“Hands on with Micromax's latest budget tablet”
No matter how big the new generation of smartphones gets or how many new phablets manufacturers launch, there will always be a niche for tablets. The ample real estate offered by these tablets lets you savour your favourite books and movies, and your work too, in a way that smartphones can't. Micromax debuted in this segment with its Funbook series and has made several additions since to its tablet portfolio. The Indian budget giant recently announced its new inclusion to the Micromax Canvas tab series, dubbed the Canvas tab P690. The tablet ships with an affordable price tag, stylish build, voice calling support and a bunch of free gifts as part of a promotional offer. Let’s find out what else the manufacturer’s retail box as well as the device has to offer.
The Micromax Canvas tab P690 comes in a trapezoidal box which carries the device, along with a thin rectangular cardboard box which hides a complimentary leather-finished flip cover. The lid of the box can be removed to reveal a couple of coupons, one of which elaborates on the features on the tablet, while the other states the offers that accompany the device. These include free ebooks worth Rs 1,500, 1GB data for two months worth Rs 500, a three-month premium subscription of Saavn, and app freebies worth Rs 575. Hidden partially beneath these coupons is the P690, laid on top of a thin cardboard tray.
Under the tray you’ll find a white cardboard box, sitting on top of standard documentation, a screen guard and a SIM ejector tool. Inside the long rectangular box, you'll find a charger, a micro-USB to USB cable, a pair of earphones and an USB OTG cable.
The Micromax Canvas tab P690 is a sleek looking device, with a screen measuring 8-inches diagonally. The tab will fit comfortably in one hand. The edges of the tablet are semi-tapered and sport a brushed metal finish, which extends to the complete rear panel of the device. The rear panel also features the primary camera on the top-left corner. The front of the P690 is mostly taken up by the display, however, the top bezel is home to an earpiece, a front camera and a few sensors. Navigation keys come as a part of the software. On the right spine you will find a power button on the very top, followed by a volume rocker and an ejectable tray that holds the SIM and microSD cards. The top edge is home to an audio port, a USB port and the speaker grille.
The display, with a resolution of 800 x 1,200 pixels, looks vivid and offers decent viewing angles but it’s not one of the sharpest screens we’ve come across. Because it's highly reflective, sunlight legibility could also be a possible issue for the device. The Micromax Canvas tab P690 comes powered by a quad-core Atom processor which ticks at 1.83GHz and works in tandem with 1GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of inbuilt storage, out of which about 3.1GB is available for personal use. While the storage is expandable up to 32GB via microSD card, you can also make use of the USB OTG cable that comes with the tablet to plug in your flash drives. The P690 runs Android KitKat 4.4.4 out of the box and offers a near stock Android experience. There is also a dedicated home screen for news on the extreme left, just like what we saw on the latest budget offering from Micromax, the Canvas Xpress 2 (first impressions). As mentioned before, you will find some pre-installed apps like Kindle and Saavn.
The camera department of the tablet features a 5MP shooter at the back and a 2-megapixel snapper at the front. On the connectivity front, the P690 offers standard options like support for 3G, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0 and GPS. The device is backed by a battery rated at 4,000mAh.
The Micromax Canvas tab P690 comes off as a decent device considering its overall specifications. However, for the brief time that we used the device, we encountered some stutters while navigating through screens and switching between apps. There were also times when the screen responded later than we expected. Priced at Rs 8,999, the P690 competes directly with the likes of IBall Slide Cuddle A4 and Dell Venue 7 3000 series. Our final words on the day-to-day performance of the tablet though will need to wait until we spend more time with it.
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