Notion Ink Cain 8 Review – Literally Tablet Computer

Notion Ink Cain 8Notion Ink Cain 8 is a tablet that will surprise you in so many ways. I am saying that because i am surprised myself at the capabilities of this tablet. I am not calling it Tablet ‘Computer’ for nothing. Most so called Tablet Computers like Android tablets and iPads are basically just tablets or big size smartphones. But this is really a Tablet Computer. Technically there’s nothing that is possible on a computer but not on this tablet. It also have an issue which is kind of obvious because nothing is perfect in this world. To find out what the issue is read on.

Build Quality & Ports

For the price its build quality is very solid. Its back is made of soft rubberized but rugged plastic. It basically feels like a big android smartphone in hand. To be more precise if you have ever hold a Micromax Canvas A1 or device with similar build quality. The tablet will feel exactly like that. Since the tablet is a little angular at the sides it’s kind of hard to reach the ports or buttons sometimes. Once you get used to it you will be fine though. Its power button looks like a slider but don’t be mistaken it’s not a slider. It is only 9mm thick and weighs 365grams. Small enough to hold in one hand in portrait mode. It also has a notification LED which glows in RED colour.

Since it is a full Windows device ports are kind of important. So in Cain 8 you are going to get 2 ports and 2 slots. Micro HDMI port, micro USB port, micro SIM slot and micro SD card slot. The Micro USB port is a multipurpose post. It would’ve been much better if it had a proper USB port though.

Display

The display of Notion Ink Cain 8 is of 8 inches diagonally and its resolution is 1200 x 800 pixels. It is an IPS display and its quality is pretty decent. Viewing angles are good too. Its sunlight readability is just like any cheap laptop or netbook’s display is pretty bad. Almost invisible unless you look closely at it. Brightness is overall pretty low even at highest setting. You can say its not that bright of a display. Colour reproduction is pretty mundane. For the price it is still much better than TFT displays.

Camera

There’s not much to write in this section. I didn’t even take samples to show you. Both cameras are really that bad. Both of its cameras are really just made for web-casting. As in meant to be used on web only. It doesn’t have auto-focus none of the cameras have flash. Both are only 2MP and can only shoot photos and videos up-to 1280x720px. It does have touch to focus but it never focuses properly. It doesn’t even shoot in minimum 24 FPS. There is basically no point in talking about its camera quality. Only good thing is this that Cain 8 is a tablet cameras doesn’t matter much in a tablet.

Multimedia

Whatever your Laptop can play this tablet can play, simple as that. That’s the height of multimedia playback capability. This 10,000 Rupees tablet can even play 4K resolution video without any problem in Windows 8 default video player. Music quality is decent both through speakers and in ears. Again if you don’t like how it sounds you can change/customize it however you want by using your favourite program/software that you use on your laptop or desktop.

OS/Storage/RAM

We are talking full Windows here. So, i don’t think we need to talk about OS more. You might already be familiar about its ups and down by now. The OS usually remains stable all around but during web browsing because of just 1GB RAM the page sometimes stutters while scrolling. Its simply an issue of lack of RAM. 2GB RAM would’ve been better. For the price you can’t complain though. Storage wise it comes with 16GB internal storage out of which you are going to get around 5GB free. For the amount of apps that are available on Microsoft Store i don’t think internal storage would be a problem. But for the vast amount of games and software available on the internet for windows, 5GB is surely nothing.

You can install any programs/games you like on the micro SD card. So, you’d surely need a more memory. Thankfully you can expand it with the help of a micro SD card. Biggest capacity card available in India is of 128GB for around 7,000 Rupees. It also comes 1TB of cloud storage free which is nothing but a marketing gimmick and useless for me at least.

One thing i would recommend doing is format the card to NTFS because remember this is not just a tablet its a Windows tablet. USB OTG is another way to expand the tablet’s storage if you want. Since it has only one micro USB port to read/write drives or for charging. You can not connect a charger and hard disk to it at the same time. And on battery, voltage output from the port isn’t enough to power the portable hard disk. You can not connect a portable hard disk to it because of this reason. If you have a portable hard disk with its own power supply then it might work. Or an SSD might work because SSD doesn’t have any mechanical part. Like i said in the beginning what this tablet really need is at least one full size USB port.

Performance & Gaming

One thing i want to clarify first. In my previous posts i wrote that this tablet has dual core processor which performs as quad-core because of hyper threading but as it turns out. The processor inside this tablet is actually quad-core. Yes 4 physical cores. Which explains this tablet’s performance in departments like gaming. When i first run Cricket 2009 on it i was surprised to see how well it was running. A full PC game running on a tablet which doesn’t even have a dedicated GPU without much issues. This tablet runs on Intel Atom Bay Trail(Z3735F) Quad-core processor clocked at 1.33GHz and it can go up-to 1.83Ghz because of something called ‘Burst’. For graphics intensive tasks it has Intel HD ‘Rogue’ series GPU.

This tablet could run games like Sleeping Dogs. Remember i said “Run” doesn’t mean you’d be able to play it. Unfortunately it can not run it at playable frame rate. Basically old PC games run well on this tablet. Games that are not demanding. Newer games or games that require more than 1GB RAM like Assassin’s Creed Black Flag runs like slide show. I wouldn’t expect a 10,000 Rupees tablet to run a game like that fluently anyway. I did that just to test whether it can run it or not. Games from Microsoft Store like Asphalt 8 plays without any problem. The best part about gaming on this tablet is that you can connect any PC gamepad to it.

Connectivity

It’s not a phone but still it has lot of connectivity options. It comes with a micro SIM slot for data only. Supports 2G and 3G both. You can connect it with any LCD/LED TV with the help of its micro HDMI port. The WiFi of this tablet is one of the best i have ever seen in a tablet or a smartphone. It connects pretty fast and hardly ever looses the signal. It didn’t loose the signal even when i was behind a thick wall. Usually all smartphones loose at least 2 or three bars of signal behind the same wall. I think it is because it has got a really good Realtek wireless adapter and not an Atheros one that usually comes in laptops. It also has bluetooth 4.0.

Battery Life

Battery life’s just as officially stated is more or less around 8 hours. While playing games it looses battery much faster though won’t last 8 hours at all. On occasional use it could last even more than 8 hours. Although with WiFi and mobile broadband on 8 hours is really the maximum on continuous use. That too on low brightness. Its battery is of 4000 mAh battery. Here is one of the biggest problem of this tablet. And its not even the problem of tablet itself. The problem is in the charging. The charger that comes with it charges it really really slowly. It takes almost half a day to charge the battery to 100%. I am saying that because once i put it to charge around mid night when it had only 9% of battery left and in the morning around 7AM the battery was still not full. It could be that my tablet or battery is faulty. I don’t know. If your tablet also takes that long to charge tell me in the comments below.

Verdict

Apart from that weird charging issue i don’t see any other issue in this tablet. Especially at this price. This is the best tablet for 10,000 Rupees. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to buy a tablet for around 10,000 Rupees. No second thoughts. None of the Android tablets in the same price range could come close to it in terms of value and usability.

24 thoughts on “Notion Ink Cain 8 Review – Literally Tablet Computer”

    1. On continuous use, around 6-8 hours with WiFi on and brightness set at little less than medium. On occasional use like picking it up using it for an hour or so and then putting it down. Then it will last around a day.

      1. i only want good battery backup while travelling,a decent good quality display for movies,lag free OS whether its android or windows ..thats it on these 3 paramaters u suggest which tablet.

  1. Charging is really slow in this device. I don’t think that the problem is with the charger. The charging is slow even when you plug it in the laptop.
    The problem is also not in the battery.
    It charges at a decent rate when you switch off the tablet.
    Hence the problem is with the background tasks like notifications that run on Win 8.1 due to which the discharge rate becomes comparable to the charging rate.
    It is important to use metro apps as far as possible as they are power efficient. Also it is important to close the apps properly by waiting for a couple of seconds before completely pulling it down till it’s tile rotate or else they will keep on running in the background which can be seen in the task manager.
    Lastly, charge the tablet in the OFF state.

    1. I think since this tablet runs on full Windows OS. Just like a laptop it requires a high capacity charger to charge it quickly. Like of 12 or 19 volts. The charger that comes with this tablet is of only 5 volts. Basically it’s a mobile phone charger. That could be one of the reasons why the tablet charges really slowly.

      Usually a laptop with 4 cell battery which is equivalent to only 2800 mAh comes with 19 volt charger. And when connected to a laptop the charging will be even slower because the voltage output from USB ports is usually less than that of the mobile charger. Even a phone charges really slowly when connected to a laptop.

      1. A 4 cell battery has 10,000 mAh charge capacity with 3.6 volts O/P per cell giving a total of 14.4 O/P voltage. This cell has 4000 mAh capacity. While I don’t think that this is a charger issue, nevertheless, getting a powerful charger will definitely improve the charging speed.

        1. There’s only 2800 mAh written on my laptop’s 4 cell battery. As you can see in the photo below. Most probably you are talking about a power bank or something. And battery inside this tablet tablet is not a cell battery.

  2. Nice Review, Jay! But i’m bit confused between Acer Iconia -W4-820 and Cain 8. Acer costs few bugs more ~13000 from snapdeal and has certain better options like more 2 GB ram, 5 mp camera. My only worry regarding acer is its processor and its launch date as it was launched more than a year back. Cain 8 at 10000, lack feature Acer’s providing but its’ pretty new. Any advise?

    1. I would suggest Acer Iconia W4 820 because of 2GB RAM. I am using Cain 8 and having only 1GB RAM creates hindrance in multitasking and web browsing sometimes. I don’t think Acer Iconia W4 have SIM slot though. So, if that is a requirement then i don’t think you have a choice.

    1. No native support, but it does support voice calling on apps like Skype. Something called “Voice Over Internet” or “VOI”. Direct calling from SIM to SIM is not supported.

  3. Hello sir,
    Nice article sir,
    Can you please answer these two questions-
    1. Is it practical to use keyboard dock for this screen size ?
    2. Can you give benchmarks for device ?

  4. Hello Jay,

    It is a nice article.I will like to know that is this tablet able to run “.exe” files? Does it run Google Chrome(PC version)? And how it performs on Google Chrome opening 5 tabs with a little heavy web pages? How it performs in MS Office Word? I am thinking of buying this tab or a Netbook. Need your view…

    1. It runs everything that a normal laptop/netbook/pc could run. Hence, it could execute almost all of the the ‘.exe’ files available for windows. I opened more than 10 tabs in chrome once and apart from a little stuttering nothing major happened. Office works fine as you can see in the video.

      It has just 1GB of RAM though, so a little stuttering and occasional ‘slow downs’ are normal if you leave a lot of programs running in the background or run all them simultaneously.

    1. Dell Venue 8 pro is better. It has got better processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB storage and bigger battery. Out of all those, more RAM is the most important. Only thing it doesn’t have is the SIM slot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *