultra Portable Personal Computer”

  1. Yes, yes and yes. And about installing Windows 7, well its certainly possible through pen drive but it’s not a very good idea, so i would advise against it.

    1. “And about installing Windows 7, well its certainly possible through pen drive”

      Jay, Do u mean this tablet can boot from usb? (ie. to run the win7 installer)

      1. Yes, in the advanced trouble shooting option in Windows 8.1, there’s an option of boot from USB. Also you can directly run the setup from the Windows 7 installation media if you want. Just like you do in any laptop or desktop.

        1. Well, in that case, it might serve quite well as an inexpensive Gnu/Linux tablet…. provided iball haven’t been evil enough to not give any option to disable secure-boot on it. 1GB RAM should feel “quite a lot” for a Gnu/Linux OS with LXDE. 🙂

  2. Wooowoow i just can say wtf!!! I didn’t seen something like this in my whole life it is awesome.is it avaliable in iran?

    1. Not comparable. Different devices. Still, with an external mouse and keyboard and with the supplied mini HDMI to HDMI cable you can use i701 as a media player for the TV same as Android TV.

      And it will work exactly like a laptop is connected to TV which is in my opinion is better than Android TV. This way you will get multiple uses out of one device. While you can use Android TV box with TV only. Can’t use it as a tablet or anything else.

      1. Is the tablet somehow usable, neglecting because of its pathetic display? Can i do light gaming and watch HD movies and little bit of web surfing? And maybe little use of ms office

        1. It is usable and you can do all of the mentioned things on it. But as you know, tablet’s screen has very bad viewing angles, you can’t just lay down and play or watch stuff on it at any angle. You always have to look at it head on. Otherwise all you will be able to see is black and completely washed out colours. If you can work with that, it’s very usable.

  3. Thanx for your reply. I have already odered it on flipkart. It is the cheapest device of mine. I’ll try and make best use of it(sell it as soon i am done with my work) and i just have one more question, can i use it in standing/sitting posture keeping the screen almost parallel to my eyes? If could do that, it would be great for my work

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